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Business Leader/Business Owner

Rick Smith: The Management Brilliance that Rewrote the Vision of Securus Technologies

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Rick Smith is considered to be a true management champion, innovative strategist, and an inspirational leader. As the Chief Executive of Securus Technologies, he helped the firm to revisit its vision based on technology and value addition. This helped the prison technology firm to become the industry leader in a short span of time. Rick understood the importance of introducing latest technologies that can help the authorities in investigation and correction services. During his period, the firm has expanded its network across the United States and started even offering services to Canadian and Mexican prisons as well.The firm, headquartered in Dallas, is founded in the year 1986. Rick became the Chief Executive Officer of the company in the year 2008 by replacing its founder and the current Chairman, Richard Falcone.

Under his leadership, Securus offers public safety solutions, family and friends services, monitoring solutions, corrections solutions, and investigative solutions. As the most prominent and the most-depended service by the public, family and friends services offer phone services, jail voicemail, video services, Email services, money transfer, and more. Interestingly, the firm provides the services at the most competitive rates in the market using the state-of-the-art communication technology. Securus has made the contract with more than 2,600 correctional facilities in the country, and it invests in technology significantly considering its focus on innovation.It is announced in 2016 that the firm has spent over $600 million in patents, technologies, and acquisitions from 2013. All this was part of Rick’s vision to focus on cutting-technology that can transform the industry. A number of examples show that his strategy has paid excellent results to Securus.

It has opened a Prison Technology Center in Carrollton, Dallas, in the year 2015. The 10,500 square-foot facility, built with an investment of $1.5 million, offers the latest criminal and civil justice technology solutions by providing more than 1,100 products. Interestingly, in August 2017, it crossed the feat of 1,250 prison customers, and it is considered to be a significant landmark for the Center which is opened just two years back.Rick carries decades of experience, especially in the telecom sector. Before joining Securus, he was the President and CEO of Eschelon Telecom. He joined the telecom major in the year 1998 and served various roles including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Before that, Smith was the VP of Frontier Corp., with responsibilities of financial management. Smith joined Frontier Corp. in 1972 after completing his education and held various responsibilities including Chief Information Officer, Controller, President of Frontier Information Technologies, Network Plant Operations Director, Vice President of Midwest Telephone Operations, and Director of Business Development. He earned his post graduation in Business Administration from the Simon School – the University of Rochester.

Financial Professionals/Business Owner

Roberto Santiago and the Telephone Industry in Brazil

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Roberto Santiago is a politician, a businessman, and a trade unionist closely associated with (Social Democratic Party) PSD of Sao Paulo. He was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1958. He is Sao Paulo’s federal deputy through PSD and serves at the General Union of Workers (UGT) as the vice president.

The Challenges in the Telephone Industry

On March 2014, UGT and Proteste (Brazilian Association of Consumer Protection) came together and protested against poor telephone services in Brazil. During the march, the president of the UGT, Ricardo Pata told the demonstrators they won’t accept to pay high prices for the poor services they are receiving. He viewed this as theft on telephone consumers. He said regulatory framework is critical in bringing rules to the sector. This demonstration took place at the House of Representatives in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia. It brought together UGT and PROTESTE Association of consumers. Demonstrators carried posters and fliers with challenges faced by telephone users in Brazil. Know more about Roberto Santiago at Wikipedia.org

The demonstrators demanded quality services, deferment of sale or acquisition of providers with the most complaints, strict supervision and punishment of these industry players, transparent invoices, decreasing prices of basic plans, and involvement of workers in making decisions at Anatel (Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency). Roberto Santiago said they are going to bring change to the sector by an agreement or law. He added that it is unrealistic to have 264 million mobile phone users when the existing infrastructure cannot handle more than 100 million subscribers. He said the situation is leading to benefits for some people at the expense of consumers.

Maria Inês Dolci, Proteste’s institutional coordinator noted that the telephone sector is a leader in consumer complaint. She added that since privation of the sector, Proteste has received many complaints in reference to the quality of services and a number of flaws. Consumers have filed a dispute against operators because of poor 3G internet services. On 12 March 2014, an agreement was signed between Roberto Santiago and Henrique Alves, the president of the House of Representatives. The agreement was signed to defend consumers from telephone companies.

They made a promise together with officials of both UGT and Proteste to come up with a law that will address challenges experienced by consumers. Some of the areas the law will focus on are the quality of services provided by mobile service providers, internet speed, and management of Anatel. Santiago said they are going to come up with a proposal to address consumer rights. He also promised a meeting with other players in the industry to develop this project. He said consumers should not pay for the services they don’t receive. Read more articles on exame.com