About | Russ Reeder

Leadership and tech expert. Loving life as a husband, father, high tech exec & triathlete.

Russ Reeder and Daughter Hannah

My daughter, Hannah, and I.

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!

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2 Comments

  1. Comment from Charlene Gibian
    2015-01-13

    You’ve come a long way baby! Where’s that little boy who used to play with my little boys! You are quit a man “Rusty”. Your kids look like you and must be very proud of their Daddy! Continued sucess!

    Love,
    Charlene

  2. Comment from Zachary Hopf
    2015-01-22

    Russell,

    Thank you for the inspiring story! I graduated a couple years ago from JMU and am very interested in following the same path down IT enterprise development along with IT innovation (wanting to focus on figuring out what problem technology solutions were solving rather than just selling cool technology). Thank you for giving me an inspiration/goal to strive for!

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