Glenn Veatch with son Ethan and wife Anita in South Africa.
It's a very long distance from his hometown of Pittsburgh, but alumnus Glenn Veatch (A&S 1990) is using the skills he developed in the electrical engineering technology program at Point Park in his work as chief operating officer (COO) and chief technology officer (CTO) for American Tower Corporation (ATC) in South Africa.
After a couple of temporary assignments following his 1990 graduation, Veatch joined McCaw Communications, which eventually merged with AT&T Wireless.
In 1998, he left AT&T to join the newly established American Tower Corporation, "which owned about 200 broadcast towers at the time," recalls Veatch. Just over a decade later, ATC now owns more than 40,000 communication towers around the globe.
Veatch started with ATC as a construction project manager and moved up through the ranks to become director of operations and director of services and support. He later moved to the international side of the business and helped lead ATC's initial business setup in South Africa in November of 2010.
As COO/CTO, Veatch manages more than 60 employees and oversees operations, collocation, land management, implementation and engineering for ATC, now the industry leader in South Africa.
"We are in business to lease space and offer value added services to our customers," says Veatch. "My team has many responsibilities that range from safety, to repair and maintenance of our tower facilities, to quickly getting our customers through our processes, installed on our towers, and generating revenue for our business."
Veatch has fond memories of Point Park and Pittsburgh, where most of his extended family still lives. The University is a family affair for the Veatchs: Glenn's mother Sue recently retired after three decades of service on Point Park's housekeeping staff.
"Ironically, I never visited Point Park prior to my orientation," recalls Veatch. With a natural aptitude for math, he was awarded a Golden Key faculty scholarship and flourished in his studies in engineering technology.
Veatch recalls a much smaller campus and many enduring friendships, including members of his fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma. "Point State Park was always a great place to relax after finals or a day full of classes," he says. "I'm still a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins fan. I miss Pittsburgh and try to return home to visit my family at least once a year."
He also enjoys living in South Africa. "It's very similar to living in the United States, because the infrastructure is very advanced for the African continent. South Africa is a very beautiful country. You can go to the beach, go hiking in the mountains, or see a ballet or musical," says Veatch, who is married to Anita and has a young stepson, Ethan.
"Seeing wildlife outside of cages has probably been my favorite experience in living here. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffalo, impala, kudu, giraffes, hippos, elephants, wildebeests and hyenas - I've been blessed to see and photograph all of them."
Text by Cheryl Valyo
Photos courtesy of Glenn Veatch
The Point is a magazine for alumni and friends of Point Park University