Warren B. French, Jr., has served the telephone industry well for some 40 years through consistent leadership and individual commitment.
After serving as a naval officer during World War II, he returned to the University of Virginia to earn his degree in electrical engineering. In 1947, French joined AT&T Long Lines as a toll facility construction design engineer.
A native of Shenandoah County, he went home to Virginia in 1954 to manage the Shenandoah Valley Telephone Company and quickly set to work modernizing and expanding service. The telephone operation is now one of eight subsidiaries of Shenandoah Telecommunications. The other entities, which include cellular, long distance and cable interests, attest to French’s ability to look beyond local telephone service to provide diverse and quality communications services to rural areas.
His effectiveness as an industry advocate is substantiated by the many leadership positions he has held, not only with the Virginia Telephone Association, but also with NECA, NTCA, OPASTCO and USTA.
Considered “Mr. Average Schedule” by his peers, French worked diligently to maintain the integrity of average scheduling by negotiating changes to the system as the industry moved toward competition.
Throughout his career, French served on myriad committees involved in shaping the industry and remains the only original director still serving on the NECA board. In 1992, he was appointed to the FCCis Network Reliability Council. He is a recipient of OPASTCO’s president’s Award and USTA’s Distinguished Service Medallion.
Despite the tremendous time and energy he has devoted to industry concerns, French has been, and remains, a formidable force in may political and philanthropic activities.