Riverside Partners’ FirstLight Fiber names new CFO and SVP

FirstLight Fiber, a portfolio company of Boston private equity firm Riverside Partners, has hired Gary Kraemer as its new chief financial officer and senior vice president. The appointment is effective immediately. Previously, Kraemer worked at Fidelis Security Systems where he served as vice president and CFO. 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 – Jan 21, 2014) – FirstLight Fiber, a facilities-based telecommunications service provider operating fiber optic networks in Upstate New York and Northern New England, announced today the appointment of Gary Kraemer as its new Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, effective immediately. Mr. Kraemer will assume the CFO role previously held by Sean Socha. After three successful years as CFO for FirstLight, Mr. Socha is relocating back to his hometown to care for his extended family.
With more than 30 years of executive experience in both finance and operations for large public corporations as well as smaller, privately held companies, Mr. Kraemer is well suited to lead FirstLight’s financial operations as the Company continues to execute on its business objectives. Mr. Kraemer’s experience includes Senior Finance and CFO positions with multiple growing technology companies, including Data General, Bay Networks, Sandburst Corporation and Moldflow.
“We are pleased to welcome Gary Kraemer as our new CFO, spearheading the financial initiatives on behalf of our Company,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, President and Chief Executive Officer of FirstLight. “Gary brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to FirstLight, which will prove invaluable as we continue to grow. Gary follows in the footsteps of Sean Socha, our former CFO, who has done a great job getting FirstLight into the strong financial position it is in today.”
“It is with mixed emotions that I leave FirstLight. I am proud of the progress we have made and gratified to leave behind a strong company, but saddened to leave a great team,” said Sean Socha, former Chief Financial Officer of FirstLight. “Gary is a fantastic addition to FirstLight, and based on his extensive experience and proven track record, he is well positioned to ensure the Company continues building on its strong foundation to accelerate growth in 2014 and beyond.”
At FirstLight, Mr. Kraemer will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Legal and Regulatory functions.
“It is an honor to join the FirstLight team, and I am very excited to begin the year at such a dynamic and growing company,” said Gary Kraemer. “FirstLight is well known throughout the region, and continues to build a strong reputation as a vibrant, customer oriented, regional fiber-based provider. I look forward to bringing my skills and expertise to a company that shows promise for continued expansion — through its strong, talented team, impressive customer base and solid history of both organic and strategic growth.”
Prior to FirstLight, Mr. Kraemer was the Vice President and CFO of Fidelis Security Systems from 2008 through its recent acquisition by General Dynamics. Mr. Kraemer began his career at Price Waterhouse. He earned an M.B.A. from Rider University and holds a B.S. in Accounting from Susquehanna University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Learn more about FirstLight at www.firstlight.net or follow the Company on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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 190,000 fiber miles connecting in excess of 1,400 lit locations. FirstLight offers a robust suite of advanced telecommunications products, including dedicated Internet access, Metro Ethernet, traditional TDM solutions, SIP trunks, virtual PBX and audio-conferencing, managed commercial wireless systems, 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.