Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021 - 26

Independent Lifetime Achievement
Whether at Eagle
Communications
or through various
philanthropy work,
Gary Shorman is a
consummate leader.
If you thought Gary Shorman would
slow his pace after stepping down as
president and CEO of Eagle Communications
following its purchase by GTCR
and Mega Broadband in 2019, guess
again. Even on a normal weekday in
August when we sat down to talk to
him, Shorman was getting ready to put
on one of his many hats.
" It seems like summer is at an end and I have a fundraiser tonight
that most people never have an opportunity to participate in-a
duck derby where plastic ducks race around a water park area, and
give away $10,000, " Shorman says.
The event was to raise money for Big Brother Big Sister, just one of
the many ways the jack-of-all-trades is dividing his time these days.
While his first love and his gateway into Eagle Communications was
radio, the company shifted him toward cable early on. He took his
position at Eagle as radio manager in 1985 and then moved into a
leadership role after a few years that included oversight of the cable
television side of its business. The Kansas-based media company
still operates 28 radio stations in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri,
with Shorman serving as chief development officer and board chair.
He also serves on the board of Mega Broadband and is president of
the Schmidt Foundation, which focuses on environmental efforts and
education. He's still a part of the NCTC board and helped the co-op
in its recent search for a new CEO. If all that's not enough, he hosts
a radio show and podcast called " Forward Ever: Leading in Challenging
Times, " where he's interviewed a slate of Kansans, including
former senator Roger Marshall and the director of the Eisenhower
Presidential Library.
Shorman brings dedication, energy and enthusiasm with him
everywhere in every role. It's driven him through his career at Eagle,
which is employee-owned and operated and thrives on employees'
passion for their work and their community.
" If a call comes in on Saturday, we have the 100-zero rule, whether
or not you're at home with family or have something going on. You're
100% responsible for what you do and taking care of your line of
business, with zero excuses. If something went wrong in the com26
CablefaxTopOps.com
pany,
that is not an excuse. You just go
on your way and get it fixed, " he says.
Don't take that to mean Shorman is
all work and no play. Anyone who has
met or worked with the man will agree
that it's his personality that makes him
stand out among the industry greats.
" During his tenure on the NCTA Board
of Directors, Gary was a tremendous
contributor who always looked for
solutions and was widely respected
for bringing his own ideas to the table.
My fondest memories of Gary, though,
aren't about public policy discussions,
but sitting around the dinner table and
having great conversations about life,
family and those things away from
work that really matter. Those moments
are when you can truly tell the
character of a person and Gary is one
of the best, " says NCTA president and
CEO Michael Powell.
Shorman's resourcefulness comes in handy at work and at play, as
anyone who was on a bus full of NCTC members years ago can attest.
The bus stopped for " adult refreshments, " as Shorman phrased
it, which the group had forgotten to retrieve before the trip. In addition,
no one had a bottle opener, but he produced a pair of pliers to
open everyone's bottles. " So I sort of became the hero of the bus, "
Shorman quips.
It's a humorous anecdote, but it's also a fitting example of a man
who is never afraid to step up. " I've always believed that if you're in
any group, you should be willing to lead, " Shorman says. - Theresa
Maher
FAST FACTS
„ Shorman is a licensed instrument pilot, and
still flies, most recently for a Mega Broadband
board meeting in Dallas in early August.
„ He started a nonprofit called " Alive 2 Ride "
in 2019, encouraging and raising awareness
for men to get $30 prostate-specific antigen
tests to check for prostate cancer.
„ Shorman rides Harley-Davidson motorcycles
in his free time, occasionally in a cross-country race.
His latest motorcycle is a 1926 Harley-Davidson JD.
September 2021
Cablefax Top Ops
http://www.CablefaxTopOps.com

Cablefax The Magazine - September 2021

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