I’m Brad Herring, VP of business development for Raxis. In that role, I work very closely with our marketing specialist on a near-daily basis. So, our interview was more like an extension of our normal conversations. And that’s one of the great things about working with Raxis – we’re a tight-knit team. We’re professionals who are also friends and family-of-choice. If that sounds like a work environment you’d enjoy, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and check our careers page to learn more.
Jim: Brad, in many cases, you’re the first Raxis team member customers interact with. That seems like it would be incredibly hard.
Brad: Actually, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job.
Jim: I meant for the customers.
Brad: Ha! Yes, for them I’m sure it’s very hard. But once they’re done with me, they get to deal with Tim (Semchenko) and our engineers. So, there’s light at the end of that tunnel.
Jim: Raxis has a lot of new and repeat business, so I’m obviously joking. Tell us more about why you enjoy working with customers and potential customers.
Brad: It’s because I know that we’re genuinely helping them become more secure and, by extension, making the world a little bit better place. I know that sounds hokey, but it really is true.
Jim: You’re doing sales, but that’s not really your background. How did you land in this role?
Brad: I really enjoy telling the story about how our CEO, Mark Puckett, has been a friend since childhood. We’ve always shared a love for computers and cars. After he founded Raxis, he asked for my take on a different business venture he was considering. He decided against that opportunity, but Mark told me that he thought I would be a good fit for Raxis. I said, “Anything but sales.”
Jim: Yet, here you are!
Brad: That goes to show how good Mark is at selling.
Jim: But you are a storyteller at heart and you have a strong technical background as well.
Brad: Yes, my background is in theater. My actual major at Kennesaw State was in Acting and Directing. (I also minored in business law, just to keep people guessing.) And, believe it or not, storytelling is a lot of what I do when I’m speaking with customers. I never know how much technical knowledge someone is bringing to the table, so I have to be sure I understand the technical parts of our job well enough to explain it to people who have little or no expertise on the subject.
Jim: But you also have to work with CIOs and CISOs who live and breathe this stuff.
Brad: Yes, I do. And that’s where I’m fortunate that much of my theater career was spent in the more technical realms of sound and lighting. I owned two companies and did a lot of work for theaters, both indoor and outdoor, as well as houses of worship. A lot of that work is computer-driven, and the technology is based on network protocols.
Jim: I’m sensing that your early love of computers helped pull you in the technical direction, at least in part.
Brad: Absolutely! My first computer was an old Commodore VIC-20 with no storage media. So, if you wanted to play a game, for example, you had to type in pages of commands from books, debug them, hope the power didn’t go out, and then watch all that work disappear when you switched it off. I remember digital cassette recorders as life-changing technology. Then modems came along and gave guys like Mark and me an opportunity to share our passion and connect with others. And, really, those computer-to-computer connections were the origin of the Internet and the main reason why penetration testing is so necessary now.
Jim: What does a typical day at work look like for you.
Brad: You know me. Nothing about me or my work is ever ‘typical’ — and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do spend a lot of time negotiating with customers — again, making sure that we’re selling them what they need. I’m also involved, as you know, in marketing our services. I still enjoy production work, creating videos that showcase our talented team members, and checking in with other company leadership to make sure we’re on the same page.
Jim: You also have a lot of projects around the house to keep you busy, right?
Brad: My home and property are projects. In fact, sometimes it seems like my life is a project. We have chickens and a garden to tend. I just got done rebuilding an antique tractor that our CTO, Brian Tant, gave me. There are boats to tinker with, a jeep to keep alive, and a lot of carpentry and metal work that keeps me busy.
Jim: And you still have time for your faith and your family.
Brad: Yes. Those are the most significant treasures in my life, and I’m very fortunate that Raxis gives me the flexibility and time I need to nurture them. I’m also privileged to work for the ‘good guys’ in this world and help my children understand the importance of standing up for what’s right. Ultimately, I think that’s what determines whether or not a job is fulfilling and worthwhile — I know that the world is a better place because Raxis is here.