No matter where he’s headed, Rick Dwyer is always right at home here at CampusLogic.
Recently promoted to National Sales Director, Rick’s professional journey follows a path that’s always been focused on education—whether as an eighth-grade English teacher and basketball coach, an IT manager at a university, or a founding member of an online-education startup.
The Reemergence of “Coach D”
Fourteen months after joining CampusLogic as sales director for the southeastern U.S. region/Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA), he’s diving into his managerial role with the kind of team-first enthusiasm his players once appreciated.
“I’m loving the opportunity to be more strategic; to offer coaching, training, and to share knowledge throughout the team about the schools we serve—or hope to serve,” he says one early morning as the rest of the office is just coming to life.
“I’ll always be a coach at heart,” he adds. “It’s exciting to be able to take on a larger view of the marketplace and to help our sales team really make a difference.” Where he once focused on 200 schools in his region, he now oversees about 1,000 “opportunities”—schools and universities in which CampusLogic would like to have a presence.
Rick Dwyer Loves Our Customers
“The CampusLogic Core Value that speaks to me the loudest is the one that says, ‘We Love Our Customers and They Know It,’” Rick notes, thinking of the financial aid directors and other school administrators he’s worked with over the past year.
“I love our customers,” he reiterates. “I love them like my students—and I feel a responsibility to help them grow, professionally; to help them benefit from services that will make their day better—and their students happier.”
Educated as a teacher and coach, Rick is something of a Renaissance Man because he also has an interest in—and talent for—IT management. After eight years in middle-school classrooms (and gyms), he turned a natural “knack for IT” into a second career when his teacher’s paycheck was outpaced by a growing family.
He spent a decade in darkened server rooms and IT training rooms—working as a network administrator, IT recruiter, and trainer—then jumped at the opportunity to join an adult-education startup with several former colleagues. “Turns out I enjoy the operational aspects of startups, too,” he says. “It was fun to wear so many hats: IT, marketing, sales, legal, etc.”
Always one to keep up with the Phoenix startup community, he found a fit in CampusLogic in 2015 when it was time to move on from his own startup. In fact, he says, repeating part of his LinkedIn profile, “I’ve found a mission-fit in the higher-ed tech industry.”
At CampusLogic, the Best Surprise Is No Surprises
What’s the most surprising thing he’s learned about CampusLogic so far? It’s that there aren’t any surprises. As the father of three teenagers, he says he especially appreciates that.
“Everything I was led to believe about CampusLogic is true,” Rick says. “There’s no ‘pie-in-the-sky.’ Goals are realistic and attainable. And there’s real strategy behind our growth.”
It’s enough to make him an “evangelist for the company” he notes.
Evangelizing the CampusLogic Mission
Financial aid professionals are the unheralded foundation of a campus, Rick continues. Like CampusLogic, he’s made it his mission to support them and their efforts to support students.
“Financial Aid has a bad reputation—and they’re not the bad guys,” Rick continues. “They have a keen interest in serving students. But sometimes, their hands are tied by compliance issues and too many old-fashioned processes.”
There’s also a problem with what he calls “confirmation bias,” on many campuses with those outdated processes. He notes that the biggest misconception some Financial Aid Directors have about CampusLogic is that adopting a new technology will be hard; that it’s not just the cost, but the time involved in implementation.
Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher
Again, Rick turns to his teaching background to help current and prospective customers arrive at those transformational “ah-ha” moments—just like back in the classroom.
“My challenge is to convince a campus that it takes only 30 days to transform the workplace,” he says. “Usually, what I hear after implementation is, ‘I wish we had this two years ago.’”
It’s moments like that when he knows he’s making a difference doing what he loves, using all the skills he’s honed throughout his career.
“I still identify as a teacher,” Rick says. “So, I feel like I’m ‘home’—20 years later.”
Even if he’s still out on the road a lot.