Chairman of the Board
Bill Tauscher brings a wealth of financial and managerial experience to his role as Executive Chairman. This experience gives Vertical a unique advantage as it pursues its mission to provide businesses with enterprise communications solutions that enable and support critical/natural workflows.
Bill is the founder of The Tauscher Group, which invests and assists in the management of enterprises in various industries. Previously, he served as chairman and CEO of Vanstar Corporation (formerly ComputerLand Corporation), having led the group that acquired ComputerLand in 1987. Under his guidance, Vanstar grew to be the largest PC sales and service company in the world, and was sold to Inacom in 1999.
Prior to Vanstar, Bill was the chairman and CEO of FoxMeyer Corporation, a wholesale pharmaceutical and beauty-aid distributor, from 1977 until its sale to National Intergroup in 1986. He currently is Chairman and CEO of Blackhawk Network, a billion dollar prepaid network that distributes and processes gift cards and other prepaid cards through third-party retail distributors. He also serves on various boards of directors, including Safeway Corporation, a $45 billion food and grocery company, and holds controlling investments in a number of successful companies.
Chief Executive Officer
Kevin joined Vertical in 2010 and has led many of the company's departments including sales engineering, product, training, marketing, and sales operations.
Kevin is responsible for leading Vertical's cloud transition and building partnerships with 8x8, Ringcentral, and more.
Prior to joining Vertical, Kevin was Executive Vice-President of The Alexander Group, a leading Value-Added Reseller in Vertical's channel. Kevin built The Alexander Group from two people in a garage in 2000
into a national company serving customers like Nationwide Insurance and Verizon in 38 states by 2010.
Kevin attended Transylvania University on an Army ROTC Scholarship and served as a US Army Cavalry officer.
Chief Operating Officer
Rick is responsible for Vertical's sales and service organizations. Rick has been a leading executive in the telecommunications industry for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Vertical in 2011, he served as president
of Mitel Networks USA, leading sales, marketing and operations.
During his time there, Mitel's operating profit improved from a net loss to a positive double-digit margin. Before Mitel, Rick was with former industry leader Inter-Tel, Inc. as executive vice president of sales.
During his eight years there, he grew sales revenue almost 400% and delivered sales margins in excess of 20%. He also cultivated a successful and thriving dealer channel. In 2007, he was responsible for the successful
integration of all US Sales and Operations when Mitel purchased Inter-Tel.
Prior to joining Inter-Tel, Rick served in various sales roles with TIE Communications, Inc. and Executone of Ohio. He attended Ohio State University and holds an Engineering degree from DeVry University.
Chief Technology Officer
Ravi has over 20 years of proven track record of building and leading global software development teams. He previously served as Vice-President of Engineering at Vertical and played a
key role in driving the strategy and product development of the Wave IP Communications Platform. This encompasses telephony applications, mobility and custom integrations that enhance the communication workflows,
particularly for Enterprise customers. Ravi has also been responsible for the technical success of Vertical's products targeted at the large enterprise retail sector. This includes building solutions that empower the nation's
top retail chains to communicate with their customers.
Prior to joining Vertical, Ravi held various roles at Progress Software culminating as Director of Engineering.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Computer Science from Suffolk University.
Ben's long and distinguished career in telecommunications began in 1979 when he started as a sales representative with Dictaphone and quickly rose through the ranks to branch manager. He then joined Executone as a sales manager in 1982,
where he spent the next decade in various sales, managerial and executive capacities.
Ben ventured out on his own in 1993 when he opened American Telecom, an Atlanta-based systems integrator, which he sold to Inter-Tel in 1996 and became general manager of the company's Atlanta branch. Over the next
10 years with Inter-Tel, he rose to the position of senior vice president for the company's Eastern Region.
After leaving Inter-Tel, Ben acquired Fulton Communications, an Atlanta-based systems integrator, and developed it into a market leading national communications solutions provider. Since 2006, he grew Fulton's annual
revenue nearly 600 percent. He also paved the way for Fulton's acquisition by Vertical Communications in 2014 when he assumed the role of President of Vertical.
Ben acquired Fulton Communications, an Atlanta-based systems integrator, and developed it into a market leading national communications solutions provider. Since spearheading a buyout of Fulton's ownership in 2006, he grew its annual revenue nearly 600 percent. He also paved the way for Fulton's partnership with Vertical, where it ranked first in sales for the past two years as a Vertical Diamond Dealer.
Senior Vice-President of Finance
Lauren has worked as a financial leader in telecommunications for more than 30 years. She joined Fulton Communications in 2012 as Controller and became Vertical's Vice-President of Finance in 2014 when
Vertical acquired Fulton. Prior to Fulton, Lauren served as Regional Controller for Mitel/Inter-Tel for five years.
Vertical benefits from Lauren's extensive experience managing company financials and leading change. She has shepherded several companies through Mergers & Acquisitions and
overseen multiple software conversions (ERP, billing platforms, etc.) Lauren's leadership has been instrumental in Vertical's financial success.
Lauren attended Western Carolina University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Marc Niknam is responsible for Vertical's Operations organization. His responsibilities include Field Services, Support, Manufacturing Operations, Quality Control, Supply Chain Management, Distribution and Information Technology.
Marc brings over 25 years of experience in engineering, manufacturing, quality control and technical support to Vertical. His expertise helps ensure that our solutions meet the high demands of our customers' environments.
Marc joined Vodavi Technology, Inc./Executone Information Systems, Inc. (which was later acquired by Vertical) in 1988 as executive director of engineering, operations, technical support and repair center. From 1989 to 1994 he served as director of operations, where he was responsible for setting up multiple factories overseas, as well as implementation of ISO 9000 standards in those factories.
Previously, Marc worked for Eaton Corp., Tracor Applied Sciences, Inc. and Honeywell. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.