Entrepreneur. Social scientist. Problem solver. Life-long learner. Ralph Dandrea founded ITX Corp. in 1997 to help clients solve complex technology problems. As challenges deepened and technology advanced, ITX responded in kind, expanding its range of capabilities and types of challenges it seeks. Ralph continues to evolve, as well. An accomplished software developer – e.g., some of the administrative systems he created decades ago remain in use – Ralph wears just one hat now, as ITX’s CEO.
In that role, he continues to leverage his social science research background in applying a comprehensive world view to lead ITX, mentor its leaders, and build enduring relationships with clients – an approach that has served as the cornerstone of ITX’s success for more than 20 years. His philosophies serve as the underpinnings for ITX’s mission, vision, and values.
At the core of Ralph’s belief system – what drives his personal and professional contentment – is instilling the concept of workability to create an uplifting culture that empowers leaders throughout ITX. Workability infuses his decision making and creates favorable conditions in which he and those around him can achieve success – at work, at home, and in relationships. His insights on workability can be found at his Workability Blog. Ralph’s contributions to Information Technology have been published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), a leading international forum for peer-reviewed research in information science, and the Public Library of Science (PLOS), a non-profit publisher, innovator, and advocacy organization.
Ralph’s journey to entrepreneurial success began with a small electronics parts venture at age 12. By 14, he had launched a database services business, striking the hot iron just as the personal computer industry heated up. His inquisitive nature and eagerness to solve problems inspired a series of business endeavors throughout his youth and beyond.
Working full-time throughout his education, Ralph became a partner in a profitable telecommunications business. Within a month of his graduation from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Finance, Ralph sold his share of the business and spent a brief time exploring his next adventure. A passionate learner, he completed a joint JD/MBA program at the University of Buffalo in the midst of launching a technology consulting firm and even trying his hand in the food services business. Ralph recognized technology’s limitless opportunity and determined that his energies would be best focused there.
In 1994, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recruited Ralph to serve as a director of information technology. In his 4 years there, Ralph outfitted home healthcare providers with laptops and other digital tools while reengineering the computerized billing system for their services – at the time, a $50M business. Though wonderfully successful in this role, Ralph’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for solving new and complex challenges inspired the creation of yet another opportunity.
As he transitioned away from Excellus BC/BS, Ralph launched ITX and laid the groundwork for implementing an expansive telecommunications project at the University of Rochester. What started with one project in Q4 1997 blossomed into a $3M business in 3 years – leveraging the impact of Y2K as companies sought safeguards against anticipated turn-of-the-century calamity. Ralph’s early focus on project management services expanded as technology advanced. New development tools led to new solutions and quickly to even more complex – Ralph calls them “fun” – problems to be solved. At that time, development meant web development, and the demand for ITX’s unique and growing skill set was high.
Beyond ITX, Ralph is enthusiastic about his involvement with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a worldwide collaborative comprising thousands of business owners seeking to learn from each other. He has served as a member leader at the local and global levels. He continues to explore topics in the social sciences and has studied leadership work with renowned scholars Werner Erhard and Michael Jensen. Ralph and ITX are avid supporters of the Rochester community and beyond. He has been an active board member of the Venture Jobs Foundation since 2013. A lover of the arts, Ralph has since 2005 served on the board of directors of Beth Morrison Projects, a national organization at the forefront of musical and theatrical innovation, and whose works have garnered two Pulitzer prizes in music. In addition, he and his wife, Colleen, have been involved in supporting a number of not-for-profits, including the Bivona Child Advocacy Center.
Ralph and Colleen reside in Pittsford, NY with their three teenage daughters.