Ross is a U.S. national with over 30 years of corporate and training experience across a wide spectrum of business sectors. These include: Banking and Finance, Healthcare, Automotive, Jewellery, Retail, and Corporate Training.
Ross graduated in 1988, with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Adams State University, Colorado. He began his working career, while still at university, as a sales representative in a Ford automobile dealership in Del Norte, Colorado. This retail experience, of putting into practice what he was learning in the academic world, created a life-long passion for Sales and Marketing, and a focus on always delivering top-quality customer service.
After graduation in 1988, Ross was appointed as a management trainee in the retail section of Helzberg Diamonds, a major national jewellery retail chain, with over 200 outlets in the USA (2017 figures). Due to his sales, management, and leadership skills, Ross was promoted in 1989 to manage one of the group’s most successful stores in Denver, Colorado. Over the next two years his team consistently achieved and exceeded targets, due to understanding and developing their target market, and ensuring that training and staff development remained a top priority. After a successful stint in this position, for family reasons Ross decided to return to his native state of Idaho, to seek a new business challenge.
He found it in the Banking industry in Boise, Idaho, where, in 1991, he joined KeyBank, part of KeyCorp, Cleveland. The bank has over 1200 branches throughout the U.S. and is one of the largest American banks by market capitalisation. Having been introduced to the banking sector, through a one year management training programme, he was accepted for a managerial position with Scenic Falls Credit Union, Idaho Falls. For the next 13 years he worked for this organization, and increased its total assets by nearly 600% (over 15% average, year-on-year). During this period, Ross learned every aspect of the banking field: teller function, new accounts, consumer and commercial loans, customer service management, loan management, branch management, etc. It was also during these years that he fully realised the importance of ongoing staff training and development.
In July 2005, seeking a new challenge, Ross was appointed to the post of CEO of a U.S. Employee Federal Credit Union, in Pocatello, Idaho. After two years in this position – where he increased revenue by over 40% – he joined Wells Fargo Bank, Salmon, Idaho, as a Senior Manager.
In 2008, after 20 years in banking, Ross accepted an exciting new challenge from one of his bank customers, taking on the management of a large medical facility – The Steele Memorial Medical Center. In this role his key responsibilities included: managing the daily operation of the business side of the hospital, improving customer service; streamlining processes to ensure top-class service for patients and families; managing and tracking patient flow, to ensure processes were efficient and effective; training staff in a new Electronic Medical Records System; planning and implementing outreach activities for the community – including diabetic support, ‘Quit Smoking’ campaigns, MS support, pre-natal classes, better nutrition programmes, etc. His success was very visible, as customer service surveys showed a significant increase in positivity. This was directly linked to the new processes and procedures that had been implemented, as well as the ongoing customer service training that Ross designed and delivered.
During his working career in the U.S., Ross always had a keen interest in staff development. In all his roles he spent time developing and training his teams. This training ranged from identifying the skills required to deal with both external and internal customers, up to how to handle the needs of different stakeholders, such as Boards of Directors, as well as various Government Regulatory Authorities. Leadership, customer focus, teamwork, communication, and planning skills, have always been of key importance to Ross, who believes that focusing on them made the various teams he has managed, successful at every level.
Prior to coming to the Middle East, and finishing a two-year stint in the medical field, Ross returned to the financial sector, having been given the opportunity to manage one of the main branches of Meridian Trust, Federal Credit Union, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a financial institution serving over 28,000 members in Wyoming and Nebraska, USA, with assets exceeding $US388 million. Ensuring that he was exceeding the expectations of the Corporate Headquarters, deposits and loan demands surged – due to the ongoing and continuous staff development and training. His training sessions focused on always creating a positive customer experience.
In June 2012, with his family interested to explore new opportunities, and take on fresh challenges, Ross’s wife was offered a senior position, through ADEC (Abu Dhabi Education Council), in a government educational establishment in Al Ain. The family decided this was a great opportunity to live and work outside the U.S. for the first time, so the offer was taken up. This gave Ross the opportunity to fully concentrate on his passion for corporate training. Initially working with various UAE companies, as a freelance trainer, Ross delivered soft skills training to organizations such as Abu Dhabi Police, and some large Abu Dhabi-based companies.
Concentrating mainly on soft skills programmes, Ross has had considerable success in helping others develop their careers, through improving the overall skill levels of his delegates. His extensive experience, across a range of business sectors, allows him to speak about different real-life case studies, which adds great value in the training room for his delegates.
In 2017, Ross joined Spearhead Training as a Senior Management Associate.