Here at RevContent, we focus on a partner-first philosophy. We strive to be authentic, transparent, and transitive by keeping you in the loop. So, with that, it’s our pleasure to announce our new Chief Technology Officer, Craig Connell.
Craig is an experienced technology professional, software executive, and enterprise architect who has been responsible for the architecture and delivery of many contact center software products.
He is a member of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA) and is an expert at designing and building complex analytical systems and big data platforms for use in large enterprise settings. Craig graduated from the College of William & Mary with a dual degree in Environmental Science and Economics.
Below, we’ll get to know him a little better. We sat down with Craig and asked some deep questions to get the real scoop on our new CTO.
Q: Who was your favorite cartoon character going up?
A: I’m going to go with a superhero as opposed to a cartoon character. I was (and still am) a big fan of both Green Arrow and Green Lantern. While Green Lantern’s strength is specifically built around willpower, Green Arrow is pretty similar in some ways. My most recent “art” purchase is Green Lantern related.
Q: Cake or Pie?
A: Well, I was diagnosed five years ago with late onset Type I Diabetes, so I’d love to eat either cake or pie, and given a choice, I’d eat both! If I have to choose, I choose pie.
Q: If you had to get lost anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: Anywhere with wilderness areas – I love being outside. That said, I’m going to choose New Zealand.
Q: What’s the strangest thing you have come across?
A: Maybe this isn’t the strangest story, but it popped into my head. I’ve coached a lot of youth sports, including baseball, basketball, and football. While coaching football, I had a kid on the sideline who A) didn’t really want to play that much to start with, and B) was vomiting on the sidelines. The team mom (who is a nurse) and I decided to take him out of the game and have him take his helmet off – that way, the other teams know that he won’t be going back in. His dad came over and yelled at me for a solid five minutes about taking his son out of the game, saying he wanted him to be “in there.” His son hated the sport. As far as I know, it was the only year he played football.
Q: Your LinkedIn is very impressive, but let’s get down to the real you. What bridges do you not regret burning?
A: I historically worked to not burn bridges. I worked at a few startups that had people who were out to get ahead, and I have no tolerance for getting stepped on, so I have no regrets.
Q: What brought you to RevContent?
A: Laura Wilson and I have worked together in the past. When I had a local person I trust reach out to me, that made me confident and got the ball rolling.
Q: How would you define your leadership style, knowing the RevContent culture?
A: My main responsibility is getting the most I can out of the people for the company and vice versa. I think letting people have the opportunity to fail without it being catastrophic for them or the company can make way for new ideas and build confidence in me as a leader. I know I have succeeded as a leader when A) I leave my position in better shape than I found it, and B) I feel like I’m not needed anymore.
Q: You worked at Unistar Nuclear Energy, where you built and managed the development of software as a service (SaaS) platforms for the next generation of nuclear power plants. Can you speak to that experience and how you believe it will inform your role at RevContent?
A: There was a Joint venture between Framatome and Constellation Energy. When the role was presented to me, it was an IT position. Nuclear energy companies are great at what they do, but they’re not so great at being IT companies. So, I was tasked with building out a SaaS product that would essentially have a 70-year lifespan. No piece of software is going to survive that long, but we can at least prepare for it. Nuclear energy plants are not all built the same, so one engineer cannot easily go to another plant and just jump right in. We wanted to fix that. With the SaaS platform, we could streamline the building and day-to-day operations of these plants. Unistar wanted the plants to be made the same way. We wanted to offer that to the industry on a software level, and we wanted to build out interchange parts. But big partnerships come with lots of regulations and combined efforts. I had to work hard on that. Some folks didn’t understand the practical application or need on the engineering side. As a CTO, you face responsibilities that involve having to build out partnerships across departments. With this project, I developed a deeply understood partner relationship, which I will use to aid RevContent moving forward as CTO.
Q: Now, let’s get geeky. How do you keep yourself up-to-date with the latest video game technology?
A: Lots of reading and experimentation. I set time aside to let Google take me somewhere. Both of my kids are into gaming. My daughter is at UCLA and wants to be involved in games, but in the historical and anthropological sense. She wants to use them to make sure backstories are accurate, and not spreading disinformation. My son, who is in high school, is looking more towards game development. They help keep me on the pulse of new tech. In our industry, we look at what others are doing. I used to read game development magazines to see what companies were doing to get teams and ideas out the door. So, that’s how I stay up-to-date with the latest technology.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I get inspiration from Colin Powell and General Schwarzkopf. Growing up, they were big names for me. They have nothing to do with tech, but they were trying to improve things. I might not agree with their politics, but I admired that they were working towards change.
Q: One more question before we go. What do you wish you started doing when you were younger?
A: I wish that I had confidence in myself. I had these great ideas and never felt brave enough to do them on my own. I have been lucky enough to have been in great positions, and I have always felt confident to bring up anything from new ideas to existing concepts, but I would never follow up on my own. But I have plans now that my kids are grown up.
“I want everyone I work with to be able to approach me with anything. It can be hard for introverts. We all need someone in the room to make space for us. When the rest of us are talking over each other, we need to give others the room to share ideas. I want to be the type of leader that progresses with the whole team’s input.”-Craig Connell