The Fold

Control Rooms Come to Life

The Fold

North Kingstown-based Constant Technologies is made up of 20 percent URI grads who bring their innovative thinking to the drawing board.

When you think of a mission control room, you might think of the USS Enterprise’s bridge in Star Trek. Or a NASA room filled with engineers and scientists huddled around screens as they anticipate a launch.

While these hubs might seem like spaces relegated to movies or aerospace centers, there is a local business, flush with URI graduates, that makes mission-critical ops centers a reality for clients like Meta, Citibank, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Constant Technologies specializes in audiovisual integration and technology furniture for 24/7 command center environments in the public and private sectors.

Or, as Heather Conover ’00, Constant Technologies’ director of global business development, says, “Picture where NASA launches space shuttles: multiple people focused on a centralized display wall. That’s an operations center. Whether it’s satellite launches, critical cyber threats, criminal activity, or keeping our country safe, we integrate a multitude of technologies to bring these centers to life for companies and government agencies globally.”

The North Kingstown-based company helps clients build out advanced control rooms with audio and visual components to help them monitor critical data. Back in the day, this kind of work was done mainly for highly secure government operations.

But today, control rooms are used across the public and private sectors.

“As the world has gotten more complicated, operations centers have evolved from monitoring physical threats to the complex world of cybersecurity,” says company president Brad Righi ’96. “Add-itionally, some of the rooms we build cover security issues that can range from social media and brand monitoring, managing large fleets, or even national and international threats.”

The company, founded in N.J. by George Morabit, got its start in the late ’80s, specializing in building computer monitor enclosures. When Morabit relocated to R.I, he met then-URI-student Righi, who became a partner and now leads the company. Like some other well-known, forward-thinking startups you may be familiar with, its first R.I. headquarters was a garage. Over time, it has become a leader in mission-critical audiovisual integration, and today, the rooms the company builds could be right out of a sci-fi movie.

Akamai headquarters, Cambridge, M.A.

Dispatch, North Kingstown, R.I.

“We provide touch controls that manipulate sources of information that are viewable on the video wall. Operators need to be able to quickly navigate between large amounts of sensitive data,” Righi says. “So, we’re not too far off from what you see in the movies, at this point.”

And as more and more companies look to securely monitor data, business for Constant Technologies is booming. According to Righi, the biggest problem the company faces is its own popularity. “Our main challenge, which is a good one, is keeping up with rapid growth,” he says.

Constant Technologies often looks for URI graduates to fill roles, a practice that has built up a winning team over the years.

“I get to work alongside two of my best friends from college, Tom Sheeran ’96 and Dan Kment ’96, who have been instrumental to Constant’s growth and success,” says Righi. “We’ve had an incredible journey together. I get to enjoy the highs and lows with some of the people I’m closest to. When you have success with team members from URI, it’s a natural place to go when you’re expanding the team.”

—Grace Kelly

Top: Constant Technologies’ URI alumni staff members at the company’s Wickford, R.I. headquarters.
Seated in front: Abigael Peckham ’19 and Gip Sisson ’01.
In back, left to right: Dennis Langley ’99, Josh Borczynski ’21, Carolyn Morabit ’15, Benjamin Watkins ’98, Heather Conover ’00, Tom Sheeran ’96, Brad Righi ’96, Dan Kment ’96, Zachary Hanners ’11, and Jonathan Hammett ’98.
Not pictured are: Robert O’Dell ’98, Leya Ferrazzoli ’05, and Joe Zavota ’15.

Photo: Nora Lewis