Chris has over 35 years of extensive experience providing network services for the financial services industry. A leader of innovation, he founded several successful companies including Wall Street Network Solutions, a niche connectivity provider to the financial markets, acquired by GTT in 2014 and TRM Solutions, acquired by CS Technology in 2010. Prior, Chris developed Con Edison Communications’ first financial sales vertical, building a business with over USD 32 million in revenue as their sales leader. He joined his first entrepreneurial venture IXnet in 1995, leading sales efforts and growing revenue to USD 100 million.
How can telecommunications technologies help humanity?
People and cultures without access to connectivity services are at a distinct disadvantage not only economically, but educationally and socially. Our industry has the knowledge, resources, and technology to deploy and support simple connectivity services that can change lives. We take pride in giving back to communities through our AQUABLUE CARES program by supporting extraordinary people and organizations with the sole purpose of improving life and humanity for all. I would welcome the opportunity to expand this program or build another.
How can corporations and researchers best serve the next generation?
The most important thing is to provide a great work environment, a place that gives employees a high quality of life. By providing superior benefits of all types, and rewards that recognize individual needs and wants — not just monetary ones — employee happiness and productivity improves. When a company focuses on its employees, it is ultimately rewarded by its customers, because those fulfilled employees will provide the best service and support.
If one thing should be redeveloped within the telecom and related industries, what should it be?
I truly believe the industry needs to reinvest in infrastructure. Global infrastructure needs serious improvement, and the world needs options. In the U.S., it’s time to deploy new fiber and gear across the country as those systems are aging out. Our transcontinental cable systems are near or at capacity, and we need options now. Connectivity to and from Asia is of most concern to me, which is why I am at PTC and getting more involved. The world needs secure, reliable, fast connectivity, and that needs to drastically improve at the global level.
What value does PTC hold for you/your company?
PTC provides an incredibly valuable platform to connect and collaborate with our customers, partners, and industry peers. The Annual Conference brings together thousands of senior executives from around the world and provides us with an opportunity to build partnerships and share insights on trends, new technologies, strategies, policies, regulations, and best practices.
How does PTC fit your company’s goals or career purpose?
Today’s network environment is one of unprecedented complexity, driven by the upheavals of carrier consolidation and record-high network performance expectations. PTC’s mission is to advance the ethical development and use of information and communication technologies (ICT) through collaboration, knowledge, and outreach. AQUABLUE also seeks to advance development alongside our already existing global aggregator solution, which is designed to simplify the management and enhance the performance of connectivity needs globally. Our goal is to provide customized network design, deployment, and account services to drive the highest performance levels for customers.
What advice would you share with current and future graduates interested in this field?
I tell every person interested in telecommunications the same thing: this is the greatest industry in the world. It’s recession, individual, and event-proof. It’s fluid and strong but ever-changing. As much as it’s important to have experience and knowledge in the market, you can pick the latest technology and master it, and you immediately become relevant and valuable. I also tell them that you will have a job for life in this field if you can do three things: (1) work hard and be accountable; (2) acknowledge all forms of contact — text, voice, email; and (3) most of all be present and always respond, in good times and bad.
What is something that not that many people know about you?
I live my life as an open canvas, so that is a tough question, but I do have a big passion for cooking. Over the last 25 years, I have always made breakfast, school lunches, and dinner for my wife and three children. Sunday is a whole different deal; a family day and meal are staples. For me, the meal I enjoy preparing and serving most is our Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends —it’s a “seven fish dinner.” Simply the best.
What has been a positive outcome organizationally or individually given the current state of the world?
I’m a very old-school individual and having been in an office five-plus days a week for 40 years, working from home was a culture shock. It was especially hard over a three-year period when AQUABLUE was doubling in size year-over-year. This new paradigm forced us to find ways to create the right atmosphere and virtual workplaces for everyone, improving quality of life at home and work. I am proud to say that we did just that for all employees.
About AQUABLUE CORP
AQUABLUE is a leading communications provider specialized in responding to enterprises’ most complex connectivity needs. We unify network custom design, engineering, implementation, cost optimization, and account management into a single, managed, and transparent service model that financial and enterprise organizations rely on to perform.
Our tagline “Designed-to-Perform,” encompasses both our core essence and value proposition to customers. Focusing on three key tenets, we deploy “Designed-to-Perform” infrastructure, “Designed-to-Optimize” cost management, and “Designed-to-Simplify” account services.