Rick has 37 years of broad and diverse industry experience as an Executive, leader and as a Board or Advisory Board member assisting companies to achieve profitable exponential growth. During his last 22 years, as a serial Entrepreneur, he has a demonstrated track record for growing technology and recurring revenue service businesses with an extraordinary ability in setting strategic direction, marketing, business development, operations and finance to maximize value creation.
Rick started his own professional services Company, The Burtner Group, LLC over 15 years ago for his consulting business as a Board & Advisory Board member and as a repository Company for his holdings in various operating companies. Propel GPS, LLC was formed in February 2012 as an operating company focused on innovative technology in wireless communication, mobile asset tracking and sensor monitoring for the transportation, telematics and supply chain markets with a concentration on oil & gas, small fleets, trucking and leased equipment by assembling many of his former team members and business partners back together with whom he worked in past entrepreneurial ventures. He has served as President & CEO of Propel GPS, LLC since that time with presently over 500 customers and 10K units/assets under management.
Propel Health, LLC was incorporated in September 2016 and is the 2nd Propel operating company formed as part of the Burtner Group 15 year future vision to spawn and support numerous operating entrepreneurial companies that can leverage the wireless IoT cloud based platform / business partnerships that have been built as part of its “sister company”, Propel GPS, LLC. The model and vision have been to start exciting fast growth operating companies in new burgeoning markets; leverage the group’s know-how, experience and contacts and also hire domain expertise in new operating companies beginning with the Presidential level, which has been followed at Propel Health, LLC, where Rick is the founder and serves as Chairman & CEO with a domain expert Executive hired as President.
Previously, he served two and a half years as SVP – General Manager for the Numerex Corp. (Ticker NMRX) Location Based Services Group responsible for mobile asset tracking segment. Rick also served as President & CEO of SkyBitz, Inc., a satellite asset tracking and sensor monitoring business focused on the Trucking Industry. In less than four years, he led the Company with its team and they grew annual revenue profitably from $1.6MM in 2003 to $26.7MM in 2006. Last twelve month’s annual revenue in 2007 was approximately $31MM as of his leaving the Company in the latter part of the year. In 2007, SkyBitz was recognized as #112 on the INC 500 List of Fastest Growing Companies in America, #1 among the Deloitte Fast 50 in Virginia and #2 in the Deloitte Fast 500 in America.
Rick joined SkyBitz in late 2002 as a consultant and then as an employee in early 2003 as Chief Financial Officer responsible for all financial activities of the Company. He was the President & CEO of a pre-k children’s e-learning and software business in early 2001-2002. In early 1998, Rick was a co-founder and CFO of BlueStar Communications Group, Inc., a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) start-up that grew to a $20+MM annual revenue run rate in just fifteen months of securing its venture funding, prior to its sale in late 2000 to Covad Communications during BlueStar’s IPO registration process.
Before his entrepreneurial experiences, Rick held corporate CFO positions at several US and international manufacturing, service, distribution and environmental companies ranging in size from $50MM to $450MM in revenue including Spatco, Inc., Yale Security, Inc. and Dover Elevator Company. Rick began his career as a CPA at Deloitte Haskins & Sells and received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in accounting from Duke University.
Rick was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 2006 and also in 2007. He is a former Vistage CEO Group charter member in Northern VA and has recently rejoined Vistage. He is a Paul Harris Society Rotarian and a current member of Rotary. He enjoys outdoor sports and activities, is a private pilot and an active member of their church, where he was the Building Campaign Chairman for their $10.8MM new sanctuary and school project completed in 2008. He has previously served on the Nathan Associates (a $50+MM international global economic consulting firm for the government and private sector) Board of Directors as Audit Chairman working with Grant Thornton for 7 years and has taught Entrepreneurship as a guest lecturer for the Duke University Graduate School of Engineering as well.