Industry & Services >> CEO Interviews >> October 16, 2020
Interview with the President: Wrap Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:WRTC)
Tom Smith is President of Wrap Technologies, Inc. He is responsible for scaling domestic and international sales of the company's BolaWrap products to law enforcement and security agencies worldwide. BolaWrap is a patented remote restraint tool designed to assist law enforcement in controlling encounters. It does not rely on pain to gain compliance and is intended to be used early in an engagement, especially with persons in mental crisis. Mr. Smith joined the company in March 2019 with over 25 years of experience launching innovative technology solutions in the law enforcement space. Under Mr. Smith’s leadership, Wrap Technologies is experiencing rapid expansion of its domestic presence and is improving market position as more agencies across the United States continue to adopt the BolaWrap. Currently, more than 215 agencies across 44 states have BolaWrap devices. Mr. Smith and the BolaWrap have been featured on “Fox & Friends,” Fox Business and Newsmax TV, and the BolaWrap device has been featured on all major news networks. In 2012, Mr. Smith founded Achilles Technology Solutions, LLC that through its subsidiary ATS Armor developed a line of ballistic solutions for law enforcement and military both in the U.S. and abroad. Their ballistic products exceeded the requirements as set forth in NIJ Standards for Type threats II, IIIA, III and IV along with special threat testing for customized higher performance. In 1993, Mr. Smith co-founded TASER International — now Axon Enterprise, Inc. — and served as President of TASER until October 2006. Mr. Smith is credited with founding a startup company of seven employees in 1993 to one with more than 350 employees that manufacturers and innovates technology used by more than 17,200 international, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. military. Mr. Smith was also responsible for the global sales organization at TASER. Mr. Smith’s constant interaction with customers around the world built TASER’s brand recognition and export sales in more than 100 countries. Mr. Smith served as Chairman of the board of directors of TASER from October 2006 until he retired to pursue his entrepreneurial activities in February 2012. During the company’s beginning years, Mr. Smith established the operations and logistics of the company while his brother focused on marketing, research and development. From 1994 through 1997, he was responsible for all accounting, finance and operations of the company, including oversight of manufacturing facilities and multiple relocations, including three maquiladora operations in Mexico that have since relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona. After his extensive involvement in taking TASER International public and being traded on the Nasdaq under the name TASR, in May of 2001, Mr. Smith made sales his full-time responsibility. As the prime manager of domestic and international sales, he traveled worldwide to conduct presentations for government officials and law enforcement agencies. He additionally oversaw and managed export licensing and the export sales activities. His success with TASER International and proven entrepreneurial drive kept Mr. Smith traveling the globe introducing foreign governments to the benefits and advantages offered by TASER products and frequently represented TASER on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg News and Fox News. Along with his brother Rick, Mr. Smith was awarded the 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, awarded by CNN, AT&T, Nasdaq, Marsh and USA Today. Mr. Smith began with his career at Jostens Learning Corporation and Andersen Consulting in Phoenix. He then co-founded TASER with his brother Rick in 1993. Mr. Smith holds a B.S. degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona and an MBA degree from Northern Arizona University. Profile
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TWST: To start, give us a little bit of a history of Wrap Technologies, and how and why it came about.