Tom McGowan and I met on my first day on the job with BroadSign, having been enticed to join the team. He impressed me right away, because he spoke his mind and knew the technical side of the business like few I’d run into through the years.
He’s the subject of my latest Talent Pool entry – a guy who has deep technical acumen and can talk business strategy all the way up to CEOs, but also work for days and weeks with developers on the intricacies of product planning, without them starting to plot his demise.
From my perspective, he couldn’t possibly be better located as a senior business development/relationships and alliances guy. His house is maybe eight minutes drive from McCarran airport in Las Vegas. That gets him non-stop to most cities in the US and Canada, but more to the point, to ALL those trade shows and different industry sectors that pass through Las Vegas – that are too much work and cost for most companies to send people to. For Tom, they are right there. He can dip in and dip out, Parking’s even free at the LVCC if you know what you’re doing.
Tom describes himself as an industry-recognized Digital Signage and Kiosk subject-matter expert, which is entirely accurate. He has sold and in many case managed the deployment of more than 500 Digital Signage and Kiosk networks throughout North America, and has about 30 years experience putting technology into gaming/entertainment/retail/lodging and QSR industry.
He has been at Starmount Systems as VP Product Management, essentially guiding the development of a pretty unique Java-based digital signage/kiosk application the company has started showing clients and prospects. He then was handling Strategic Alliances for the Austin, TX-based firm.
Prior to that stint, and his time with BroadSign as a Sales Director, he’s been actively involved in a partnership company that has sales and distribution rights of digital signage systems to leading entertainment and sign companies using Scala , 3M, Gesturetek, Jupiterbay, Samsung, BroadSign, Planar, Visix, and Omnivex, software. There’s very little he doesn’t know about the opportunities and challenges of working with the casino sector, which has an insatiable appetite for digital displays and technology that one-up the other places down the strip.
If you know Tom, you’ll know he’s direct with people – be that clients or colleagues. If you want a cheerleader or a Yes Man, he’s probably not your guy. If you need somebody senior to provide vast experience, perspective and guidance, who understands all the technical and operational elements of the gumbo that is digital signage, he’s ideal.
Another good guy. Family guy, with girls off in college or now working. Picks friends up at McCarran without even being asked.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.