CHARLESTON -- Steve Hamula is director of regulatory affairs for FiberNet. He oversee regulatory and legal affairs for the company on both a state and federal level.
On June 30, FiberNet joined with CTC Communications, Choice One Communications and Conversent Communications (FiberNet's sister company) to form One Communications, a telecommunications powerhouse especially in the northeast region of the United States.
For its part, FiberNet will continue to exist and will be referred to as FiberNet, a One Communications Company. FiberNet will continue to serve its customers in West Virginia as it has in the past. However, Hamula said it is anticipated that FiberNet will be able to provide more value to customers as a result of this merger.
Born and raised in Johnstown, Pa., Hamula received his bachelor's and law degrees in 1984 and 1987, respectively, from West Virginia University.
Before joining FiberNet in May 2000, he worked as a staff attorney with the West Virginia Public Service Commission for about 13 years -- almost exclusively in the telecommunications sector, handling consumer complaints, inter-exchange and local exchange carrier certification, tariff matters and regulatory policy issues.
He and his wife Tracie live in Cross Lanes with their Maine Coon cats Tabasco and Greta, and a third cat named Nic who "basically adopted us about two years ago."
On the merger
"I essentially facilitated the collection and submission of the legal, business and corporate information on FiberNet to the various legal, regulatory, and financial institutions involved in the merger process in order to have the merger successfully completed on schedule."
On West Virginia
"I think West Virginia has a large upside. However, I think that
sometimes politicians and other policymakers in West Virginia
lose sight of the big picture in terms of the long-term
development of business and industry in West Virginia to
concentrate on controversial hot-button types of issues."
On the state's legal climate
"I admittedly don't have a lot of first-hand experience with the civil court system in West Virginia. However, like a lot of other states, I think the shear number of lawsuits, especially those that a reasonable person would deem frivolous, are a concern in West Virginia."
On drawing business to the state
"Improve its telecommunications infrastructure by exploring and utilizing advanced technologies, improve the educational environment and improve the court system so as to discourage the filing of frivolous lawsuits."
On his legal heroes
"Professor Forest J. Bowman of the WVU College of Law was a great teacher and entertaining advocate for ethics in the legal profession. And Barry Scheck for his work with The Innocence Project. This non-profit legal clinic has used DNA evidence to exonerate more that 150 wrongfully imprisoned people throughout the Unites States, some of whom were awaiting execution on death row or had been in prison for many years."
On memorable career moments
"When I got my first legal internship with a law firm in Clarksburg that was known then as Jones, Williams, West & Jones. It is now simply known as West & Jones. As much as you learn in law school, nothing beats getting actual hands-on experience working with real
practicing attorneys, and Jerald Jones and James C. West were then, and are today two of the best practicing attorneys in this state in my opinion."
On other professions
"Growing up I wanted to be a veterinarian. But if I were not a lawyer, due to my interest in all things sports, I wanted to be a sportswriter/broadcaster. That was my undergraduate major at WVU, and I worked both as a sports reporter for U-92 Radio, the
campus radio station at WVU, and as a sports intern at WJAC-TV in Johnstown."
"Traits in people that I admire include honesty, a sense of humor, and the ability to leave problems at the office, which, at times, is easier said than done.
"I really enjoy all of the major professional sports, but I guess I would have to pick football, both college and pro, as being my favorite. I just love the physical nature and emotion of football. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bad football game. Being from Johnstown, I grew up watching the Steelers or "Stillers" ... just as the team was getting good and winning Super Bowls. I was hooked and have been ever since."
On the Mountaineers
"I really didn't become a WVU fan until I started to go to school there. I remember vividly being at the first game at new Mountaineer Field in 1980, the Peach Bowl win over Florida in 1981, and the big upset win over Oklahoma at the beginning of the 1982 season. I could go on and on, but I think you can start to see why I became a WVU fan."
On the big screen
"I have two favorite movies. 'Patton' due to its realistic portrayal of both General George Patton and the horrors of war. My favorite legal themed movie is 'The Verdict' with Paul Newman. There is just something about the underdog attorney triumphing against seemingly insurmountable odds that makes this movie great."
On the small screen
"Right now, my favorite TV shows would have to be a tie between 'House' and 'Boston Legal.' I think it has a lot to do with the rather larger-than-life characters that headline both shows:
Dr. House and Denny Crane.
"I just love the laid back nature of Hilton Head Island, S.C., the wonderful setting, and the great restaurants. My idea of a perfect day is getting up early to walk on the beach, and then relaxing poolside in Hilton Head Island."
On spare time
"Spare time is spent watching my favorite sports teams, enjoying and sampling great wines and just relaxing with my wonderful wife Tracie."