Ever since Larissa Herda became President and CEO of tw telecom (Nasdaq: TWTC) in 1998, the competitive provider continues to be on a roll.
Set on serving the business community as a competitive alternative to the traditional RBOCs, Herda has grown the service provider once known as Time Warner Telecom--created through a slightly ironic collaboration between the former US West and Time Warner Cable--both organically and through acquisition. In 2008, the service provider shed all relations to its former parent when it changed its name from Time Warner Telecom to tw telecom.
While rumors have persisted in recent years that tw telecom is a possible acquisition target, the competitive provider itself has been a consolidator, buying up the assets of GST and Xspedius.
Under Herda's leadership, tw telecom has taken those assets and its own to develop a comprehensive service set that includes everything from traditional and IP-based telephony to optical and, of course, Ethernet services.
A cornerstone service for tw telecom continues to be Ethernet. For the past few years, tw telecom has been cited as a top three Ethernet provider on Vertical System Group's Business Ethernet Services Leaderboard behind AT&T and Verizon.
Perhaps one of Herda's major accomplishments came in 1999 when she and the management team took the company public.
Fast forward to today and the competitive service provider continues to advance with presence in 75 markets nationwide, with more than 27,000 route miles of fiber and more than 10,000 "on-net" fiber lit buildings.
Herda's achievements as a woman telecom executive continue to be recognized by the business community. Among her many accolades are being named as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region and the Denver Business Journal CEO of the Year. Serving as a role model for young women, Herda received the "Swede" Johnson Hope Award presented by the Colorado Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of America.