Richard “Rick” McNeight is president of Modus Operandi, Inc., a software and information integration technology company that focuses on accelerating information discovery, integration, and fusion for customers in the defense and intelligence community. He received a BS degree in January 1973 from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in Applied Science and Engineering with a dual major in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (Cum Laude) and an MSE degree from University of Michigan in Computer Information and Control Engineering in August 1978 (Summa Cum Laude).
Rick started his career as a Software Engineer with North Electric Company in Galion, Ohio, writing computer programs for controlling telephone systems. After receiving his graduate degree, he transferred to the ITT International Telecommunications Division in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where he worked as a Software Engineering Manager for international telecommunications systems. He advanced through several management positions to become Director of Software Engineering, supervising 125 software developers, writing real time telecommunications systems software.
Upon leaving ITT Rick took a 1-1/2 year overseas assignment with Siemens GmbH, Munich, Germany, where he was a member of an international task force assigned to develop their 10 year strategic plan for future telecommunications systems.
In 1982 Rick co-founded Paravant Computer Systems, Inc. in Satellite Beach, Florida, to develop portable computers that could be used outdoors in extreme weather conditions and operate under severe drop and vibration. Paravant developed the world’s first rugged MS-DOS handheld computer, the RHC-88, which won the 1988 Governor’s Award for the Best New Product in the state of Florida. The RHC-88 primarily was used for outdoor industrial computing applications such as electric/gas meter reading, forestry, surveying, police, fire and emergency medical.
Paravant went on to develop the first rugged military laptop computer which was one of the few computers to survive in the 1991 Desert Storm conflict.
As President and Chief Operating Officer, Rick led Paravant Computer Systems, Inc., in a very successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) on NASDAQ on June 3, 1996.
Rick orchestrated the sale of Paravant to DRS Technologies, Inc., in November 2002. He became President of the newly formed DRS Tactical Systems Strategic Business Unit, consisting of all the Paravant and DRS rugged computer and display companies in England, Maryland, New York, Colorado, West Palm Beach and Melbourne, Florida.
Under Rick’s leadership DRS Tactical Systems, with over 400 employees and nearly $200M revenue, has become the worldwide leader in the design and production of rugged computers for military systems. DRS TS today is the leading supplier of military computers for both the US Department of Defense (DOD) and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MOD).
On June 1, 2006 DRS Tactical Systems was awarded the largest contract in its history ($396M) to produce over 45,000 Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) computer systems to be installed in Army fighting vehicles providing real time situational awareness and blue force tracking to our soldiers.
Over the years Rick and his company have been recognized with numerous awards, most recently:
- Founders Forum and EDC Florida Space Coast 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year
- Dale Carnegie International Leadership award – 2006
- Best Place to Work in Brevard County three years running (2003, 2004, 2005)
- Florida Today Volunteer Recognition “Business of the Year” – 2001
- The State of Florida Governor’s Leadership Award – 2001
Rick has always been extremely active in the community currently holding positions on the following boards:
- Brevard Workforce Development Board (BWDB)
- Business Leadership Network Advisory Board
- Florida Tech School of Management Board of Overseers
- Florida Tech Engineering Board of Overseers
- Melbourne Central Catholic High School Advisory Board
- Holy Name of Jesus School Facilities Committee
Married to Teresa (DiLoreto) for 23 years with 3 children, ages 12, 18 and 20. His
family enjoys tennis, boating, water skiing, snow skiing and worldwide travel.