20 Under 40: Stephen Parac

Chief Operations Operator, XS Media

Age: 32

“Stephen’s energy for civic engagement knows no bounds. He is one of a handful of leaders in our community who truly understands that without community partnership, the needle of change remains unmoved.”

Celeste Edman, Lunar Logic


Chief Operations Officer Stephen Parac has grown XS Media from a startup to a regional Internet Service Provider. Parac collaborated with other leaders, helping to bring world-class gigabit Internet to downtown Eugene. He is a mentor for the South Eugene High School robotics team and is involved in Elevate and in the Academy of Arts and Academic’s J-term internship program. Parac serves on the boards of directors for the Eugene Education Foundation and the Technology Association of Oregon. He’s on the technology committee for Eugene Civic Alliance and steering committee for Leadership Eugene-Springfield.

Get to know them

Q: How do you see your leadership in our community changing in the next 5 years?

I see my involvement in education and closing the digital divide expanding. I currently serve on several education-related boards and steering committees and am interested in expanding the role industry can play in the lives of students in our community. Closing the digital divide is the top priority of XS Media. We started nearly 20 years ago bringing the affordable high-speed Internet to rural parts of Lane County and that work continues today. Bringing the Internet to underserved communities has a tremendous impact on education, economic development, and public health. Today we’ve expanded our services to provide the fastest and most affordable Internet in the state of Oregon to the Eugene and Springfield areas. Our entire focus is on growing to serve our most vulnerable and underserved population and I see myself, and XS Media, continuing to lead that charge in our community.


Q: What motivates and inspires you?

I am motivated by an insatiable appetite to learn and apply those lessons to every facet of my life. I am so thankful to be in a position where I can learn about our community’s needs and am able to leverage my business for public good. I see the efforts of others in the community to help our most vulnerable, support our youth, and elevate the community and am inspired. It’s inspiring and a calling to do more personally.


Q: What do you hope to see for our community?

I’d like to see a place where our children have access to tools and opportunities that allow them to learn and be inspired. I think there is a tremendous effort underway in our community through organizations like the Eugene Education Foundation, Lane STEM, and the Technology Association of Oregon that work to pair industry partners, and innovative programming with students in our community. I’d like to see efforts like that continue and expand. Supporting the next generation will have the largest long-term impacts our community can make.