Rick Smith is the CEO of Securus Technologies, one of North America’s largest technological service providers to prisons and other correctional facilities. Smith is a graduate of the State University of New York and holds an MBA from the University of Rochester.
After graduating from business school, he began his career at Global Crossing North America, a pioneering telecommunications company, rising through the ranks and becoming an executive. In 1999, he joined Eschelon Telecom, a telecommunications company serving several western states as Chief Financial Officer. In 2000, he was promoted to President and COO of Eschelon and was later appointed CEO.
Rick Smith’s career at Dallas-based Securus Technologies began in 2008. He was instrumental to the company’s rapid growth during the last ten years and became CEO in 2014. The company had been formed in 2004 from the merger of T-Netix and Evercom, two major inmate communications firms. In 2007 Securus also acquired competitor Syscon to become one of the largest prison telecommunications and technology providers nationwide.
Rick Smith believes that the rapid growth of communications options for the general public foretells an equally impressive transformation that will take place in US correctional systems in the next ten years. Based on this trend, Smith and Securus Technologies are currently planning and developing new products that will enhance the quality of inmate experience as well as help law enforcement solve crimes. Read more about Rick on Bloomberg.com.
According to Smith, future inmates will be able to communicate with safe individuals using personal devices at all times, even right after being booked. They will also be able to arrange for money transfers and communicate with bail bondsmen as well as make purchases from commissary stores, all from one central online portal. Many of these conveniences are already available, and Smith believes that Securus will make all of these services available to facilities and inmates in the near future.
Smith is extremely optimistic about the future of Securus. The technology company has invested millions of dollars into its infrastructure, which has set it apart from its competitors. It is Smith’s view that the company’s dedication to making the highest quality products and providing the best service will lead them to remain the industry leader for decades to come.
Follow Rick’s profile at LinkedIn.com.
Industry awards are a way for people within it to give some extra attention to notable companies. It’s important for people inside that industry. But it’s equally important for people on the outside. Industry awards are often some of the best ways to become aware of the really game changing discoveries and advancements which are having a big impact on the world. That’s also why one can learn a lot from a recent award for the communications industry.
Talk Fusion was an easy win for the 2016 Communications Solutions Products of the Year Award from the Technology Marketing Corporation. While there were a lot of good contenders, it’s clear that Talk Fusion deserves some special attention. It’s set some very high goals for itself. But most amazing is the fact that it’s actually meeting them and creating even loftier goals for the future.
Talk Fusion’s main goal can be seen simply by examining their name. The company’s main mission statement has to do with fusing various methods of communication in a single whole. People outside the industry might not see why that’s such an ambitious goal. However, it can more easily be seen by considering just how far various pieces of telecommunication based technologies have drifted apart. A tablet and a telephone from different companies won’t be able to fully integrate with each other by default. But there’s no technical reason why that should be the case. Back in the early days of the telecommunications industry there was an expectation of compatibility between any given device. Phones might look different, but they’d all be able to connect with each other to their full capability. But this slowly changed as smart phones became the norm. The default software became as much about lockin to the phone manufacturers than it did about actual communication.
Talk Fusion is aiming to change all of that by essentially fusing various methods of communication together. The company is working hard to ensure that someone can generate a rich multimedia based message and push it onto any given platform. This obviously involves real time communication. Both face to face video streaming and audio based communication are under Talk Fusion’s larger umbrella. But it also includes work to ensure that video based email and other effective marketing techniques are available to clients.
The chief financial officer of Skout, Portia Kersten, has been working with early stage entities and high growth corporations in different industries. She has been able to raise capital, enhance growth potential, register successful exists and augment operations for the different companies that have enlisted her services. Portia graduated from Columbia University with an MBA.
When asked about her life experience that triggered her leadership abilities, Portia asserted that because of her poor background, she invested much time in books. Portia did not have the privilege of having a television, thus imaginations made her to seek for more information about the world around. Her role models were persons that had fought the odds such as Charles Dickens and her namesake, Portia, who was as one of the characters in Shakespeare’s, the Merchant of Venice.
When discussing about her previous employment, Portia asserted that she had worked at large and small companies. She used the experiences that she learned from companies such as GE and brought them to small, high growth corporations. With each company having unique challenges, innovative solutions are required in order to address all these problems. In doing her work, Portia has been able to achieve work/life balance by placing one of her foot in front of the other. She asserts that she focuses on high priority undertakings, which includes both personal and professional issues. Portia’s husband asserts that efficiency in all things is her favorite refrain.
Portia praises the talented team that she works with at Skout. She asserts that it is a privilege to work with Andreessen Horowitz. Every employee works towards making the company last for a long time. Portia is proud of Skout’s organizational culture. She lauds the efforts made by Skout to enhance consumer products. Portia posits that women should embrace versatility in order to succeed in their respective careers. She adds that she is first a businessperson and finance comes in second. For one to get a C-level job, one needs to exercise patience. Portia argues that people need to question the status quo and not to allow anyone define them. In terms of friends, Portia advises that one should make friendship with people who do not miss them and every other person should rank second. This information was originally reported on Huffington Post.
At the workplace, women’s biggest issue is confidence. Portia contends that logic, repeat and politeness are the recipes for confidence. She encourages women to put their feet in the conference room because it is very comfortable. Portia mentors young women to start their careers. Her role model and mentor was Robin Wolaner, author of Naked in the Board Room. She asserts that Margaret Thatcher is a pure example of a leader. Portia is confident that Skout will make local and international clients to have a positive experience. She was happy about Skout Philippines Community for supporting a local member’s medical needs. Portia said that such actions make her job fulfilling.
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