Former BroadSign CEO now running DS deployment firm

May 3, 2009 by Dave Haynes

I traded emails and had a call last week with Rick Engels, my old ultimate boss at BroadSign, and like me, a member of the BS alumni, or whatever you want to call it.

Rick is based in the Minneapolis area and has signed on as CEO for Rudder Capital. In his first three weeks, he has been busily building up the plan and team to go hard in the digital signage deployment space, primarily in the US. The company did work in 49 states last year, he says, so the national footprint is already there, as is specific experience doing DS jobs.
Rudder recently went through some restructuring and has what sounds like a healthy new round of investment capital to drive growth. The company issued a press release a couple of weeks ago about Rick’s appointment and what the firm is up to ….
Rudder has obtained financing from investment funds managed by Valens Capital Management, LLC, which together with its affiliate, Laurus Capital Management, LLC, manage assets collectively valued at over one billion dollars.  The Laurus/Valens funds specialize in generating value within the small and micro-cap arena.  “We believe Rudder’s unique combination of technical skills and national deployment capabilities could be disruptive,” said Sayan Navaratnam of Laurus. 
“I am truly fortunate to be joining the strong team already in place at Rudder,” said Engels. “The company is well positioned for the expected growth in technology industries for nationwide installers and deployers of A/V and IT networks. I am eager to help Rudder capture the market opportunity and be part of a fundamental shift happening in the new media industry such as Digital Signage.  Our ability at Rudder to help our customers successfully navigate through the installation process will help our customers run a more successful business.”
About Rudder Capital:
Rudder For Business is a leading North American provider of implementation, roll-out and deployment services.From single project to national rollouts, Rudder For Business offers a comprehensive lineup services, including digital media rollout/installations, large technology deployments, audio/video projects, IP (Internet Protocol) projects and deployments, content-based services, and related business technology services through a national base of channel partners and regional offices. Rudder Home Services also provides the full lineup of DirecTV, home security, and other services and products to single-family homes.  FTTH Communications, a Rudder a company, is a 100% Fiber To The Home provider of phone, Internet and Video Content Services to homes and businesses in Rosemount, MN. 
There are already a few substantial players like Rhombus, USSI and fellow Twin Cities company Rollouts doing work in this space. But when the economy starts to really rebound and retailers, in particular, start to embrace the ROI for in-store digital, there ought to be lots of work to go around for companies that hang and bang screens efficiently and professionally. It’s work any number of people can do, but the difference is having the scope and scale to handle national rollouts smoothly and effectively. That ain’t easy work, and it can overwhelm smaller companies who THINK they have the horse to take jobs on.
If you want to reach him:
cell: 612-9643858
office: 651-925-4216
email: rick.engels at

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