Richard O. Warther, President and CEO of Vanguard ID Systems, Inc., is the 2011 Centennial Award recipient from the Kent State University School of Communication Studies. The award is the highest honor given by the school in recognition of professional achievement and renowned contributions to one's profession or life's work relating to the field of communication.
Since his 1979 graduation, Warther has established himself as a bar code industry pioneer, successful entrepreneur and innovator. As a Kent State student, Warther recognized early on that combining graphics and communication could influence the way business is conducted. He also realized that strong interpersonal communication and persuasive speaking skills would further his success.
Early entry into the bar code industry afforded Warther the unique opportunity to experience first-hand the significant changes in how computers would change the way consumers purchase goods and services. In 1987, Warther founded Vanguard ID Systems, a West Chester, Pennsylvania, based company. Today Warther holds 15 United States Patents for bar coded, magnetic striped and radio frequency transaction devices (RFID).
A consumer-centric view led to the idea of incorporating RFID transponders into company logo key tags. This helped solve the problem of carrying cards that get lost or clutter up a wallet. Our keys are always with us and used several times a day; placing key tags onto key chains was not only a solution for the consumer to have easy access to the customer loyalty incentive key tags, but also provided the opportunity for a company to keep its logo and brand visible. Key tags produced by Vanguard ID Systems include those that function as library cards, gift cards, supermarket rewards cards, health club memberships and other unlimited business applications.
To date, Vanguard ID Systems has issued more than two billion key tags. The "Flip Chip" RFID key tags account for contactless transactions; Warther's innovations have become a familiar way of doing business. Among his numerous honors and awards, Warther is listed in Who's Who in Business and Industry. Vanguard ID Systems has been recognized by the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) and its Élan Awards in 2008 and 2009 for Excellence in Access Control Design Category. The Access Control category recognizes excellence in card design and technical innovation for access control applications.
Dr. Paul Haridakis, interim director of the School of Communication Studies, presents the 2011 Centennial Award from the School of Communication Studies to Richard O. Warther, President and CEO of Vanguard ID Systems, Inc.