“Our clients intentionally put their lives on the line to help and protect others. The notion that we are serving these people is very fulfilling for me.”
We are inspired by our mission and motivated by our Core Values. Our teams believe that service comes first and rely on hard work and kindness as the bedrock of our success. Encouraging this mindset and guiding the business’ frontline is our executive leadership team. This blog series introduces the experts who fuel our innovation, drive our excellence, and shape our future.
Seth Coussens is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at EMERGICON. He joined the company in 2019 to run the technology department as the Technology Leader. His ability to strategically apply technology to bring efficiency made a difference for EMERGICON in many ways – especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic when the company transitioned to a fully remote work environment. Last year, he joined the first group of EMERGICON chief officers alongside the CEO and COO.
Overseeing the Infrastructure/IT, Analytics, and Development teams, Seth leads vital functions of EMERGICON’s critical processes and systems. Through this insightful conversation, Seth shares his perspective on leadership and plans for EMERGICON’s future. Let’s hear from Seth.
When you started as the Chief Information Officer, what did you envision that you’d conquer, change, or improve?
My initial goal was to develop new solutions that would result in an industry-leading analytics system for our clients. That was Christopher‘s primary request for me. However, when I joined the company, I noticed that EMERGICON needed some technology-based improvements. So, we started to work through some foundational components. We updated systems to ensure our core processes were stable and effective, built new servers, and ensured our audits were successful. All of that without increasing costs and also reducing overall risk.
What do you envision for EMERGICON’s future?
After the basics were completed, as a Chief Information Officer, I took a more significant position in terms of understanding our future priorities and how to build a foundational piece that can support a scalable growth structure. We decided that the real core of the company is a customer-focused approach. So, we are currently focused on a structure that responds to the direct needs of our customers. We already have the technical capabilities to deliver client reports in a modern way. Now, we are looking into how technology can provide better service across the company, both internally and externally.
What are the accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I would say that is our platform, “E2,” because I’ve built it from the ground up. It was my idea; I made it a reality, and it’s been proven beneficial. E2 helps us manage the data and track processes and information that are unique to our customers. So, as we continue to grow and improve the platform, it will capture more unique data that will help us to determine how we respond to clients’ needs. Also, the fact that we can run this whole show effectively with just a few people on the team.
Are there any other outcomes the company has experienced under your leadership in this position?
We created an excellent automation platform. It is incredibly capable, and it is still growing. I’m proud of what I chose, how we implemented it, where it sits, and how it works. It has the capability to sustain us even if/when we turn into a $100 million company. Also, the mindset shift regarding technology. When I came here, most people had a sour taste for the area. They avoided it; there was reluctance because they felt they would get poor responses or be poorly treated. So, we changed that. We got rid of problems and improved our mindset and processes. Now, we keep everything running; people are happy and want to be involved.
What’s your favorite thing about the company’s culture and values?
From a general standpoint, the fact that we have core values and follow them daily. The leadership is adamant about ensuring we live by those core values, which keeps the culture strong. From a leadership perspective, the way our CEO invests in his leadership team and employees is something you won’t find in other places. He spends a lot of time, effort, energy, and money to invest in the people here.
As a leader, how do you promote the company’s culture with your team?
Mostly through respect. By respecting people for who they are, their time, and their efforts. Also, providing them with some level of trust and a security blanket so that they can make mistakes and stretch themselves. Otherwise, everybody would always be scared to do something or try something new. I aim to coach and lead rather than manage my team’s assignments.
Sense of Purpose
How would you say your job makes a difference?
I’m a big-picture thinker. I believe that by doing a good job on our end, we directly influence our clients’ budgets and their abilities to save more lives more effectively. I come from a military background, and it’s easy for me to appreciate all kinds of selfless service. When I go out in the field and meet clients, I notice their altruism. They intentionally put their life on the line to help and protect others. The notion that we are serving these people is very fulfilling for me.
Seth’s interest in technology started when he was six years old. During his time at Iowa State University, he worked as a System Administrator for the Computer Science Department. Seth graduated with a Bachelors in Liberal Studies and joined the military shortly after, where he stayed for several years.
Alongside his BA, Seth holds an MBA in Technology and Finance from the University of Saint Thomas. During his career in the technology field, Seth worked as a Help Desk Manager, Information Technology Manager, Product Manager, and Principal Consultant before joining EMERGICON.