Supporting Stand Out Leaders

Rouzbeh Yassini, founder of the YAS Foundation will partner with SCTE Foundation
to honor his longtime friend and colleague Wilt Hildenbrand


For many in the Cable Telecommunications Industry, Wilt Hildenbrand was known as a technology pioneer and industry legend. For Rouzbeh Yassini the memory runs much deeper. Rouzbeh remembers Wilt when they initially met in 1987 as a tough engineer, as he drove Rouzbeh to the highest standards to ensure Rouzbeh’s invention, the first cable modem, would achieve the level of success it promised in the CableVision system. But in less than three months, they were bonded as brothers. Over the next 30 years, through work and life, they remained connected at the hip as they connected the world with a shared goal of  delivering broadband services.


Yassini credits Wilt along with David Fellows, Chris Bowick, Jim Chiddix and Bill Schleyer as the 5 visionaries who believed him, his cable modem and moving forward the technology and his vision to deliver Broadband access to the world.

Yassini shares his grief over the loss of Wilt Hildenbrand on March 21st, 2018 with the thousands of people who enjoyed the fruits of his labor and  knew him as a mentor, straight-shooter and for his penchant for salty language.  Wilt dedicated 4 decades of service to the telecommunications industry, starting with Cablevision in 1976.  As he rose through the ranks he came to consistently lead the team in innovative, strategic moves that kept them ahead of competitors in digital video services, Pay Per View, Video on demand and deployment of a 100-mbps data service, even going head to head with Verizon Fios with newer, faster broadband offerings.

They were kindred spirits as inspiring and visionary leaders in the Cable Telecommunications industry both being recognized with a Vanguard Award and Honored as CED’s Man of the Year.

Rouzbeh remembers Wilt as providing a “world of inspiration and support for the industry, a true visionary and leader that is badly missed in our world and industry leader.” To honor of his longtime friend, colleague and his 40 years of dedication to the industry, Rouzbeh, through his YAS Foundation has donated the initial $40,000 to launch a $200,000 five-year campaign funding campaign for the Wilt J. Hildenbrand Jr. Scholarship fund in partnership with the SCTE Foundation.  He will present the initial donation to Yvette Kanouff, vice chair of the SCTE Foundation and a longtime family friend and colleague of Wilt’s, on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 at SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo® in New Orleans. Mandy Hildenbrand, Wilt’s daughter, will present the Wilt J. Hildenbrand Jr. Rising Leader Under 40 Award to Chris Zydel for the first time since it has been renamed in honor of her dad, during the Annual Awards Luncheon the following day, also at Cable-Tec Expo.