Chief Executive Officer
Taylor Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, leads Team Applied and is responsible for the company's overall strategy and operational execution. Rhodes joined Applied in 2019 after serving as chief executive officer of SMS Assist, the leading cloud-based software platform for multi-site property management. Previously, he was CEO of Rackspace, where he led the Company’s growth from a cloud pioneer to an industry leader with more than two billion dollars in revenue, while establishing the company as a mainstay on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. Prior to Rackspace, he served as a leader in enterprise, financial and corporate strategy roles at Electronic Data Systems Corporation. Mr. Rhodes is a former United States Marine Corps infantry officer and holds a MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves on the board of directors for Applied, Zenoss and Liquid Web, LLC.
Chief Financial Officer
Graham Blackwell, Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for financial and administrative functions, as well as acquisitions, partnerships and strategic planning activities at Applied. Graham joined Applied in 2020 from SMS Assist, where he led the company’s strategy, pricing, marketing, and sales organization as chief revenue officer. Prior to SMS Assist, Graham was executive vice president with Bain Capital’s North American Private Equity Team where he worked closely with the boards and management teams of Bain Capital’s portfolio companies to define and execute enterprise-wide strategic and operational transformation. His efforts resulted in accelerating revenue growth and strong investor returns across a wide-ranging set of businesses. Recent companies where he spent considerable time include Blue Nile, an e-commerce retailer; and BMC Software, a global software provider. Before that, Graham was an associate partner with McKinsey & Company, specializing in retail; and a consultant with Accenture. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Chief Executive Officer, Applied Systems Europe
Tom Needs, Chief Executive Officer of Applied Systems Europe is responsible for leading the company’s UK and Ireland strategy, operations and regional growth mission. Tom brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in the B2B technology sector serving multiple industries, including the European Insurance industry. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Node4 Ltd., a leading private equity backed technology services company comprising private and public cloud services, connectivity, and collaboration solutions, where he was responsible for driving customer growth and retention and for scaling operations. His experience leading rapid organizational growth and transformation will provide great value to our employees, customers, and the broader insurance ecosystem as we continue to scale our operations and deliver world-class technologies and services.
Laura Lee Gentry
Chief People Officer
Laura Lee Gentry, Chief People Officer, is responsible for all human resources functions across the company as well as overseeing the development and execution of human capital strategies. She is an operational and strategic leader with expertise in building business through talent management, leading operational and organizational excellence. Gentry was previously Senior Vice President of Employee Experience at Ultimate Software where she led a 250-person team responsible for talent acquisition, total rewards, talent & career development and learning for both employees and customers. Prior executive roles had her leading a range of functional areas, including operations, strategy, execution and business impact, innovation, talent management (including executive search and Board of Directors performance and recruitment), team effectiveness, and organizational optimization. Gentry has a Master of Business Administration from London School of Business and a bachelor’s of Business Administration from University of Georgia – Terry College of Business.
Chief Customer Officer
Trevor Bunker, Chief Customer Officer, leads Applied’s customer experience organization, including the strategic direction for the company’s services, support, and customer success programs. Trevor joined Applied in 2020 with more than 20 years of customer service leadership experience. In his last role, he served as CCO at RealPage, a vertical SaaS company serving the real estate market, where he oversaw a team of 1,000 responsible for all post-sales customer experience functions. Prior, Trevor spent 13 years at CA Technologies where he rose to be Senior Vice President of Product Success, Customer Adoption and Software Subscription Renewals.
Jeffrey D. Purdy
Chief Revenue Officer
Jeffrey D. Purdy, Chief Revenue Officer, is responsible for the strategic direction of Applied's sales organization. Purdy began his career in the company’s Canadian operations in 1989 and has held various executive positions in Canada and the USA, including running our international operations prior to taking on the executive sales role. He has led Applied’s global expansion and entry into the United Kingdom and Ireland markets. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
Chief Product Officer
Michael Howe, Chief Product Officer, is responsible for the strategic direction of the Applied product portfolio. Howe joined Applied in 2013 with more than 20 years of experience in enterprise software. He formerly served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Aptean, a global provider of industry-focused enterprise software. Prior to Aptean, Howe held senior executive management positions at SAP and other leading software companies. Howe began his career as a software engineer at Great-West Life Assurance, where he was responsible for developing custom-built Oracle applications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado Boulder, and a master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Chief Technology Officer
Rich Belanger, Chief Technology Officer, leads the Product Development and Quality Assurance teams for Applied Systems. Previously, Rich led ProQuest, a global SaaS company with over 100 million users, through a complex migration to a modern cloud architecture and deployed world-class software development processes. As a result of his leadership, ProQuest achieved significant improvements in performance and reliability, as well as meaningful improvements in the speed and quality of new product development. Rich also held prior leadership roles at Target Software and Forrester Research.
Chief Marketing Officer
Courtney Rains, Chief Marketing Officer, is responsible for Applied’s global marketing strategy. Rains has held a number of leadership positions at Applied and led the Company’s brand transformation, helping to position Applied as the technology company revolutionizing the insurance industry. With more than 10 years of experience in technology marketing and crisis communications, her expertise and unrelenting commitment to growth ensure that she brings the best out of those around her for the success of the team and broader company. She has prior marketing experience at big tech companies like Qualcomm and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Senior Vice President of Support
Gregory Shiple, AIS, Senior Vice President of Support, heads the Applied division servicing clients' technical support needs, support operations, and client retention in the United States, Canada and the UK. Shiple began his Applied career as a programmer in 1986 and was responsible for developing a variety of leading Applied solutions. He helped develop and promote agency-carrier communication through various technologies and insurance industry standards. Shiple holds a bachelor’s degree in Math and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, along with an associate degree in Insurance Services (AIS) from Insurance Institute of America.
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Rich Cohan, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, is responsible for the legal and corporate governance activities of Applied. He joined Applied in 2019 and brings more than 20 years of experience in legal and business roles, including in both the software and insurance industries. Prior to Applied, Cohan ran European Operations for Workiva Inc., a SaaS provider of corporate reporting solutions. Previously he was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Athene USA (formerly Aviva USA), a leading provider of life insurance and annuity products. Previous experiences include a corporate attorney at the law firms of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Katten Muchin & Zavis, as well as a CPA with Price Waterhouse. Cohan received his law degree from the University of Chicago and his bachelor’s from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
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