Civil Engineering – 1961
A native of the South Plains, J. Rex Vardeman attended Lubbock schools and graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1961. He earned an M.S. in Civil Engineering in 1964 from Southern Methodist University.
In 1961, Mr. Vardeman began working at LTV Aerospace Corporation, later to become E–Systems, Inc. He served in several progressively responsible engineering and management positions related to the development of standards and the design of large satellite communications earth station antennas. In 1973, with A. Don Branum, he cofounded Radio Mechanical Structures, Inc. (RMS) in Kilgore, Texas, and served as that company’s vice–president. Four years later, RMS was acquired by Harris Corporation, and Mr. Vardeman became Vice President and General Manager of Harris Antenna Operations.
In 1984, Mr. Vardeman, Mr. Branum, and other key employees bought Harris Antenna Operations and formed Vertex Communications Corporation where Mr. Vardeman serves as Chairman of the Board, CEO, and President. This publicly–held Texas corporation is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and field installation of precision satellite communications earth station antennas for commercial use. Clients include AT&T, General Electric, GTE, MCI, and a recent multi–million dollar contract for a new satellite distribution system for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). A Vertex product, a 1.8 meter fly–away antenna designed to fit in a suitcase, was the only antenna capable of properly transmitting/receiving satellite signals in the wind conditions at Reykjavik, Iceland, during the Reagan/Gorbachev summit in 1986. Vertex products have also been used for White House "hot lines" to Moscow and for CNN coverage of the Persian Gulf conflict. The Wall Street Journal uses Vertex antennas for its daily worldwide business communications.
For the past three years, Vertex has been named by Forbes Magazine as one of the "200 Best Small Companies in America." Mr. Vardeman, the company’s largest individual stockholder, is responsible for much of its success and is credited for many of the technological advances in this industry. His management style is one of teamwork and close communication with respected employees and co–workers,
A dedicated public servant, Mr. Vardeman has coached youth soccer in Longview for more than ten years. He is also active in the Boy Scouts of America, and his company is a sponsor of the Junior Achievement Program in Kilgore. He is a life member of the Texas Association of Business. Through Vertex, he supports the development of the area through the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce and the East Texas Treatment Center, specializing in burn treatment.
Mr. Vardeman and his wife, Norma, live in Longview with their two children, Ryan and Neely.
It is a genuine pleasure to name J. Rex Vardeman DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.