THE WESTERN STAR
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Jeffrey Brown is enjoying success as an entrepreneur, an ambition he traces all the way back to delivering newspapers as a child.
“I learned life lessons in customer satisfaction and the importance of delivering product on time,” he said of the newspaper carrier job he had growing up in Stephenville.
It was also in his younger years that he set his sights on what the future could bring.
“My generation experienced the dot com boom of the ’90s, along with the mass adoption of mobile technologies,” Brown said.
He recognized opportunities in the tech space industry early and began his university studies with a focus on business and computer science.
Brown accepted an internship at IBM in Toronto and ended up staying with the company in senior management roles for 10 years.
He and wife Jaime moved back to this province following the birth of their first daughter in 2007. He held various technology consulting and leadership roles, but it was his wife who encouraged him to launch his own venture.
Brown eventually met up with Jennifer West, who has a technology management background and ran her own consulting firm in Ottawa. Together they started Focus Field Solutions, an industrial safety software company, based in St. John's, in 2012.
“With Jennifer and I both having young families, from the moment we started Focus FS we agreed work-life balance, corporate and workplace culture and building a results-oriented team would be priorities,” he said.
Outside of leading Focus Field Solutions, Brown is passionate about growing the sport of female hockey in the province as his daughters, ages seven and 12, play the game.
Back at the workplace, Brown and West landed projects during the Hebron construction project and set sights on other industrial sectors, pitching their product vision directly to customers they could partner with to build solutions.
Focus Field Solutions offers behaviour-based technology products that help clients achieve zero-harm and reduce downtime through operational excellence.
It currently has a strong presence in the oil and gas, mining, and transportation sectors, and is aims to position itself globally.
The company recently formed a partnership with Draeger, an international leader of medical and safety products based in Germany. With this new investment, Focus Field Solutions will concentrate on expanding into international markets, enhancing its product portfolio and doubling its team's size.
With the business now seven years old and well-established, Brown said the new partnership with Draeger means Focus Field Solutions can reach new heights internationally while building on its highly-skilled team in this province. The company currently has 16 team members and expects to double that number in the next 12 months.
New jobs will be opening for people looking to foster careers in areas of software development, business development and support and business administration.
Brown said an advantage of operating a business in this province is having access to a passionate and proud workforce.
“There are incredibly talented folks in this province who take a lot of pride in their work.” he said.
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