Education: Bachelor's degree in history and business, master's degree in education and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. I was named, to my honor, Executive of the Year there in 2004.
First job: When I was 10 years old -- it was two jobs at the same time. I was a caddie at a country club and I picked up litter on a hamburger (restaurant) lot. I picked up litter on that lot every week.
Career moves: Joined Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center in Atlanta, 1984, served as president and CEO, 1989-1997; vice chancellor for administration and fiscal affairs at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock; assistant dean and director of the University of Arkansas' Medical College Physicians Group of the College of Medicine. Held positions at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale; United States Air Force,1967-1970, captain
Boards: Chairman of the board of trustees for the Marist School in Atlanta; board of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta; member of the advisory board of the College of Business at Southern Illinois University
What is the greatest business lesson you've learned?
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. I think there is great power in that lesson.
What is the greatest business challenge you've faced, and how did you overcome it?
The merger is the biggest challenge I've ever faced. And (I) overcame it by having wonderful partners, a board of trustees that believed in what they were doing. They were doing the right things for the right reason. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of teammates -- all of the people I work with.
These are extraordinary people with extraordinary standards. We've faced what we've faced because it's a lot of people following the board philosophy of doing the right things for the right reasons.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
I admire a lot of people. My father would certainly rank up there. I admire him tremendously. He's 86 years old. His standards for honesty, integrity, ethics -- having grown up in that house and watched some of the business challenges he faced and the way that he always stood by his principles and integrity first, irrespective of personal consequences.
I always felt he should be one of the chapters in John Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage." I would think my father for all of those reasons, and all of the board members who have been involved in negotiating this merger and doing the right thing for the children of this community.
This thing of creating a new enterprise is not a small undertaking. Other boards have refused to do what this board has done. This board said these assets belong to the children, and we will do what is right for the children.