What’s Next?

Russ Reeder

Russ Reeder

Tech CEO. Loving life as a husband, father, & high tech leader.

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What’s Next?

After my time as a computer programmer and then helping grow Oracle’s Enterprise Applications business across the Government and Commercial verticals, I’ve spent the last 16 years helping run successful technology companies (some more successful than others). I’ve worked hard and had some luck along the way, both entering and exiting. I’ve also been able to take some time between gigs to be with my family and reenergize. We’ve been able to enjoy a little world travel, but some of the favorites have been our family time in Fiji, Hawaii and Lake Tahoe. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is step back, reset your bearings and be sure you are ready and committed for what’s next.

Now though it’s time to jump back in. Some things have come together better than ever before. I know I’m addicted to growing companies, to striving to be a better leader and a better “executive athlete”. I also know that this next opportunity that has come my way beats all the others hands down (not to offend my friends since the others are great as well, but this one’s different). That’s because it combines a huge opportunity with a solemn duty.

Today we are announcing that I have joined iCitizen as CEO. iCitizen is the accessible and balanced civic engagement platform that transforms the way citizens and elected officials interact. And it is a company that is going to change America!

I love America, and I love solving complex problems. It seems like it has never been more important, for me and for all Americans, to join together to fix our political system. Nothing is more depressing than how money in politics drives a wedge between elected officials and the citizens who put them in office. Nothing is more depressing than how our elected officials seem to care less about what their constituents want than about where they are getting the money to stay in office. This isn’t how America is supposed to work!

Many powerful people like Harvard Professor of Law and Leadership, Lawrence Lessig and Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream are trying to stop money in politics. I think that’s utopian and will only change how the money flows around in politics. We need to make things more transparent!

If we want to see our elected officials focus — and I mean really centered–on the issues their constituents care about most, then we need to make the entire process transparent. I’m talking at every level. This is what iCitizen does. Through iCitizen, citizens can easily track their representatives and the issues they care about most, federal, state and in the future local. iCitizen provides citizens with a new way to know and with new power to act. With iCitizen, the citizen’s voice counts.

We’re living at the dawn of a new political age, and we should be as passionate about getting it right as our Founders were when they established America two centuries ago. They designed a brilliant framework for self-government that is still ours today. Our chapter in that great story is about putting you, the citizen, back at the center of things.

The next generation of informed and connected citizens is here now. It’s the beginning of a new era of transparency in how citizens and their representatives exercise the great responsibility of self-government that our ancestors fought and died for. This is our inheritance.

When I spend that special time with my children, I’m reminded of what I truly want for them and how important it is to add to the inheritance.  Sure, I want to see them confident, well-educated, well-situated in their careers and maybe even leave them some money.  But what I really want is for them to be able to grow up in, and into, a country even greater than the one I have known.  I want them to be informed, engaged and responsible citizens who can keep the show rolling and, in their turn, pass it on.

Parents always hope their children won’t forget the important things we taught them growing up.  As citizens, we need to remember the important things, too.  And as citizens today and tomorrow, we have opportunities that our predecessors could never have imagined. We have at our fingertips the tools to re-engage with our country and our government. We have the tools that will make America work as it was meant to work.

iCitizen is going to make this happen. That’s why I am in this game. It’s a game played for keeps, and we all have to work to win it together.

Please download the 1st version of the app (beta version), do your part and get engaged. You’ll find some amazing things there, and we’ve got a lot more coming soon!

Onward and Upward!

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