Rick Smith Leading Securus Technologies’ Fight for Public Safety

For a company to maintain market leadership or rank among the top, the senior executives work round the clock to coordinate operations, support innovation and inspire employees to achieve the objectives and visions. Richard Smith became CEO of Securus Technology in 2008. At the time of appointment, Rick Smith’s vision was to lead Securus to become the top provider of technology-based solutions for criminal justice and public safety. Securus primarily focused on the inmate telecommunications market and commanded 35 to 45% of the total market share in America audio-calling sector until 2007. Rick Smith purposed to increase the company’s dominance through pursuing diversification strategies, partnerships, acquisitions, and patents. Securus made capital and labor investments to realize these goals. Rick encouraged the in-house team of experts specializing in software development to develop innovative products and improve the current ones. For Rick Smith, product development is a continuous process.

Further, he led the company in investing over 600 million in new technology, patents, and acquisition. The 2015 purchase of JPay initiate by Rick Smith introduced the payment solutions product to the company’s portfolio. Currently, the Securus offers telecommunication services, payment solutions, inmate-based services that provide entertainment, education, health and religious information, monitoring and investigation solutions, and biometric analysis. With a reach of over 3450 facilities and 1.2 million prisoners, Securus oversees over 400 million calls annually to inmates. In collaboration with stakeholders in the market, Rick Smith is keen on developing products that will avert crime and other social problems. In effect, Securus focuses on designing a new product at least once a week. Rick Smith earned an Electrical Engineering undergraduate degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo. He then pursued a postgraduate degree in engineering from the State University of New York and later an MBA from the University of Rochester respectively.

Global Crossing North America was Rick’s first employer; while at the company he rose to become Chief Information Officer. In 1998 he moved to Eschelon Telecom and took over the position of Chief Financial Officer. He was promoted to president in 2000 and later in 2003 appointed CEO of Eschelon Telecom. During his tenure, company earnings grew to $ 350 million from $30 million. In 2005, Rick oversaw the listing of Eschelon Telecom in the stock exchange.In 2017, he received the Gold Executive of the Year award presented by the Golden Bridge Awards. Also, the Securus team earned four other awards in different categories including the Support Department of the Year for the team, and individual Lifetime Achievement award. Rick Smith is optimistic about the future of Securus Technologies. He believes that Securus is a valuable investment. For the next couple of years, Rick foresees a situation where the current trends and technology will influence product and service delivery for correctional and public safety.