Dale and his team keep our network running through severe weather and surging demand
The past year and a half, connectivity became more important than ever, with many people relying on Comcast’s network to be able to work and learn from home, access critical resources and stay entertained and connected. Even when we saw unprecedented shifts in network usage, Comcast delivered the speeds and capacity our customers needed. It couldn’t have been done here locally without Dale Elifrits and his team.
Dale Elifrits is the regional vice president of network engineering for Comcast’s Freedom Region, which serves more than two million customers across Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey and northern Delaware. Dale and his team are responsible for ensuring Comcast’s network reliability – everything from operations and performance to improvements and metrics and much more. Dale has worked in cable in 37 states over 35 years, a period of massive technological change. Because of his experience in the industry, Dale was recently inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers Class of 2021. This prestigious honor recognizes men and women who make significant contributions to the cable industry and our communities. Let’s get to know Dale a little better:
Q: Tell us about how you got started in the cable television business.
A: I got my start at 17 as a contractor lineman in Missouri. My father was a journey lineman for the local power company and my two uncles were former linemen and engineers that started their own businesses supporting the cable industry – one in construction, and the other in design/engineering work. My father taught me how to climb utility poles in our front yard, and I went on the road with my uncles to help build out the country’s cable TV network. Along the way I learned how to do it all – from network design to repair and everything in between.
Q: Where did you go from there?
A: After three years as a contractor moving around the country, I moved in-house to a cable company in Iowa as a technician and stayed there for nearly 15 years. I was a supervisor before the role was even an official position, and I trained and led my fellow tech teammates, managed staffing, maintained the network and more. As time went on, I was promoted to manager.
Q: To what do you attribute your success?
A: I think the biggest factors were that I was willing to relocate for growth and opportunity, and that I had a strong network of supporters and sponsors. After many roles across many states, in 2016, I joined Comcast’s Freedom Region, where I currently serve as Regional Vice President of Engineering.
Q: You are a passionate advocate for DE&I. Can you tell us a little about your work in that space?
A: I’m a long-time member and supporter of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). I joined NAMIC while working for Comcast in New England. After realizing the value of the organization for providing development, networking, and mentorship for my team members, I tried to change my membership to a local chapter after moving to Texas and was shocked to learn there was none.
So I founded and served as the first President of NAMIC’s Houston chapter in 2009. It took a year to start a chapter, but I believe that more people need to be an active part of efforts to support women and diverse candidates across the board. In my experience, diversity builds high performing teams that pull others up behind them. In every position, I work to build a diverse bench and to mentor, sponsor and promote diverse teammates, especially those who may have been overlooked in the past. Their success is ultimately my lasting legacy.