Chris Baird started with OptConnect in 2009, as an ATM repair specialist and worked his way up through the ranks into leadership and management roles. After years of hard work and dedicated leadership, Chris was appointed CEO of OptConnect in October of 2018. His various roles within the company over the years have given him a deep knowledge and experience of the connectivity business while also giving him a unique ability to relate to what each employee is asked to do, what challenges exist, and how to best empower each employee to be successful.
Chris Baird is the CEO of OptConnect. As the business has grown and diversified into various industries, Chris and his entrepreneurial spirit have been there every step of the way, to make sure that correct and timely decisions are made for what is truly best for the employees, its customers, and then, in turn, the company shareholders. Under his leadership, we are focused on making sure that we listen to our customers, provide the most reliable Internet connection possible, and that we stay ready to react quickly to the future needs of our customers as they continue to develop and engineer incredible products that need connectivity to function.
OptConnect is a leading provider of managed wireless connectivity for IoT and M2M applications. Our fully managed solution is a robust and comprehensive suite of services that ensures our customer’s devices are securely connected to the internet while having the highest level of uptime possible so they can keep their businesses running smoothly. From ATM’s to digital signage and kiosks to smart safes – OptConnect provides the hardware, manages the carrier relationship, mitigates data plan overages, provides a lifetime warranty and so many more robust features that are not available through other providers. We take out the stress, headaches, and frustration that customers typically experience when managing their own connectivity solution.
OptConnect specialized in managed wireless connectivity for unattended equipment ranging from ATMs to kiosks to smart safes, etc. OptConnect’s Connectivity-as-a-Service model has totally changed the way OEMs, operators, and deployers can get their equipment connected to the internet reliably without the expertise or expense of having to do it on their own. Many people try to incorporate an IoT solution into their organization and connectivity challenges have proven to be a big hindrance in those endeavors. OptConnect is like hitting the easy button for IoT connectivity.
This is great recognition for OptConnect because innovation and customer service is super important to us. Being recognized reflects positively on the hard work and dedication of our employees. It is also an honor to be recognized alongside other prestigious companies. We go above and beyond and are incredibly proud to be recognized for that.
Historically, winning awards help validate who we are as a company and what standards we hold ourselves to. This is our first time being recognized by TITAN but not our first company award. It means a lot to us and helps us from a recruiting perspective as well as a reminder as to why we do what we do.
Having been recognized with other awards historically, I think we have a pretty good handle on marketing our awards and achievements.
As CEO, I look to the leadership team. We trust each other a lot and our ideation process is very collaborative. Everyone is driven around understanding and solving problems. I leverage the talent of the leadership team because we’re good at communicating ideas and making sure that they happen.
We are only ever as good as a team as our weakest link. A well functioning team may have stars but they all contribute in their special area and do not get in the way of other’s ideas. A team comes together when everyone understands their strengths and weaknesses. Teams care more about what they have together versus what they have by themselves.
OptConnect is solving real world problems and connectivity is such an integral part of businesses these days. We have become such a strong organization and it's attributed to the collaborative efforts of sales, marketing, and all the teams here at OptConnect. We are successful because we have been able to stay laser focused on solving problems the right way.
The U.S. is technologically advanced and the growth that we have in our industries has enabled us to thrive. We grow when our customers grow.
Supply chain has been a hindrance. Most of our lead times went from 16-20 weeks to the shortest now is over 70 weeks. We’ve been able to manage it by creating a team that meets twice a week to discuss the future regarding supply chain. We have also been focused on how that hindrance has affected our staff and their stress levels so we try to be very conscious of that. We’re having to do way more than we ever have with the same amount of resources we’ve always had.
I am most excited about the general trend toward more and more connected devices. In IoT, we are headed toward 50 billion connected devices by 2025. We are in an industry that’s really taking off and it’s very exciting. That growth is leading to some exciting innovation.
Get a mentor. Get somebody that’s been there and has lived through it who can give good unbiased information. Someone who cares enough to warn you when you’re about to screw up.
The industry is on hyper growth. 5-10 years from now IoT will be the most predominant thing in everyone’s life. People will own multiple connected devices, cities will be more connected, and so will businesses. We are just getting started with what IoT can offer.
A gentleman in Yuma, AZ by the name of Jonathan Lines. In the business world he owned a roofing company but in that same business world he became incredibly connected through military service and volunteering for various organizations. He inspired me to want to be like him. He was an incredible father, community leader, and mentor. He has the right balance between family and business and I want to emulate that.
Chris Braid started his career with OptConnect in 2009, as an ATM repair specialist. He later worked his way up through the ranks and in 2018 he was appointed as CEO of OptConnect.