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01.28.16 – Luncheon Notes and Photos

SPOKES Notes by Mark Johnson

President Derek Aten kicked off the meeting with a birthday cake for Dawn Smith. All of the Rotarians joined in singing “Happy Birthday” to our highly regarded Executive Director. Tom Mathison led the club in a beautiful rendition of the Coast Guard anthem. Dr. Jackie Taylor introduced the guest speaker, Meredith Bronk.

Meredith is the President and CEO at Open Systems Technologies (OST). OST was founded in 1997 and has grown to 180 employees with revenue achieving 30% CAGR over the past twelve years. OST provides servers and technology services to help companies run better.

Meredith provided OST’s core values which were to: honor employees/clients, delight clients, serve with humility, and embrace entrepreneurship and innovation. She also discussed the recent pace of change noting several key milestones:

  • The iPhone first came out in 2007 and is not yet ten years old.  The new iPhone 6s is now 50 times faster.
  • Amazon started in 1994 selling books online. It is now one of the world’s largest companies.
  • UBER is now a verb.

Meredith encouraged the Rotarians to ask “are we solving the right thing?”  She listed several examples of companies and groups that did not see the upcoming technology shifts early enough such as Kodak and Taxi drivers. She provided a website for employers to read reviews written by current and former employees called glassdoor.com.

Meredith closed her talk by recommending a book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen.  President Derek Aten provided Meredith with a certificate that a clean water filter had been donated in her name to a needy family in Nicaragua.

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