2018 Entrepreneurship Lecture Series

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Entrepreneurship Lecture Series: Rod Dir

  • Date: Monday, February 26, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Location: Olin 102

Rod Dir

President and CEO, nTelos Wireless

President and CEO, nTelos WirelessRodney Dir is a 1980 graduate of Luther College with a BA in Accounting. He turned an internship with a CPA
firm his senior year into a long career within the telecommunications industry growing highly successful
businesses in competitive emerging markets.

After working in the competitive wireless industry for several years, he launched Powertel a wireless service
provider covering 13 states across the southeast ultimately acquired by T-Mobile in 2001. As the COO at
Powertel, he helped grow that startup company into a $500M business in less than five years while competing
directly with companies we know today as Verizon and AT&T Wireless. Again in 2007, he was asked to team with the founder of Firethorn to launch the first mobile banking service. The combination of creating new
technology with a team of individuals that came from two diverse industries (banking and telecommunications)
was both challenging and rewarding. Qualcomm acquired Firethorn for $228M prior to their official launch of the
first mobile banking application on a mobile device and a year before Apple launched their app store.

After spending 5 years on the Board of nTelos Wireless (a regional wireless provider based in Virginia), he was
appointed the President and CEO leading the publicly traded company to a successful acquisition valued at
$640M in May 2016. Today he is the CEO of Talon Aerolytics, a growing startup company that uses data and
analytics to build solutions that generate actionable data to help commercial businesses improve service
delivery.

Part of his success is based on having a strategic vision, clear objectives and operational discipline with
ongoing monitoring of key metrics. When competing in emerging markets with new technology, it’s important to not only make informed decisions, but to have effective communications of those decisions across all
employees, customers and stakeholders.

Rodney and his wife Lisa now live in Cincinnati Ohio where they enjoy traveling to spend time visiting their two grown children.

Questions? Contact Teresa Flinchbaugh, 563-387-1340