About Us

The Executive Crash Course Company was created to provide enterprise and small/medium business executives with the resources and skills they need to grow their business. Whether that translates to evolving vision and direction, expansion into new markets, enhanced competitive positioning, new product introduction, more effective sales and marketing, or technology management, our services are designed to catalyze and strengthen their efforts. With more than 60 years of combined experience in the telecom, media and technology domains, founders Joe Candido and Steven Shepard bring a wealth of knowledge, skill and expertise to what executive leader Jack Welch said is the most important thing an executive must do: Change the business.

Our tag line says it all: Strategic Knowledge, Strategic Results. Our goal at the Executive Crash Course Company is threefold: to equip you and your team with the knowledge you need to make more strategic decisions at every level of the organization; to give you the tools required to make the most of that knowledge; and to deliver a framework within which you can take action quickly, correctly, and with measurable, quantifiable results.

Our services address all elements of the knowledge ecosystem required for an executive to function well:

  • Scenario planning and strategy development for senior leadership.
  • Consulting and industry analysis.
  • A sophisticated and extremely successful sales strategy program.
  • A diverse range of telecom, media and IT technology training programs that include classroom instruction, virtual environment and multimedia-based content.
  • Media development.
  • The art of executive storytelling.

Our clients are in more than 70 countries and all of our programs are customized to the client based on regional, cultural and geographical characteristics. Furthermore, all of our programs can be delivered in Spanish if required.

Meet Our Team

Joe Sailing

Joe Candido is the co-founder of the Executive Crash Course Company and the founder of Fifth Element Associates. He has worked in the IT and telecom industries for over 30 years where he’s held positions within a variety of companies as Director of Sales, VP of Sales and Marketing, VP of Innovation, and Member of Technical Staff.

Joe delivers targeted consulting and training engagements with leading service providers and equipment manufacturers in North America, Latin America and Europe. He consults with executives to provide leadership development, industry trends, insights, and strategy development which he implements through training, consulting, and coaching for sales, marketing, engineering, and customer service organizations.

Joe believes that every business succeeds on the basis of a unique and compelling value proposition that differentiates it in the minds and hearts of its customers. Otherwise the business becomes another “me too” player that sells on the basis of price. Working in collaboration with his clients, Joe leverages his technical, industry, sales, and marketing expertise to develop vision, strategy, positioning, differentiation, and a compelling story. He often works in the field with his customer’s sales and customer service teams and then applies that experience when designing, developing, and delivering high-impact training programs for sales, customer service and leadership audiences.

In addition to consulting and training, Joe teaches executive leadership programs at the University of Vermont’s Center of Leadership and Innovation and the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

Whether the topic is business strategy, current news items, quirky trivia or rock music history, Joe is an enthusiastic conversationalist who thrives on making deep and meaningful connections with clients, friends and family alike. A good day is when he can’t tell the difference between his work and his play, or his friends and his associates. If Joe’s not with his clients, he can usually be found sailing on Lake Champlain in the summer and in the winter he’s either sailing in the Caribbean or skiing the mountains of Vermont.

Shepard1Dr. Steven Shepard is the founder of the Shepard Communications Group in Williston, Vermont, co-founder of the Executive Crash Course Company, and founder of Shepard Images. A professional author, photographer and educator with more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry, he has written books and articles on a wide variety of topics. His books include:

