Episode 16: Featuring Ross Woodley, Colonel (Retired) USAF and Chief Programs Officer at Red River

In this episode of Net Effects Podcast, co-hosts Les Ottolenghi and Mark Bavisotto catch up with retired USAF Colonel and Chief Programs Officer at Red River, Ross Woodley. Throughout his career across government and business, Ross has acted as a linchpin in achieving critical missions. “I like a lot of challenges in my day,” he says. 

These days Ross uses his extensive knowledge in team-building and navigating high-pressure environments to contribute to the technology company Red River.

Episode highlights:

  • Culture set Red River apart as it grew from a small company to a large business. Every acquisition and partnership must contribute to the company’s culture. Day-to-day culture can include everything from collaboration to company-wide philanthropy (e.g., an annual community service project).
  • Be personal with employees. “Like many companies, we tried a lot of different things. Earlier on in Covid, we tried a lot of the coffee hours and other types of events to fill those voids. But you got to the point where it was a little fatiguing, so you had to look for other avenues, and those typically were one on one.” This means scheduling one-on-one touchpoint meetings with a personal angle and not so much of a business focus.
  • A management point of view leads to better outcomes. For example, if an organization makes a jump to AI too quickly, it will not have the infrastructure to suppose those applications, data quality, and management. With transformation, some of the fundamental stuff gets overlooked. Therefore, there is a lot of work to be done at the foundational level.
  • Security should be in a containerized environment with it built in from the foundation. This is much like a military strategy with layers of defense. “There’s always some way to get in. You gotta have an option with plan A, B, and C and branches off of that,” says Ross.
  • When it comes to social transformation, you have to be sensitive and take action by giving people an opportunity and a venue to have their voices heard without any repercussions. 

Other topics included in this episode include lessons learned in data and digital transformation, and how to address the things that keep executive leaders up at night. Listen to the full episode now.

About Ross Woodley and Red River: Ross Woodley is a seasoned leader with extensive global knowledge of all facets of the USAF, Department of Defense, and Congressional committees. He has an ability to analyze complex problems, and design, plan, and implement complex strategy solutions, assemble and motivate teams, and interact with partners to accomplish stellar results.  Ross has been recognized for superior leadership both within the Government and industry. 

Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners, and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in analytics, cloud, collaboration, mobility, networking, and security solutions. Red River has made a positive impact on our employees, customers, and communities for 25 years and we show no signs of slowing down. For more information, go to Redriver.com.