A Look At How Rick Smith Grew Securus Technologies

Richard Smith, commonly known as Rick, was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Securus Technologies in 2008. His unique background in technology and telecommunications made him particularly suited for this role and it has proven to be a success as the company has rapidly grown under his leadership. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. Later on, he earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Rochester.

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It was in 1972 that Rick Smith started his professional career at Global Crossing North America, Inc. He worked at this company until 1998 and over the years worked in ever higher positions of responsibility. Some of the roles he played at this company included Chief Information Officer, Network Plant Operations Director, and the Director of Business Development.

After leaving Global Crossing, Rick joined Eschelon Telecom, Inc. as its Chief Financial Officer. His success in this position led to him being promoted to President of the company in 2000 and in 2003 he was named as the Chief Executive Officer of the firm. He was phenomenally successful at Eschelon Telecom, increasing revenue from just $30 million to more than $350 million while leading the company. His success paid off when the company had a successful IPO on 2005. He remained at Eschelon Telecom after the IPO and left when he joined Securus Technologies.

Securus is a firm that specializes in providing technological solutions to law enforcement agencies and prisons throughout America and Canada. The technologies they supply are used by law enforcement officers to prevent and solve crimes. Securus Technologies also provides a host of solutions to prisons including technology to prevent contraband from entering the facility as well as a system that can monitor prisoners phone calls whether they are using facility phones or their own private phones.

In 2009, Rick Smith was also named as the Chairman of the Board at Securus Technologies. Under his leadership, the company has released a broad range of products and services that are unmatched in the industry. He had directed over $600 million being spent between 2013 and 2016 that resulted in new technologies, patents, and acquisitions of other companies in the industry. The company also recently completed a new call center in Dallas, Texas that is staffed by an industry leading group of customer service agents. The customer service agents typically interact with the families and friends of prison inmates and have been specially trained to sensitively handle their calls. The result of these investments that Rick Smith has directed has made Securus Technologies dwarf its nearest competitor, Global Tel Link, in products, services, and customer service. Read more on Crunchbase.com

George Soros: The Force behind Democracy

George Soros is a world renowned philanthropist. George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, on August 12, 1930. George Soros is considered one of the most successful investors with a net worth of about $25.2 billion.

Early life and History

Born in Budapest, Soros decided to flee his hometown to England in 1947. After he fled, he decided to put himself through school where he attended the London School of Economics. Without any finances to support his education, Soros worked as a railway porter and as a nightclub waiter so that he could foot his education. He managed to pursue a degree and later masters in philosophy. Soros later migrated to New York, the United States in 1956. In the United States, he started his banking career by taking various jobs in several merchant banks. George Soros has footed many funds all through his life. His first fund was the Double Eagle Fund in 1969. He later started the Soros Fund Management using the profit from the first fund. The Double Eagle Fund was later rebranded to Quantum fund. George is widely known as the man who broke the Bank of England because of his sale of $10 billion worth of Pound Sterling which made him a profit of $1 billion.

Learn more about George at Biography.com

Open Society Foundations

George Soros is the founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations. Through this foundation, he has been able to give $12 billion to charity. Open Society Foundation is a platform that helps the weaker in the society to rise above poverty. It helps different organizations in fighting for freedom, promote justice and equality. During the inception stages of the organization, Soros distributed photocopiers to universities, libraries, and civil groups. He also offered scholarships for students in Africa, especially from Cape Town, South Africa. George Soros is well known for his political activism as he founded the Central European University, which is used as a research institute which leads to democratic societies. The Open Society Foundation is a worldwide organization that supports democracy and human rights in over 100 countries. George Soros believes that market fundamentalism causes the greatest threat to politics. He believes that the domination of the world market and world trade by the United States is a reflective phenomenon.

Read more story about George at Politico.com

Betsy Devos’ Philanthropy helps Children Learn and Recover From Cancer

Betsy DeVos’ best known philanthropic efforts are likely her support of Michigan and national political candidates. But DeVos’ philanthropy goes far beyond politics. In 1989 DeVos and her husband established the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation to fund a wide array of charitable endeavors in the areas of

  • Western Michigan community needs;
  • Access to justice;
  • K-12 education reform;
  • Arts capacity and leadership; and
  • Leadership development.

The Bulk of DeVos’ charitable contributions are for education, healthcare, and the arts.

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Funding for Education:

Typically, Devos contributes most heavily to education causes. Since the DeVos Foundation’s creation, 26% ($35,335,000) of all contributions have gone to education.

DeVos has funded a variety of different education efforts from websites to education reform non-profits to schools. DeVos has shown a particular interest in funding both Christian and Charter schools. DeVos has also provided significant financial support to many different college programs, including medical programs, aviation programs, and food safety programs, to name just a few. Visit their foundation at dbdvfoundation.org

Funding For Healthcare And The Arts:

Healthcare and the arts are the next two leading categories of donations for DeVos. Since the founding of the DeVos Foundation, it has donated 15% ($21,317,000) of its contributions to health and human services related charities, and 14% ($19,804,000) to arts organizations.

The largest recipients of health care funding have been the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program and various programs at Spectrum Health. In the area of the arts, DeVos’ primary recipients are ArtPrize, an annual art competition and exhibition in Grand Rapids Michigan, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Other Charitable Donations:

DeVos has also provided over $11 million in funding to churches, $7 million to public policy initiatives, $17 million to leadership development programs, and over $20 million to a wide variety of civic and community organizations.

Volunteer Philanthropy:

Money isn’t the only way Betsy DeVos has served the community. She has also volunteered her expertise to several different organizations. DeVos has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Philanthropy Roundtable and the American Federation For Children. DeVos has also served on the boards of numerous other organizations including:

  • The University of Maryland Devos Institute for Arts Management;
  • The Washington D.C. think-tank American Enterprise Institute;
  • ArtPrize international art competition; and
  • The Florida education reform non-profit Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Through her extensive philanthropy, Betsy DeVos has shown that she is committed to bettering the world, particularly for children everywhere.