PE-backed FirstLight Fiber appoints Sandford as VP and general counsel

FirstLight Fiber, a portfolio company of Riverside Partners, has named Jill Sandford as vice president and general counsel. Sandford is the former associate general counsel for Zayo Group and AboveNet. Based in Albany, New York, FirstLight Fiber is a provider of telecommunication services operating fiber networks in upstate New York and Northern New England.


ALBANY, NY–(Marketwired – Jun 16, 2015) – FirstLight Fiber, a facilities-based telecommunications service provider operating in Upstate New York and Northern New England, announced the appointment of Jill Sandford as Vice President and General Counsel. Ms. Sandford will serve as a member of the senior executive team and will oversee Legal, Regulatory and Human Resources functions on behalf of the Company.

Ms. Sandford brings more than 20 years of extensive legal and telecommunications experience to FirstLight. Her previous positions included Associate General Counsel for Zayo Group and AboveNet (acquired by Zayo in 2012); and Assistant Attorney General-Section Chief for the Office of New York State Attorney’s Telecommunications and Energy Bureau. She also served as Assistant County Attorney for the Westchester County Department of Law.

“Jill Sandford is a highly experienced, well respected leader in our industry. Her work in corporate governance and providing legal support throughout her career, and her considerable experience in merger and acquisitions during her tenure at Zayo make her very well suited for this important position,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO of FirstLight. “As our company continues to grow, Jill’s solid expertise and impressive skills are a perfect match to support FirstLight’s business plans, and I am excited to welcome her to our team.”

Ms. Sandford holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School. “I am delighted to join the FirstLight team,” said Ms. Sandford. “I look forward to working for a dynamic, growing company and to contributing my legal and industry experience to further propel FirstLight’s growth.”

About FirstLight Fiber
FirstLight Fiber headquartered in Albany, NY, provides fiber optic data, Internet, colocation and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers in Upstate New York and Northern New England with connectivity to Canada utilizing its own fiber optic network, which spans over 215,000 fiber miles connecting in excess of 1,600 lit locations. FirstLight offers a robust suite of advanced telecommunications products, including dedicated Internet access, Ethernet, traditional TDM solutions, SIP trunks, virtual PBX, and Data Center Colocation. FirstLight’s clientele includes national cellular providers and CLECs and many leading enterprises, spanning high tech manufacturing and research, hospitals and healthcare, banking and financial, secondary education, colleges and universities, and local and state governments. FirstLight is a portfolio company of Boston-based private equity firm Riverside Partners.

To learn more about FirstLight, visit, or follow the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.