Management Team

CEO – Russell Smith

Russell’s telecom career began as a BellSouth co-op while attending Georgia Institute of Technology as a President’s Scholar.  His industry knowledge developed through the 1990’s as Russell had a number of engineering, software development and managerial positions for several telecom companies.  These experiences were essential as he founded RTS Associates in 1998.

COO – Steven Gray

Steven began his telecom career in 1993 with BellSouth/now AT&T. Steven became proficient in the operational aspects of the business by assuming a range of progressive responsibilities involving the assignments of Installation and Maintenance, Construction and Engineering (Service Advocate Center), Operations Staff (Regional and National), Sales/Marketing Sr. Channel manager, as well as the co-manager of the Regional Emergency Control Center for all emergency related events in the Southeast region. During his tenure in the RECC, the worst hurricane seasons ever: 2004 & 2005, were successfully managed.

Steven had the opportunity in 2009 to leverage his extensive operational knowledge and results orientation by leading the business development and sales efforts for RTS. Following his role developing new business opportunities, Steven assumed the role of managing specialty engineering functions for this now growing area of the Company. In January of 2012, he was selected as the Chief Operating Officer. In this capacity, Steven oversees the day-to-day operations of all departments within the company. He is focused on finding new avenues of strategic growth, optimizing operations, improving risk profile, and changing the organization’s operational procedures to make a positive and real impact on our customers’ experience and the company’s success.

Steven holds an Associate degree from Gwinnett Technical College in Telecommunications, a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Mercer University. Steven is a certified Six Sigma (Green Belt, Lean & DFSS) and holds an unrestricted State of Georgia Low Voltage Contractor license.

Director – John Ballard

John has demonstrated his strengths in contract negotiations and compliance, strategic planning, project management, resource development and customer service through a variety of construction and telecommunications positions he has held since 2000. John began his career as a project manager for a regional construction and residential development company where he oversaw the acquisition and sale of multi-million dollar projects and became adept with permitting, inspecting and achieving project deadlines and budgets. This strong financial and project background served John well through subsequent commercial and residential construction positions and made him the ideal candidate for a small Company expanding their portfolio to this type work: RTS.

John joined RTS in 2009 to direct infrastructure design as well as construction services. In 2012, he assumed the lead role for the Design organization leveraging his telecom understanding with the necessary disciplines based on years of excellent customer service and effective management of projects and people.

John holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Management from Presbyterian College.

Director – Randy Loyd

Randy has over 35 years of telecommunications experience with multiple roles throughout the Southeast including leading large team multi-state operations organizations responsible for Construction & Engineering, Installation & Maintenance, Planning, and Sales Support.  He is a servant leader focused on operational excellence, innovation, and providing great customer service.  Randy holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering degree from The University of Tennessee – Knoxville.

Director – Dave Slagle, PMP

Dave Slagle is the Director of Operations Support for RTS Associates, LLC. Dave’s tenure with RTS started in 2000 after serving 7 years in the US Army Signal Corp. In 2009, Dave moved into management at RTS overseeing many groups such as Building Industry Consultants, OSP design and make ready. He became the Director of Operations Support in 2015 with oversight of design support groups and OSP design contracts. Dave has been a member of the Project Management Institute, and has held a Project Management Professional Certification, since 2015.

Director – Cary Lawler

Cary began his telecom career fresh out of high school in 1990 which has afforded him the opportunity to develop a wide range of front line and managerial experience within the telecom industry to include roles in field engineering, design, utility locating, quality, safety, construction, road moves and make ready coordination, to name a few.

In addition to his telecom experience, Cary also served in the public sector as a correctional officer, Assistant Road Superintendent and Solid Waste Director for seven years before returning back to the telecom industry in 2012.

Cary’s diverse knowledge allows him to uniquely engage our customers’ needs by delivering highly accurate work while also fostering a teamwork driven environment, both internally and externally.