CEO Spotlight – Mindy Perkins, VR Systems

VR Systems is currently celebrating 25 successful years providing elections based software, hardware and services to the elections community. Since the company’s start a quarter century ago in the founders’ Killearn home, VR has grown to be the vendor of choice to 64 of 67 Florida’s County Supervisors of Elections and serves more than 100 jurisdictions in eight states. VR’s CEO, Mindy Perkins, was the company’s very first employee, and she has been instrumental in the company’s growth every step of the way.

Mindy is responsible for managing the strategic direction of VR, overseeing product direction and sales strategy as the company expands into new markets. VR’s dedication to customer success has made the company an integral part of the elections industry and established its reputation as a valuable partner. As a 100 percent employee owned company, every employee of VR is invested in customer success.

VR has been shaped and influenced by several historical events. Following the 2000 election, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to fund the modernization of elections. Florida was at the forefront of that initiative and a leader among states in the transition. At the time, VR offered its flagship product Voter Focus, a comprehensive elections management software system for voter registration. VR expanded rapidly to meet the state’s technology needs and was highly successful. Mindy together with founder Jane Watson on-boarded over 30 new Voter Focus counties in just 18 months.

VR’s electronic pollbook EViD was later developed in response to powerful Hurricane Charley which wiped out precincts in Southwest Florida just weeks before a primary election. At the time, in 2004 the VR team, including Mindy, worked tirelessly to craft and implement an electronic voter check-in system to be used at voting sites. Following a successful election, the electronic pollbook EViD was patented and today more than 14,000 EViDs are used in major elections across the country.

More recently, as CEO Mindy was called to guide VR through a high-profile news event that directly impacted the company’s reputation. A year ago, a defense contractor employee leaked a confidential document that depicted VR as the subject of a Russian phishing attack. VR was not compromised as result of this attack. However, the days and weeks brought tremendous international scrutiny to the company. Mindy worked tirelessly directing a crisis response team to communicate as accurately and transparently as possible concerning the nature of the attempt. Now a year later, under Mindy’s leadership, VR has stepped into the role of an elections cybersecurity leader, serving on a Homeland Security executive committee, conferring with Congressional staff and implementing a cybersecurity communications education program to share VR’s experience with elections officials around the country. In addition, the company has launched its own internal cybersecurity program, recently becoming the first vendor to successfully complete DHS risk and vulnerability assessment (RVA) testing.

VR has come a long way in the past 25 years and with Mindy’s leadership the company expects to continue with a bright and prosperous future.

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