When Richard M. Vohs took the helm of Iowa Network Services Inc. as president and CEO in 2002, the group of rural independent telephone companies was feeling its first financial strain. The wireless communications portion of the business a statewide network that connects customers to a central telecommunications hub was quickly evolving. But Vohs’ steadfast vision steered INS toward profit, paving the way for a company that is debt-free, financially sound and growing.
Vohs came to the company in 1993 with a background in both communications as a TV news director and government as a press secretary for the Iowa governor. As he advanced to the top seat, his quiet personality and egalitarian leadership style built up his staff’s trust.
He inspires employees and customers alike to keep striving for the next level of service. His business plan, which is tweaked every two years with a constant focus on the future, forces that forward thinking. He is always preparing for what the customer will need in five to 10 years, not just right now. For example, INS is currently positioned to provide 10-gigabit Ethernet services, but Vohs is looking ahead to secure 40- and eventually 100-gigE connections.
Vohs’ vision for the future, paired with a healthy balance sheet, allows the company to invest in innovative technologies and progressive business plans for the next generation of communication services. Judging by the growth in number of services provided and types of customers served, that’s been an effective strategy.
Meanwhile, Vohs supports the future of Iowa communities with Ripple Effect, a portfolio of financial and technical assistance programs for business and community development. His program recently financed a new grocery store and MRI equipment for a hospital and helped plan a youth sports complex and a community center.
How to reach: Iowa Network Services Inc., (515) 830-0110 or www.IowaNetworkServices.com