In order to meet our our mission, Pay Tel has assembled a top-notch team of corporate management personnel who lead the company. This team averages over fifteen years experience in inmate phone service management. This team also enables Pay Tel to maintain its status as an industry leader, staying at the forefront of inmate phone issues such as technical advancements, regulatory concerns and service issues.
VINCENT TOWNSEND – PRESIDENT
BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Prior to starting Pay Tel in 1986, Mr. Townsend owned a successful marketing business and a real estate development business. Following the breakup of AT&T, he began a payphone business in 1986 and an inmate phone business in 1989. He has been actively involved in all aspects of the business since the start-up. Mr. Townsend has led Pay Tel through twenty-seven plus years of consistent growth with revenues increasing every year.
Mr. Townsend is a recognized leader in the Telecommunications Industry at the state and federal levels. As a Board member of the American Public Communications Association and a member of its legal committee, Mr. Townsend is an industry spokesman before members of Congress and the FCC.
A regular speaker at national conferences, Mr. Townsend speaks on a variety of industry issues including: inmate phone service, fraud prevention, business ethics, and industry regulatory issues.
Mr. Townsend is a recognized expert on fraud prevention in public communication with articles published frequently. The American Public Communications Council has designated Mr. Townsend as their representative on the Telecommunications Fraud Prevention Committee (TFPC), a subgroup of The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). The TFPC is composed of the top fraud prevention experts from AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, billing companies, and several wireless carriers. Mr. Townsend has served on the TFPC since 1990 and has co-chaired and/or served on several task forces addressing a variety of fraud issues including twenty critical issues affecting inmate phone service.
On two occasions, Mr. Townsend, has been awarded the Public Communications Industry’s highest award for Industry Achievement.
JOHN TAYLOE – VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Pay Tel Team Member Since 1996
John joined the Pay Tel team bringing with him over twenty years management experience in customer service and sales, managing a staff in excess of 3,000 employees. He has worked extensively with State Government, Economic Development Groups, and other governmental agencies as it relates to business expansion. He attended Chowan College and High Point College.
John is responsible for directing Pay Tel’s sales and client retention teams nationwide. His focus includes the development of strategic relationships with industry suppliers offering services that enhance Pay Tel’s Inmate Telephone solution. He also spends time meeting with existing, new and potential clients to analyze their requirements, to ensure that Pay Tel continues to address and support their needs. John works proactively to stay abreast of new technologies applicable to the corrections industry. His duties include continuing education for the Sales Team in new technologies and trends and assisting Account Managers with client support. John is also responsible for management of the proposal development team and contract negotiation.
KURT GABRIEL – VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE
Pay Tel Team Member Since 2016
Kurt brings over twenty years of experience in the finance and accounting field working in both the high tech and consumer products industries. During those years, Kurt has managed teams in both finance and human resources in supporting sales, marketing, procurement, and logistics. Additionally, he has been responsible for leading business planning and analysis support at the corporate level as well as the reporting efforts to a Board of Directors. Kurt graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Exercise Science and a M.B.A. in Finance and Strategic Management.
Kurt is responsible for leading Pay Tel’s Finance and Accounting team in safeguarding company assets and providing analytical support to Pay Tel’s internal and external customers to promote the effectiveness of Pay Tel in achieving its mission.
CARRIE SUMNER – DIRECTOR of HUMAN RESOURCES
Pay Tel Team Member Since 2016
Carrie brings over ten years of experience in a manufacturing environment managing Human Resources-related functions and offering unique organizational, time management, and interpersonal skills. She is proficient in administering initiatives, providing a broad level of counseling on recruitment, employee relations, retention and training programs and handling complex situations with professionalism and confidentiality. Carrie attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration concentrating in Human Resources.
Carrie is responsible for leading Pay Tel’s Human Resources team in adhering to state and federal guidelines, recruitment, employee relations, benefits, and acting as an advocate for both the employees and the business while ensuring that everyone adheres to the Pay Tel mission, vision, and core values.
DEBBIE JONES – CUSTOMER SERVICE DIRECTOR
Pay Tel Team Member Since 1989
Debbie Jones began working for Pay Tel over two decades ago as Office Manager and was later promoted to the position of Customer Service Manager and today serves as Customer Service Director. Her prior experience includes fifteen years as Administrative Assistant with County Government.
Debbie helped create the Industry’s first Customer Service Center solely dedicated to meeting the billing needs of inmates and their families. She is responsible for managing Pay Tel’s in-house Prepaid and Direct Bill Account Programs and supervises an outstanding team of Customer Service Representatives who provide timely assistance to the rapidly growing number of customers who open accounts directly with Pay Tel. As part of that responsibility, she also directs Pay Tel’s in-house collection efforts to reduce uncollectibles and unbillables; allowing Pay Tel to maintain one of the lowest bad debt rates in the industry.
During her tenure at Pay Tel, Debbie also played a key role in the development and implementation of Pay Tel’s website, Payment Hotline, Quality of Service Survey program, and the Automated Phone System that customers may use to manage their phone accounts. Debbie’s continuous efforts to create additional services and programs to assist our customers are largely responsible for Pay Tel’s sustained A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.