Vice President of Operations
Ask Ed what he’s passionate about, and his answer arrives out of left field.
“I like figuring out unorthodox solutions for particularly perplexing problems,” he says. “I call it, ‘Pounding a nail with a crescent wrench.’”
Our Vice President of Operations works to develop and improve work processes to better serve our dentists by operating at top efficiency. “I want to ensure that SmartBox has the best systems in place. That includes making sure we have an efficient and effective team of Call Quality Analysts who consistently analyze and grade the individual calls from patients to doctors to provide the proof data for the effectiveness of SmartBox’s marketing efforts.”
Ed’s degree in communications with an advertising emphasis has led to a professional career in newspapers, advertising, and marketing. Before arriving at SmartBox, he says, “I had always worked for Fortune 500 corporations that were well established, both culturally and in the way they operated. Many of those companies were slowly dying as their markets were disrupted by clever startups. Now I get to be deeply involved with one of those startups that is on a meteoric rise. That’s exciting and somewhat scary at the same time. But I really appreciate the opportunity to work with such a high-performing group of really smart people who are passionate about the success of SmartBox Web Marketing. I also enjoy the challenge of taking myself in a new career direction that was out of my comfort zone.”
His comfort zone is a little broader than he lets on. “I am a rabid racing fan,” he declares. “Any racing. When I grow up I want to be a race car driver. I have been to almost every NASCAR track. One year I had VIP passes to the NASCAR race in Darlington, South Carolina. The passes allowed us to park in the infield. As we exited the tunnel into the infield and our eyes adjusted, I had just enough time to slam on my brakes before mowing down Richard Petty. Yes, The King. He was in no way mad and flashed his big, broad smile, patted the hood of my truck, and wished us a good time.”
Ed pauses, and then reaches out to left field again. “I might also be the only Louisvillian who has a surfboard in my basement.”
When he’s not manning left field, Ed and his wife, Dedra, enjoy prospecting Louisville area restaurants for sushi. He works off those indulgences behind his drum kit, a passion of his for more than 30 years.
When it comes to working with others, Ed draws on some fairly recent life lessons. “My view changed greatly because of the Great Recession. The experience taught me humility, and spending several years working for a major nonprofit gave me a deeper understanding of the struggles of people. As I’ve gotten older I appreciate calm and balance. So, I always like to consider the motivations behind behaviors of other humans. I try to be empathetic and sympathetic and maintain an optimistic view of my community.”
Being able to take a long, balanced view contributes to his role effectiveness. “I believe my strategic thinking brings the most value to my job, but my ability to stay cool under pressure has also served me well. My experience has also provided me with the ability to translate between what people want from their technology and the engineers and programmers who have to make it so.”
And understanding is crucial to efficiency. “Communication is key,” he says. “I used to teach both at school and on the job, and I learned how to determine if and when someone ‘got it.’ I also learned that not everyone ‘gets it’ in the same way and that if you are the communicator it’s your obligation to ensure you are understood.”
We read you loud and clear, Ed.