Rydne Williams is Comcast's new vice president for the southern Colorado area, which extends from Douglas County to Pueblo and includes about 600 employees. He was recently promoted after spending three years with the company in the Minneapolis- St. Paul area. Originally from Georgia, Williams joined the Navy and relocated to San Diego. After four years in the Navy, he went directly into telecommunications while continuing his education. He earned an Associate of Science degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from Mount San Antonio College and an MBA from DeVry University's Keller Graduate School.
He spent the bulk of his civilian career at Level 3 Communications - 11 years at the Southern California office and three at the Denver office.
Question: Your career with Level 3 Communications seemed to be a very positive experience for you. Why did you decide to take a job with Comcast?
Answer: When I was with Level 3, I would have told you I would go from Level 3 to the retirement couch. I was asked about an opportunity with Comcast from a former colleague, and the more I looked into it, the more fascinated I was with it. Everything drew me to Comcast, from the community involvement to their innovation. I really began to understand that Comcast was about media entertainment, whether it's reinventing our video product to getting into home automation. At the end of the day, Comcast is a very stable company, and they do everything big. There wasn't a spot in the country that I wouldn't have gone just to get on board with Comcast.
Q: What is the focus of Comcast's southern Colorado operations?
A: My role is really southern Colorado operations manager, which entails the customer experience at the end of the day - making sure we're focused on the customer experience, making sure our products are operating the way we designed them and making sure our customer experience is optimum. It's also making sure that we're the last provider to visit that person's home and that we're taking advantage of an opportunity to make sure the customer is leveraging all of our products.
Q: Tell me more about Comcast's community involvement.
A: Comcast does quite a bit with our in-house Comcast Cares Day where we do a lot of partnering with local communities. For example, we partnered with the mayor's office and the Colorado Springs Together office to work on fire restoration projects in the Waldo Canyon area. We also partner with national community folks like the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications or Women in Telecommunications. The whole community involvement part of Comcast was very attractive to me, and I wanted to be a part of it, because it's really a part of who I am.
Q: What experiences have prepared you for your current success?
A: In the military, you work with a plethora of people with different nationalities and personalities, so you learn to blend, be effective and work together. Between that and the drive, the authority and the accountability the military gives you, those have been paramount to me in my professional growth and a prerequisite for my civilian career.
Q: Do you have a personal formula for success?
A: My process is just to walk in, listen, get feedback, understand what the challenges and opportunities are and really try to help move challenges out of our employees' way so at the end of the day, their focus is the customer. My leadership style and philosophy is really engaging and empowering, making sure that I'm not only listening to those that report to me, but I'm listening to those that are the face of Comcast, those that are on the frontline and in the customer's home. They are the ones hearing the opportunities and challenges and are able to bring that back to me so we can make sure the customer experience is the best experience possible.
Edited for space and clarity.