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 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 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.