  • Commotion in the Ocean: A Technical Commercial Diving Manual. National Association of Underwater Instructors, 1979.
  • A Matter of Last Resort: The Story of Byron Hot Springs. Contra Costa County Historical Society, 1987
  • Managing Cross-Cultural Transition: A Handbook for Corporations, Employees and Their Families (Aletheia Publications, New York, 1997)
  • Telecommunications Convergence: How to Profit from the Convergence of Technologies, Services and Companies (McGraw-Hill, New York, 2000)
  • A Spanish-English Telecommunications Dictionary (Shepard Communications Group, Williston, Vermont, 2001)
  • An Optical Networking Crash Course (McGraw-Hill, New York, February 2001)
  • SONET and SDH Demystified (McGraw-Hill, 2001)
  • Telecom Crash Course (McGraw-Hill, New York, October 2001)
  • Telecommunications Convergence, Second Edition (McGraw-Hill, New York, February 2002)
  • Videoconferencing Demystified (April 2002, McGraw-Hill)
  • Metro Networking Demystified (McGraw-Hill, New York, October 2002)
  • RFID Demystified (McGraw-Hill, New York, July 2004)
  • Telecom Crash Course, Second Edition (McGraw-Hill, New York, June 2005)
  • VoIP Crash Course (McGraw-Hill, New York, July 2005)
  • IMS Crash Course (McGraw-Hill, New York, March 2006)
  • WiMAX Crash Course (McGraw-Hill, New York, May 2006)
  • How to do Everything with VoIP (McGraw-Hill, New York, December 2006)
  • Managing Supply Chain Technology (Aspatore Publishing, November 2006)
  • Using VoIP to Empower Your Business (Business Week, November 2007)
  • The Telecom Economy: Charting a Path in Uncertain Times (McGraw-Hill, New York, May 2008)
  • Road Scholar: How to Start and Operate an Independent Consultancy (Executive Crash Course Press, 2009)
  • World View: Images from a Life of Travel (See Life Productions, Incorporated)
  • A Year in Southridge Meadow (See Life Productions, Incorporated, 2010)
  • Reverse Engineering the Future: A Prescription for Change Leadership (Executive Crash Course Press, 2009)
  • Giving Up Control: Strategies for Success in the User-Generated Economy (Executive Crash Course Press, 2010)
  • The Deliberate Photographer. Shepard Communications Group, 2012.
  • The Deliberate Storyteller. Shepard Communications Group, 2012.
  • Passage to Burma. A photojournalistic collaboration with Scotty Stulberg. Pegasus Press, 2012.
  • Whatever Happened to Mister Duncan: Mapping the Memory of Childhood. Shepard Communications Group, 2013.
  • Telecom Crash Course: A Primer for the Telecom, Media and Technology Sectors. 3rd August 2014.
  • Willie the Jumping Frog. A collaboration with Bill Skiff and Bob Shepard; July 2014.
  • 15 Points of Light. See Life Productions, 2014.

For examples of Steve’s video presentations, including his recent TED talk, please visit http://www.youtube.com/user/TheShepardComm.

Dr. Shepard received his undergraduate degree in Spanish and Romance Philology from the University of California at Berkeley (1976), his Masters Degree in International Business from St. Mary’s College (1985), and his PhD at the Da Vinci Institute in Rivonia, South Africa (2009). He spent eleven years with Pacific Bell in San Francisco in a variety of capacities followed by ten years with Hill Associates in Colchester, Vermont before forming the Shepard Communications Group in early 2000. He is a senior fellow of the Da Vinci Institute of South Africa; Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business; a Founding Director of the African Telecoms Institute; former Chairman of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority, the organization tasked with managing the distribution of broadband stimulus money in the State of Vermont; member of the Board of Advisors of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA); and an Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of Champlain College. He is also the Resident Director of the University of Southern California’s Executive Leadership and Advanced Management Programs, and adjunct professor at Thunderbird University, the University of Vermont, Wharton University, Emory University, UBC, The Ivey School, Champlain College and St. Michael’s College.

Dr. Shepard specializes in international issues in technology with an emphasis on the social implications of technological change, technology infrastructure development, strategy creation, technical marketing and strategic technical sales; the social implications of technological change; the deployment of social media as an organizational collaboration tool; the development of multilingual educational programs; and, through the Executive Crash Course Company, the effective use of multimedia. He has written and directed more than 40 videos and films and written technical presentations on a broad range of topics for companies and organizations worldwide. He has written and photographed in more than 90 countries, serving clients across many different industries including telecommunications, IT, media, advertising, healthcare, and government, to name a few. He is fluent in Spanish and routinely publishes and delivers presentations in that language. Global clients include major telecommunications manufacturers, service providers, software development firms, multinational corporations, universities, professional services firms, NGOs, advertising firms, venture capital firms, and regulatory bodies.

He lives in Vermont with his wife Sabine, who has put up with him for more than 30 years.