Founded in 1998, RTS operates from a set of values that differentiates and distinguishes themselves from other telecom suppliers.  RTS constantly drives for Relentless Improvement, operates Lean and Mean and strives to always Help Others.  These principles enable RTS  to attract, maintain and nurture industry professionals.  This collective RTS talent pool motivates the world’s leading service providers to select RTS as their “partner of choice” in building and maintaining advanced, reliable and innovative networks.  RTS has grown and diversified by striving to be the best at what they do and partnering with industry experts to furnish world class service and achieve operational excellence.


President / 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.

Russell is a 2012 graduate of the EO/MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program and is also actively involved with Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Young Presidents’ Organization, Yale CEO Summit, Leadership Georgia, Leadership Gwinnett and the Boy Scouts of America.  He also serves on the Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, the Board of Diretors for the Georgia Technology Authority, and advises several startup companies.


COO – Steven Gray

Steven began his telecom career with BellSouth in 1993.  For the next seven years, Steven became proficient in the operational aspects of the business by assuming a range of progressive responsibilities involving the installation and maintenance of both voice and data networks.  His operational knowledge expanded in 2000 when he moved to Construction and Engineering.  Here,  he managed the improved performance of DSL, ISDN and UNE circuits for the CLECs . Steven spent the following six years expanding his trouble resolution and business performance improvement acumen by managing  Network Operations support for DSL, the Work Management Call Center and co-managing the Southeast  Regional Emergency Control Center (SRECC).  During his tenure in the SRECC, the worst hurricane seasons ever: 2004 & 2005, were successfully managed.  Steven’s last two years (now AT&T) were spent planning and providing operation support to the Company’s new strategic service: U-Verse.

Steven had the opportunity in 2009 to leverage his extensive operational knowledge and results orientation by leading the business development and sales efforts of an expanding small company: RTS; Steven began his career at RTS.  Following his development of 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 is optimizing performance, pursuing new avenues of growth and impacting the Company’s bottom line.

Steven is a licensed Six Sigma (Green and Lean DFFC certified) holds an unrestricted State of Georgia Low Voltage Contractor license.


Director of Design – 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 over the past thirteen years.  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.