About | Russ Reeder
Leadership and tech expert. Loving life as a husband, father, high tech exec.
My hi-tech background ranges from start-up ventures to Fortune 500 giants like Oracle and my first programming job at Mobil Oil. I’ve helped build great cultures and managed high-growth global organizations that have transformed industries and consistently drive performance and innovation at scale.
But, you ask, how did I get here? Here is my story (in its high-level version).
At 11 years old, I wrote my first computer program in BASIC and fell in love with technology. After a little detour through West Point Preparatory School to follow a family tradition and the path of my grandfather, U.S. Army officer and author Colonel Red Reeder), I decided to get a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and Decision Support Systems from James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The most amazing thing is that, while I went to JMU to get my business degree, it ended up being much more. I came away with many life-long friends as well as the leadership bug – you can blame my grandfather, who happened to also be American football coach Vince Lombardi’s mentor on leadership. Needless to say, no one was surprised when, in the Commencement Address I gave for my graduating class, I started testing some of my own leadership theories on the audience.
In the early 90’s, I spent several years in systems development, coding mainframe financial and manufacturing applications for Fortune 500 companies before I started selling solutions rather than building them. I joined Oracle in 1996 and, with a focus on figuring out what problems our solutions were solving rather than just selling cool technology, I quickly rose through leadership to run an application sales group selling Oracle Applications into multi-billion dollar accounts. Three years later, Oracle rejected my suggestion to develop a SaaS tool enabling media companies to manage licensing contracts more cost-efficiently. This directed me back down the entrepreneurial route (since my lawn mowing business back in seventh grade), and I became a startup executive by starting my first technology company, RightsLine.
Throughout my career and my life, I’ve enjoyed being a constant student of change. I have been trying to apply and constantly improve my leadership philosophy, directly inspired by my family, of course, but also by my own experiences as a dad, a triathlete and just as a human being trying to be a better person and, as much as possible, help others live happier, more productive lives.
That’s something I will try and share with you here, on this blog.
Hope you’ll enjoy the reading!
Onward and Upward!