Blackwell joins SMS Assist

SMS Assist said March 21 that it hired Graham Blackwell as chief strategy and revenue officer. Blackwell most recently was an executive vice president with Bain Capital’s North American Private Equity Team. SMS Assist raised $150 million from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners in 2016.


CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SMS Assist announced today the hiring of Graham Blackwell as chief strategy and revenue officer. A deeply experienced operating executive, Blackwell will lead SMS Assist’s strategy, pricing, marketing, and sales organizations and help the company continue to innovate and evolve its strategy as it rapidly grows.
Blackwell, most recently an executive vice president with Bain Capital’s North American Private Equity Team, has spent nearly two decades building businesses through the sharpening of strategy and execution. His experiences have been particularly focused on technology, retail, and the business services industries.
“SMS Assist has grown into the company we are today because of our novel technology, smart strategy, and a relentless dedication to service,” said Taylor Rhodes, CEO of SMS Assist. “Graham will make all those qualities even stronger, allowing us to accelerate our next phase of growth.”
With numerous rankings on the Forbes Cloud 100, SMS Assist has been one of Chicago’s fastest-growing technology companies for years. The company enhances how customers experience some of the nation’s biggest brands, streamlining facilities management services with a technology platform that offers real-time quality assurance and transparency across more than 186,000 service locations.
“SMS Assist’s use of technology and scale to drive value in an overly complicated and costly industry represents the exact approach necessary to deliver results in today’s competitive market,” Blackwell said. “I look forward to working with the entire SMS Assist leadership team, our customers, and our nationwide network of affiliates to take our offerings to the next level.”
While with Bain Capital, Blackwell worked closely with the boards, management teams, and broader organizations of portfolio companies to define and execute enterprise-wide strategic transformation. His efforts resulted in accelerating revenue growth and strong investor returns across wide-ranging businesses. Recent companies where he spent considerable time include Blue Nile, an e-commerce jewelry retailer, and BMC Software, a global software provider. Before then, he was an associate partner with McKinsey & Company, specializing in retail, and a consultant with Accenture.
Blackwell’s hiring represents the further strengthening of SMS Assist’s executive ranks. Earlier this year, long-time SMS Assist leader Marc Shiffman was promoted to president. The company also opened a second Chicago-area office in Naperville last fall.
Blackwell holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Ohio University and earned an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
About SMS Assist
SMS Assist is on a mission to deliver a better experience in the facilities management industry. We’re doing this by delivering optimum levels of quality, timeliness, and cost to more than 186,000 properties across retail chains, restaurant chains, banks, residential communities, and more. The industry knows us for our proprietary cloud technology, easy access to more than 20,000 vetted service providers, and a customer service organization available 24/7/365.