Tag Archives: redflex traffic systems

Redflex Traffic Systems - Karen Finley

Karen Finley, Redflex Traffic Systems

Karen Finley, President and CEO at Redflex Traffic Systems, shares what it is like to be the CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems and gives advise to women who aspire to have a C-Level managment job.

Are there misconceptions about Redflex?

One of the myths about the photo-enforcement industry is that we are always filming everybody. If you don’t break the law, you don’t get your picture taken. It’s as simple as that. The other thing is that we don’t decide who gets a ticket. It’s up to the police to accept or reject the violation. We just provide a tool for law enforcement.

Video by Cory Bergquist

Redflex’s revenues have increased 20-fold during your tenure. How did you do that?

It’s kind of a halo effect. As you implement a safety program into a community, the community next door is watching. They start talking to colleagues in neighboring communities and it starts to roll. I come out of a service background. We are providing a service to our clients and our focus on customer service has come across to clients. As a company, we have been very successful in winning programs from competitors based on customer service.

What qualities does an effective CEO have?

A lot of CEOs lose track of the fact that it’s the people around them who have helped grow the company. I am somebody who didn’t just land in a top job. I worked my way up. So I understand what it’s like to be the everyday employee. I think that understanding has made me a better leader. It’s important is to have compassion for your staff.

How is working at Redflex Traffic Systems different from other industries you worked in?

I worked in operations in the insurance industry and never had to work with anything political. I didn’t even fully understand how the Legislature worked. In the photo-enforcement industry, there is a lot of politics involved. It’s fun because you get to learn how bills become law and you don’t really get an appreciation of that until you work it every day.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Managing the magnitude of growth — especially in the early days — and making sure we had the right people in the right seats and retaining those people was the biggest challenge. It was a stressful time — the fun kind of stress — but it was a new technology and we were the first to use digital technology, so there was a lot of hand-holding and educating clients on the efficacy of the images. It was a very exciting, but challenging time.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

When I came to Redflex Traffic Systems in 1998, we had three contracts and about 20 employees. Today, we have 262 contracts and have 395 employees. I attribute that growth to the strength of the Redflex family. I am very proud of that.

What advice would you give to women who aspire to have a c-level management job?

Don’t give up. Be open to new new ideas. When I was working at an insurance company 14 years ago, if someone told me I would be where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed them. Finding a good mentor is still the best way to learn. There are a lot of things that come up every day that business school just doesn’t teach you. There is nothing in a textbook that can teach you how to manage through a crisis. But a good mentor can.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?

If money wasn’t an object, I would do more with my dog rescue, which is something that is very near and dear to me. I would foster more dogs and find more homes for dogs.

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Vital Stats: Karen Finley

  • Promoted to president and CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems in the spring of 2006.
  • Before joining Redflex Traffic Systems, spent 20 years in the insurance industry, most recently as the director of corporate services where she oversaw 200 employees.
  • Earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and her master’s in finance from Western International University.
  • Has a passion for dogs, especially Weimaraners. She dedicates much of her personal time to rescuing dogs and is in the process of setting up a 501c3 with a group of other dog lovers.


For more information about Redflex Traffic Systems, visit Redflex Traffic Systems’ website at redflex.com

Arizona Business Magazine July/August 2012

ACC Awards 2012

ACC Awards 2012 Finalists: A-G

Effective corporate counsel has never been more important than it is now. Arizona Business Magazine is recognizing the important and vital role that in-house counsel plays in the success of a business with the Arizona Corporate Counsel Awards, ACC Awards 2012. The 27 finalists and winners were honored Thursday, January 12 during a ceremony and dinner at the Ritz Carlton Phoenix. Here are the finalists in alphabetical order, A through G.

ACC Awards 2012 Finalists, A through G:

Jane D. Alfano
Corporate counsel

ACC Awards 2012Alfano joined SRP in 1979 and became the first female to hold the position of corporate counsel. Her strategic vision and application of the law, coupled with her ethical values and professionalism, epitomize the best of the legal profession, colleagues say. Alfano manages a law services teams that includes 12 attorneys and 20 law firms that augment SRP’s legal team. Alfano’s leadership philosophy of delivering value to the SRP executive team by providing legal remedies to meet their business strategy and goals through partnering with SRP attorneys has resulted in strong alliances with executives, SRP communities and SRP customers.

Andrejs K. Bunkse
General Counsel
Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.

