In his own words: Xogenous’ Ron Husey
Name/title, company: Ron Husey, founder and owner, Xogenous, Ltd. in Carson City
Years at the company: 5
Years in the profession: 40
Education: MBA from University of Maryland
Last book read: “Future of the Mind” by Michio Kaku
Favorite flick: “Patton” with George C. Scott
Favorite music: Partial to blues, I also like country and jazz. Some of my favorite artists are Larry Carleton, Mark Chestnut
Spouse, kids, and/or pets: Wife, Ann; daughter, Karen; stepson, Ned; two cats
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Xogenous and the duties of your position.
Husey: Most firms view IT as a necessary evil. Our goal is to bring world-class IT services to companies that may otherwise not be able to afford it. Xogenous is a full-service IT company providing Managed Services, hosting and virtually everything our customers may need. About the only thing we don’t do is cabling.
My job is to lead a team of dedicated professionals to provide IT services to our customers.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Husey: I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and studying to be a history teacher, but there were no teaching jobs available. I ended up driving an ice cream truck. I was one of about 100 ice cream truck drivers and about 80 of them had college degrees! I ended up going to computer school to become a programmer. That led to a job at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
NNBW: What important thing have you learned in your career that helps you successfully run your company?
Husey: One thing I see lacking, particularly in the IT industry, is a dedication to high-quality customer service and personal interaction. Communicating by email or text is insufficient. At Xogenous, we don’t work that way. Customers always reach a live person they can talk to. At Xogenous, we believe that “Excellence is not a goal; it’s a standard.”
NNBW: What aspect of your job presents the most challenges for you and your company?
Husey: Trying to keep up with the new technologies. Moving customers to the cloud is not a painless process. I’ve found that a lot of these concepts are hard for people to grasp. We do our best to explain to companies that what we provide is often more reliable and secure than what they are currently using. Another problem is the limited number of Internet providers that we have here in the region. In northern Nevada, high-speed reliable Internet service is very costly compared to other regions.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Husey: My first job was a dishwasher. I also worked as a chef and as a musician.
NNBW: Have any advice for anyone wanting to get into the profession?
Husey: What I’ve seen from a lot of people in this industry is they don’t view writing skills as a necessity. They often write in shorthand like they do in text messages or emails. It’s imperative they need to learn to write properly.
Going back to customer service, we need to get back to personal interaction. People need to put away their iPad and smartphones. I find some folks will spend an hour creating an email communicating with a customer, when they could have spent five minutes on the phone solving their problem.
Finally, be deliberate and be thorough in all that you do.
NNBW: How do you spend your time away from work?
Husey: I still like to cook and my wife and I are motorcycle riders. We’ve traveled to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Oregon and southern Utah. We’ve even been to New Orleans and back. It’s so much different to be on a motorcycle on the open road than in a car.
NNBW: Favorite vacation spot?
Husey: We try to get to Hawaii from time to time. We also like to visit Las Vegas. Going anywhere on a motorcycle is always fun.
NNBW: What did you dream about becoming when you were a kid?
Husey: I think every kid growing up in the 1950s dreamed of being a baseball player. So did I. I was a fairly good athlete in high school and college.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what’s one thing you could change that impacted your career/life?
Husey: I wish I would’ve met my current wife when I was younger. We’ve been married for eight years and she has taught me many things. She is the CFO at Carson Tahoe Hospital here in Carson City.
NNBW: Last concert or sporting event attended?
Husey: Ann and I are heading back east in a week or so to take in a hockey game. I love hockey!
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Husey: To retire right now, I think I would need a bank account with seven zeros. I enjoy what I do. I like taking a seed, planting it and seeing it blossom.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like about living/working here?
Husey: I came out here for a skiing trip in the early 1980s and ended going into the Genoa Bar and talked to the bartender for a while.
I didn’t get a chance to get back here for about three years. I went back into that same bar with a friend and the bartender remembered me and said “Hi Ron – Usual?” That felt so good that people take the time to remember you. I told my friend I had to live here. So I decided to sell virtually everything I owned and move out here.
I like that Nevada is motorcycle friendly and I enjoy being able to travel to other states in the region.
I also like the casual nature of the region, especially coming from back east where you always have to wear a suit and tie.
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