Previously in his career before joining Fortem Technologies, Dirk grew Aspect Telecommunications 15x during his 10-year stint as an officer, driving a world-class customer support culture while reducing customer downtime by 90%. He guided the product development team to introduce reliable award-winning products on time and on budget, including a unique project directed by current CEO Tim Bean. Also during his time at Aspect, Dirk led the international sales team to exceed company revenue targets through a creative mix of direct and channel sales.
Earlier in his career at ROLM, Dirk was responsible for the development of the ROLMPhone factory, recipient of America’s first Deming Award visit. Dirk began his career at Ernst & Ernst, where he earned his CPA, and has a B.S. in industrial engineering, an M.S. in operations research and an MBA from Stanford University.
Dirk grew up in Long Island, NY, served in the United States Public Health Service, and has lived in Silicon Valley since his days at Stanford, where he and his wife Debbie enjoy supporting their grandchildren’s sports and school activities. But if you really want to see Dirk’s face light up, ask him about his Dad’s contribution to airline safety in the 20th century and his desire to add to the family legacy in the 21st century; where he’s passionately taking the ‘good neighbor’ concept into the future evolution of unmanned aerial systems.
The Speas family also endowed the annual ‘Jay Hollingsworth Speas Airport Award,’ which was established in 1983 in memory of Dirk’s brother, to honor those individuals and organizations whose leadership and achievements have contributed tremendously towards the development of airport environmental compatibility with the surrounding community. The esteemed award is sponsored jointly by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and Airport Consultants Council (ACC).