In the following interview, David Segura, chief executive officer and founder of VisionIT, Inc., discusses how his company is working to empower not only his current employees, but the community around him and the future of the industry overall.
You were one of 50 CEOs selected by President Obama to participate in the White House Forum on Modernizing U.S. Government. What business lessons did you take away from that experience? As the U.S. Government faces many new challenges, it is looking for ways to build closer relationships with private industry to leverage the technology and lessons learned that can be applied to government operations. Attendees of the forum, including many CIOs from the U.S. Government Agencies, wanted to hear more about how private industry manages large complex engagements and the technologies we are utilizing to make ourselves more efficient and cost effective. We are acutely aware of the need to balance the budget, and I believe the administration smartly is seeing that leveraging the right talent with the right technology can create significant gains in operational costs.
VisionIT makes a point to support technology education for children in grades K-12. Why is this initiative important to you? Working with a non-profit called TLAB – an accelerated learning center emphasizing skill-building in math, science, language and reading – VisionIT has been able to impact and accelerate the capabilities of our young people from many different ethnic and economic backgrounds. When a young person is empowered with the tools they need to succeed and offered a learning environment where they are respected and supported, it is amazing what they can accomplish. Not only is VisionIT the major corporate contributor, we volunteer our time to the facility and provide the founder of TLAB with counsel about major technology initiatives occurring in the market.
Under your leadership, VisionIT has been recognized as one of the largest and most recognized minority-owned businesses in the United States. How do you stay connected with your employees when you’re growing so rapidly? Management of rapid growth starts with solid leadership and a supportive corporate culture that embraces the talents of one another under a mutually accepted corporate philosophy. Our corporate headquarters is filled with visual reminders outlining what we believe in and who we are. VisionIT hosts multiple events each year bringing our employees and leadership together to give us time to share major updates of the business with our field operations. We engage a variety of communications tools – from video updates to newsletters – that give clarity about the evolution of the business underscored by our goals and objectives for the company.
What about your job excites you? In other words, what gets you out of bed in the morning? Every day I see the evidence of how the work we are doing is truly having an impact in the communities in which we operate. The level of talent that exists in VisionIT today allows us to produce at levels I could only have imagined years ago. I know we have some of the top people in the IT industry and talent management, each ready to deliver specialized solutions for every one of our customers.
What book are you currently reading? Or what book have you read recently that’s made an impression on you? I currently am reading “How to Create a Mind” by Ray Kurzweil. It is an interesting read and speaks to how biology and technology continue to converge. Kurzweil was one of the early pioneers of artificial intelligence that could read text and understand speech. How technology continues to impact the workplace, as well as our lives, is truly exhilarating as it makes the science fiction of the past a reality.
Who is/are your leadership role model(s)? Dave Steward, Founder and Chairman of World Wide Technology has been a great friend and mentor for many years. He has created one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S., which was recently highlighted in Fortune Magazine as one of the 100 Great Places to Work. His book, “Doing Business by the Good Book,” that outlines his leadership style has guided many of the principles I apply at VisionIT.
If the Internet shut down for a month, what would you miss the most? Definitely email. It is my primary source of daily interaction with customers and team members. I receive and send hundreds of emails per day. Every day is an opportunity to take a step forward, and without the Internet, I would likely be at a standstill on our many initiatives. It’s also why we have great backup systems!
If you weren’t CEO of VisionIT, what would you be doing? I would be focused on helping other people achieve their objectives and goals leveraging all that I have learned over the years. I enjoy strategy becoming reality, and more importantly, seeing people realize dreams can really come true if you have a plan; apply focus, agility, process; and find the right talent.