Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
Electronics and technology have fascinated Robert Vanman since his youth. While his friends were collecting baseball cards, Robert was collecting electric motors, solenoids, speakers, and electro-magnets, always looking for ways to combine parts into something interesting.
By the age of 20, he started his first business in electronics. Five years later he started his second company which developed radar products used by NASA and nearly every manufacturer of vehicles. That business grew to become an Inc. 500 company. In the late 1990’s, he acquired an ownership position in Applied Concepts (d.b.a. Stalker Radar), and helped grow that company into the world’s largest police radar manufacturer. In 2002, Robert sold his interest in Stalker Radar and founded WatchGuard Video.
Robert studied business and pre-engineering at North Hennepin Community College and then transferred to the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. He also studied theology at North Central University for two years. Through 20 years of innovating the technology used in law enforcement, Robert has been awarded 20 U.S. patents with 10 additional patents pending.
Mr. Vanman currently serves as the Chairman of our Board of Directors.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Steve Coffman loves building companies and winning; and he has tremendous experience doing both. This native Texan and son of a Baptist minister grew up in Odessa, Texas – home of Friday Night Lights and the Oil Boom. It was during the big oil days of the 1970s, while still a child, where he was introduced to a business philosophy that sustains his leadership today – work hard, take risks, lean into it and you will win.
Steve graduated from Texas A & M University with a bachelors degree in Business Administration and Accounting. He joined the Business Consulting Group at Deloitte where he met and eventually went to work for his mentor, Norman Brinker. Under Mr. Brinker’s signature leadership style of ‘winners attract winners’, Steve spent many years deeply involved in Brinker family interests honing his skill for building businesses and leadership teams.
After leading several key initiatives for the Brinker family, Steve was named President of Wasp Barcode Technologies and from there, Chief Operating Officer at First Cash, Inc. (NYSE: FCFS). He joined WatchGuard as President in May 2013 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in July 2017. Mr. Coffman also serves on our Board of Directors.
Senior Vice President of Sales
As the Senior Vice President of Sales, Michael Burridge draws upon years of leadership in law enforcement to direct the revenue efforts of WatchGuard. Mike was the Chief of Police for the Farmington, New Mexico Police Department and spent more than a decade in Law Enforcement in California, serving with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, beginning as a detective and senior deputy and ultimately reaching the rank of commander.
A featured speaker and presenter on law enforcement in-car camera programs and digital video management for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Burridge served as chairman of the IACP In-Car Camera Committee and Digital Video for Public Safety Advisory Panel and on the board of the IACP Technical Technology Assistance Program.
He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class and FBI LEEDS program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a master’s degree in organizational management and development.
Vice President of Marketing
Brian has over 25 years of experience successfully marketing and selling complex, high-tech solutions across a wide range of industries including public safety, telecommunications, energy and transportation.
He has a proven track record building world-class, customer-centric marketing teams that consistently deliver topline growth, market share and brand awareness to the companies he serves. Prior to joining WatchGuard Video, Brian was Vice President Global Marketing for Tait Communications where his award-winning work received international acclaim including back-to-back honors from the New Zealand Marketing Association for Best Export Marketing and Best Technology Marketing. He has held leadership positions at tech companies including Tektronix Communications, Anritsu Company, JDSU (formerly Acterna) and Memorex Telex.
Brian has been featured in industry panel discussions and presentations due to his deep experience and practical approach to aligning marketing and sales utilizing best practices. He currently serves as a mentor for the Dallas Entrepreneur Center.
Brian has a Bachelor of Telecommunications degree from Ball State University.
Vice President of Service and Support
When a company determines its bedrock will be world-class customer service, it needs a professionally accomplished leader with a cadre of talent, the ability to inspire a servant’s heart in others and the gift of Empathy. Mark McHenry is sitting in the right seat. As Vice President of Service and Support, he has ultimate responsibility for the satisfaction and continued confidence of WatchGuard customers.
The inherent nature of law enforcement dictates that customer support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Despite leading a ‘round-the-clock’ department, Mark makes his family and church a priority and still finds time to restore an old Corvette or two.
Prior to WatchGuard, Mark held client-facing leadership roles at Wasp Barcode and Informatics. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Texas at Arlington.
DAVID “RUSSELL” WALKER
Chief Financial Officer
Russell Walker was the thirteenth employee hired by WatchGuard and his stewardship has been instrumental in leading the company’s growth to today, where WatchGuard employs over 268 full-time people. He joined the company in 2005 shortly after the first DV1 In-Car Video System shipped. Since that time, he has been entrusted with managing the company’s financial affairs, banking relationships and human resource activities.
Russell has spent his entire career in finance, exclusively in the manufacturing sector, where he has found tremendous satisfaction in contributing to the creation of tangible, life-changing products. Before coming to WatchGuard he spent twelve years in a variety of roles with other manufacturers.
Russell is a Certified Public Accountant and received his bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Vice President of Operations
Ted Hajec grew up in Woodstock, New York but states matter-of-factly – he didn’t attend the concert. Ted says and does most things as a matter-of-fact. He loves organization and discipline which, combined with 30 years of experience, makes him well-suited to lead manufacturing, logistics and quality control for the WatchGuard portfolio of products.
Ted’s career in Engineering and Manufacturing has taken him throughout the world with leadership roles at Alliance Systems, Celion Networks and AT&T/Lucent Technologies. Before joining WatchGuard in 2007, he was the General Manager of Celestica Corp., a Tier 1 contract manufacturer.
Ted holds a Master of Science degree in Engineering and Global Operations Management from Clarkson University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Widener University.
Vice President of Professional Services
Joe VanSchuyver leads WatchGuard’s Professional Services Group leveraging his 27 years of experience in Information Technology, collected from a diverse set of industries including military, internet services and construction. He’s an expert in architecture, infrastructure, networks and information systems. His career includes a decade of experience designing and managing large scale enterprise systems for Fortune 500 companies, such as Centex Corporation (purchased by Pulte); and the Chief Technology Officer position at Ticket Master’s Match.com division. Joe has been awarded a patent for a security evaluation and testing system, and is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Navy. Joe was previously Director of Technical Services at WatchGuard.