In an industry mostly dominated by men, one woman is now taking on a high-ranking leadership role at a West Michigan technology firm.
Grand Rapids-based Open Systems Technologies said today that President Dan Behm, who has served in that role since the company’s inception in 1997, will soon be stepping into a new position as full-time CEO.
Chief Operating Officer Meredith Bronk, who’s been with OST since 1998, will step up to fill the position of president.
As company president, Bronk, who previously served as OST’s vice president of internal operations, will be responsible for overseeing OST’s professional services, finances, sales and marketing.
“We take succession planning very seriously and have been preparing for this transition for many years,” Behm said. “Over the course of Meredith’s time at OST, she has held positions with increasing responsibilities. Her diverse experience has created a unique combination of financial and interpersonal skills. Meredith’s servant attitude and commitment to the success of others is an excellent representation of OST’s dedication to its employees and customers.”
Behm said the decision to make Bronk the next president had already been made several years ago, calling her an “incredible leader” with a “deep passion” for the company.
Behm’s role as full-time CEO will allow him to focus more on OST’s aggressive growth strategy of doubling the size of the company in the next five years and doubling it again in the following five years.
“Based on our existing five-year plan, OST expects to double our revenues from $100 million to $200 million and then double again from $200 million to $400 million in the following five years,” Behm said. “So, going from our current $100 million revenue numbers to $400 million in about 10 years will require a lot of work in both day to day and strategic vision, and we feel that the skill sets are there to make it happen.”
Bronk is coming in during a time of red-hot growth for the company.
OST, which began 17 years ago as a $5 million hardware sales business, has grown to operate locations in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Minneapolis and recently London.
Bronk, who is earning an executive MBA from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business after receiving her bachelor's of business administration from Alma College, said she is both humbled and excited at the opportunity to lead OST during this key juncture in the firm’s history.
“These are exciting times for OST and the industry as a whole, as high-tech jobs continue to lead economic rebounds throughout the country,” Bronk said. “As far as future hiring, we currently have 15 open positions, the most we’ve ever had, and we fully expect to continue hiring in both West Michigan and our other locations.”