Cindy Nash, Windstream

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Cindy Nash, WindstreamWith a career in the telecommunications industry stretching back to 1986, Cindy Nash, Windstream's (Nasdaq: WIN) chief information officer, can reliably be counted among the ranks of telecom veterans who still influence or participate in today's changing industry.

Nash, who has been with Windstream since 2006, is in charge of management and delivery of the provider's information technology services, application support, infrastructure support, and production services.

Her role is one of a number of senior management positions at telcos over the past decades. Nash was vice president of information systems at CenturyTel, well prior to that company's transformation into Tier 1 carrier CenturyLink. And just before joining Windstream, she served as CIO at Valor Telecom, the precursor to Windstream. That ILEC, initially formed from acquiring properties from GTE in the early 2000s, merged with Alltel to form the current Windstream in 2006.

Windstream's acquisition streak since then has likely presented a challenge for its information technology division, as assets like fiber services provider Kentucky Data Link, cloud and colocation provider Hosted Solutions, and its biggest coup to date, PAETEC, have been integrated into the Windstream services portfolio.