ATLANTA, GA – October 27, 2014. Paul Belk, NGN President and CEO, was awarded the 2014 Technology Service Provider Leadership award at the annual ATP Awards Gala held earlier this month at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Celebrating the eleventh year of the annual event, the ATP Awards Gala recognizes and honors top Georgia executives for their outstanding achievements in the development and deployment of communications technologies and related solutions. Only five awards are presented each year for leadership and innovation within both Enterprise and Service Provider categories. Other nominees in the Service Provider category include executives from Birch Communications, Verizon Telematics, and EarthLink among others.

More than 650 of Georgia’s most influential communications technologies executives and their employees gathered to honor the 28 finalists for their ongoing industry impact during 2014 and to hear remarks from the five award winners.

Paul Belk Receives ATP Award

Paul Belk delivers his acceptance speech to the crowd of more than 600 telecommunications professionals at the ATP Annual Awards Gala at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Paul Belk said he is humbled to receive this honor.

“This important recognition is a reflection of the hard work and dedication from the entire team and Northeast Georgia regional leadership over the past five year years,” said Paul Belk during his acceptance speech, “It is our desire to have a servant’s heart as we tackle the technological needs of rural communities. We’re honored that ATP acknowledged the role of cooperatives in leading the way for rural broadband.”

Paul exemplifies the kind of leadership that inspires others,” stated ATP President, Michelle Henley, “He and NGN have taken up the challenge to meet the needs of the rural broadband communities and imparted the cooperative mentality of service to Georgia’s communications and technology industry.

Belk, a UGA graduate, worked with OptiLink, Deltacom, and Chattanooga’s EPB before taking the helm at NGN in 2011. NGN operates a 1,600-mile fiber optic network across 15 counties of Northeast Georgia, with network interconnections across the Southeast.

Recently, Paul’s leadership led to the launch of the Education Exchange, a 10-Gigabit shared network with ETC Communications in Ellijay, Ga and Parker FiberNet in Rome, Ga to connect 330 schools and educational facilities across all of North Georgia.



NGN is a member-owned cooperative founded in 2009 and operating over 1,600 miles of fiber optic infrastructure from its headquarters in Clarkesville, Ga. NGN’s state-of-the-art, low-latency digital optical network serves solutions to carriers, service providers, and technology‐reliant businesses and organizations across the Southeast.


The Association of Telecommunications Professionals (ATP) is a volunteer, non-profit industry association enabling communications and technology professionals to connect. The mission of the organization is to provide professional networking and leadership development opportunities, industry and thought leadership education, and recognition of excellence and achievement in support of promoting Georgia as a global leader and hub in communications technology. A full list of ATP award finalists and winners is published at