Beacon Announces Tracy Dirks as New President and CEO

Beacon Blog Article

Published March 11, 2024 | Categories: Beacon News

Beacon’s Board of Directors is excited to announce the appointment of Tracy Dirks as Beacon’s next President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective as of March 1. She succeeds Mark Dirks who has served as the company’s President/CEO since its inception. "Mark has been a great leader for our company over the last 26 years, and now I am energized and looking forward to my role as Beacon’s second CEO," Tracy says. "As one of Beacon’s three principal partners for over two decades, we have always worked closely to define the strategy and direction of the company. In fact, we firmly believe that our team leadership approach was the key to our success, and survival, during three of the most difficult times for businesses: the 9/11 tragedy, the Great Recession, and COVID. We have certainly found our stride now with 14 straight years of consistent growth, driven by what we like to call our ‘controlled growth strategy’. I am ready to take the lead in continuing that trend."

Mark is not leaving the company; rather, he is shifting to the role of Chief Business Officer (CBO), with a focus on sales, business development, corporate affairs, and marketing. Beacon now has clients in nearly every state across the country, 60+ employees, a Triad office (Greensboro), a Coastal office (Carolina Beach), national visibility (especially within Higher Education and Multi-Family Residential) and ever-increasing demand for its services. “We’ve come a very long way since we first started way back in January 1998, establishing our brand, developing our strategy, and building a solid company” says Mark. “We’ve groomed a very strong management team, and this change allows me to concentrate on sales and marketing to maximize our value within those verticals yet stay in lockstep with our operational and resource capacity.”

John Scaramuzzo will continue as Beacon’s Board Chair and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), leading the IT Services & Hosting Team, and Rob Darst will continue as Beacon’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Both have also been with Beacon from day one.

A History of Sterling Leadership

Tracy Dirks giving speechTracy joined Beacon in 1999 shortly after its founding, and for the past 24 years has been an integral part of all strategic and operational decisions. She initiated Beacon’s strategy shift to be more industry-focused by building technical, sales, and business expertise to specifically serve colleges and universities. Tracy also recognized the value in establishing a Project Management Office within Beacon to ensure quality and efficiency as the client base and internal staff expanded. “We reached a point where we needed to specialize our services and actually, move away from federal government work,” says Tracy. “As web technology and digital marketing grew closer and closer together, we elected to focus on Higher Ed. Then, with growth, it became readily apparent that strong project management and processes were essential for long-term sustainability, hence, the PMO initiative, which is now the center of everything at Beacon.”

Tracy earned a master’s degree in computer science from Kansas State University. Before joining Beacon, she held several significant and prestigious positions. AT&T hired her right out of college as a software developer in Denver, Colorado. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Bell Labs as a software engineer, where she worked on a team that developed one of the first products that leveraged C++ and object-oriented technology. She transferred to Greensboro, NC in 1992, serving as the Chief Systems Architect for AT&T’s Human Resources Information Systems Organization (HRISO), and was later promoted to Division Manager, reporting to AT&T leadership in New Jersey.

After 13 years with AT&T, Tracy took a break for a few years to raise her children, but her return to the business world with Beacon proved to be impactful. She was instrumental in not only shaping Beacon’s corporate strategy and higher education emphasis, but also in engineering ecommerce solutions for retail customers, refining digital marketing services to multi-family residential customers, driving a centralized operational process, and supporting an award-winning work culture. For her contributions to Beacon and the Piedmont Triad business community, Tracy was honored by the Triad Business Journal in 2007. 

A Strategy for a Future of Success and Growth

Tracy and team members

In her new role as CEO, Tracy will continue to oversee operations, product development, professional services, and HR. Current and future clients should expect the same exceptional service and best-in-class work that Beacon has built its reputation on. Tracy explains: "Outstanding customer service has always been a top priority for me. That’s why building Beacon’s Project Management Office was so important, because it drives trusted, long-term relationships.

Another key priority for me is managing Beacon’s strategic and thoughtful use of technology to help our customers win in an extremely competitive world. Technology is changing at a record pace with the expanding use of AI, and therefore, we must be careful to select secure and ethical technologies that benefit our customers.”

Beacon team celebrating Best place to work win

As a leader in the tech and marketing industries, Tracy will also continue to advocate for women in leadership positions as Beacon pursues Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) certification. "I am pleased and excited about making Beacon’s support of women in technology leadership roles more visible," she says. "Currently, half of Beacon’s Leadership Team, made up of partners and vice-presidents, are women. We are also perennial sponsors at the NC Technology Association’s Women in Technology Conference. A team that is diverse in experiences and perspectives leads to greater success, and I will continue to foster diversity and inclusion at Beacon."

Finally, as CEO, Tracy will continue to build and invest in the culture of service and caring that keeps Beacon regularly listed as one of the Triad's best places to work. "I am very proud of the culture we have built at Beacon. Fostering that culture of caring and excellence will always be a priority for me," Tracy says. "We care about our team, our customers and our community. We support our team with great benefits, a collaborative environment, training, social activities, flexible hybrid work schedules, profit-sharing and more. We provide quality, timely and innovative services to our customers. And we support our community with quarterly BeaconCares initiatives, giving team members time during working hours to volunteer at local organizations."

About Beacon

Founded in 1998, Beacon Technologies, Inc. ("Beacon") is a nationally recognized leader in web design, web development, digital marketing, and hosting for the Higher EducationMulti-Family Residential, and Retail and Wholesale industries. The company also provides proactive and dependable managed IT services, primarily to local businesses, through its Beacon IT Services (BITS) division.

Beacon’s LuxED Program for Higher Ed ignites websites to compete for students more effectively and grow enrollment by improving student engagement, leveraging dynamic content, enhancing search engine visibility, driving brand awareness and more importantly, producing more enrollment applications! Beacon’s multi-family property services support large-portfolio property management companies fill open apartments for hundreds of properties across the country.

Creative Design. Powerful Web Technology. Smarter Marketing. That's Beacon!

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