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SmartCEO Future 50 WINNER

Curt Bashford
President and CEO

Location: Ridgefield, NJ
Founded: 1979
Industry: Technology

About the Future 50 Award:  The Future 50 Awards program is the largest and most anticipated SmartCEO awards program of the year. This program recognizes the region’s fastest growing, mid-sized companies. These companies represent the future of the region’s economy and embody the entrepreneurial spirit critical for leadership and success. The winners, chosen based on a three-year average of employee and revenue growth, are listed alphabetically, not ranked. Winners are profiled in SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at a black-tie optional awards gala.

General Devices LLC (GD) provides technology solutions to public safety responders and healthcare providers. The company’s products include the CAREpoint workstation, used by hospital emergency departments to manage all EMS-hospital communications, and e-Bridge mobile apps, which enable the sharing of secure multimedia communications and video conferencing for healthcare and public safety. GD has gone through several transformations in its nearly four-decade history. In the early ‘90s, it pivoted from an engineering design and development company to a manufacturer with its own products.

Quick Tip: “To be a great leader, you must have vision and evoke passion and inspire others so that they want to follow you.”

The next 20 years yielded modest growth and success, but the company core was still very engineering-centric. With the retirement of the founder in 2011, and the transfer of the reins to three long-term employees, the opportunity emerged to adjust course. The partners changed GD’s sales structure to put more boots on the ground, hired a coach to learn more about running a business, honed the company’s core values and instilled a new culture that emphasized personal growth. The team grew in size from 2013 to 2016, jumping from 15 employees to 30, but grew carefully to ensure the right people were joining the team. At the start of 2016, GD engaged in a formal, self-directed scaling-up program that is goal-oriented and engages the entire company with the promise of continued growth.

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