Laura Richardson

What is your role at VSO? I am the Chief Technology Officer at VSO. In this role, I guide the company in decisions about VSO’s technical vitality and ensure technology both serves and catalyzes our clients’ business success by delivering practical and measurable results for their businesses. I am the Executive Sponsor for VSO’s relationship with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

What experience did you have before joining VSO? I began my IT career in hardware, first integrating systems for large-scale rollouts, then fixing enterprise class servers and storage at Hewlett Packard for customers across central Ohio in years leading up to Y2K. I switched gears to work with high availability, disaster recovery and storage systems for companies such as Dimension Data, working with a broad group of customers in telco and finance. I joined Novus Consulting Group in 2003 and subsequently IBM in 2007, like several of us in VSO’s leadership team. During my ten years at IBM, my focus was primarily storage. I was appointed Senior Technical Staff Member and years later Distinguished Engineer for the impact of my work on storage optimization technologies for IBM and our clients.

 

What brought you to VSO? When Steve and John told me about VSO, I was determined to join them. Building a managed services company with a veteran focused workforce is an exciting challenge; I wanted to be a part of it. Also, working with people for whom you have great admiration and respect just doesn’t happen every day in business; actually, it’s extremely rare. So, when the opportunity to work with this team presented itself in 2017, I would not miss taking this leap.

What is something you love about VSO? My favorite VSO Principle is “Leadership is an Attitude, not a Position”. Be industrious.

Leaders are at every level in our company. My most used leadership advice includes… work to make things simpler, find ways to take things out of others’ hands, don’t bring a problem without your plan for a solution, speak up, offer to help, take notes and share them, learn, teach, and let others know if you are bored or have time on your hands.

 

What keeps you busy outside of VSO? Outside of VSO, you will find me reading, studying, and drawing – always around business, science and technology – finding new ways to improve businesses and our lives as individuals. My husband and I are also big hikers, car shoppers and adventure/sci-fi movie enthusiasts. We love the Tennessee Titans (great story involving Earl Campbell and Warren Moon, and most recently Derrick Henry!), the Rays, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Buccaneers.