ACC Awards 2012Bunkse joined Redflex in 2009 to create a legal department for the company, which has customers in 22 states and Canada, representing more than 250 cities — each operating under its own unique set of laws. Redflex’s products have been scrutinized and have been subjected to a heavy defense litigation practice. Under Bunkse’s management of a staff of six and a wide network of lobbyists, lawyers and consultants, his department furthers Redflex’s efforts in setting positive legal precedent, improving legislative positioning, as well as defending a diverse set of external and internal legal challenges.

Clarissa Cerda
Senior vice president, general counsel and secretary

ACC Awards 2012Cerda manages LifeLock’s legal, compliance, government affairs, and human resources functions. She brings more than 19 years of experience in lawyering and negotiation, effective management, and strategic advising in fast-paced, technology corporations, leading law firms and even the White House. She currently sits on the board of directors of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Previously, Cerda held national positions on the American Bar Association (ABA), including the co-chair of the ABA’s Science and Technology Law Section’s Privacy Committee. Cerda graduated from Harvard College with an B.A. in government. She earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Rebecca Collins
Associate general counsel
General Dynamics C4 Systems

ACC Awards 2012Collins was responsible for all employment law aspects in establishing General Dynamics C4 Systems — which has its roots in Motorola’s military business — as a separate legal entity. Through the last decade, Collins has handled the employment law aspects of approximately eight acquisitions, along with major internal reorganizations. Combined with organic growth, this resulted in the workforce increasing to almost 11,000 employees. Collins has managed the significant employment law challenges associated with rapid growth, and is now managing the issues associated with workforce reductions necessitated  by economic conditions and reductions by the Department of Defense.

Laurence De Respino
General counsel
AMERCO (part of U-Haul International)

ACC Awards 2012In the 11 years De Respino has worked in the legal department of AMERCO, he has been responsible for sweeping changes in every facet of the legal department’s operations. Some highlights:
* He has grown the department from five to 17 attorneys.
* He values diversity, providing opportunities for women and minorities and a staff that is split equally between genders.
* He has created specialties within the legal department, adding attorneys with expertise in product litigation, class actions, insurance, business, labor, employment, and intellectual property.
* He created a discovery unit to draft requests and responses, cutting discovery costs by 50 percent in the last three years.

Brad Gazaway
Vice president and corporate counsel
The Dial Corporation

ACC Awards 2012Gazaway is a former corporate and securities attorney for Snell & Wilmer (1998-2003) and a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He graduated in 1998 from the University of Iowa law school. While working with Gazaway, other attorneys are impressed not only with his professional demeanor and practical approach, but with his passion for the company and the pride he takes in the company’s accomplishments. Both Gazaway and Dial value community involvement, opening their headquarters for a United Way tour, with Gazaway sharing his personal interest in helping those less fortunate with those who toured.

David Glynn
Chief administration officer and general counsel
OneNeck IT Services Corporation

ACC Awards 2012Glynn has built the legal department at OneNeck from scratch into a small, efficient, well-rounded department that assists and ensures the success of the company. Among his accomplishments:
* He was the leader in the buyout of OneNeck from the publicly held parent company in 2001, including capitalization.
* He has led the acquisition of three private companies in 2003, 2007 and 2008.
* He led the $95 million sale of OneNeck to a publicly held telecom provider in 2011.
* He has converted all legal files electronically, allowing the department to have quick and easy access to all records.

Go Daddy Group
In-house legal department

Go Daddy LogoIn the past 10 years, the Go Daddy legal department has grown from a one-woman show to a staff of nearly 100, with 55 percent of them women. This unique department, which encompasses legal, network abuse, domain services, compliance, privacy, and government relations departments, extends its reach far beyond traditional legal issues. With guiding mantras of “do the right thing” and “know your client,” the legal department is intimately involved with its clients’ operational aspects. The department serves as an industry leader, drives public policy in the Internet realm, and still finds time to vigorously promote inter-departmental interactions.

Lukas Grabiec
Corporate counsel
Intel Corporation

ACC Awards 2012Despite being a junior-level attorney, Grabiec has taken on significant responsibilities and acts as a counselor for high-level Intel executives. In the past year, Grabiec has earned multiple Division Recognition Awards from Intel for his work on important and ground-breaking projects. Some examples:
* Grabiec seized an opportunity and drove Intel’s participation in the first Poland-Silicon Valley Technology Symposium at Stanford, marshaling Intel resources and laying groundwork for future collaboration with the Polish government and university officials.
* Grabiec completed negotiations for the funding of a major high-performance computing program with a large research-based U.S. government agency.

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012