The Ulsh file Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2007

Born: Valparaiso, Ind.

Education: Liberal arts degree, Butler University

What is the biggest business challenge you’ve faced?

I feel challenged in every position that I’ve been in by identifying and developing talent. The further that I go in my career, the closer I get to the closing end of it, more and more of my responsibility is to identify talent and help transfer skills and experience, and help people come along and grow into bigger responsibilities. I think that’s my biggest contribution in roles like this, if not my biggest challenge.

What’s the best business lesson you’ve learned?

Just be honest and open. I have a phrase I use, and it’s called manage into the daylight. Most of the positions that I take and how I go about dealing with people is very transparent to folks.

You don’t have to go and put spins on things for people, and it’s quicker for people to see your direction and either disagree with you openly or come along with you openly.

First job: I worked at a local grocery story on my block in Valparaiso, and I had two main jobs. I had to sort soda bottles in the days when soda companies would only take back their own brand, and I repackaged vegetables — think about potatoes and onions and things like that — from 100-pound bags to smaller 10- and five-pound bags for resale.

Favorite board game: Probably Monopoly is still my all-time favorite. It’s just the complexity of it. There’s so many things you can do — buy properties, sell properties, collect rents.

You can make up your own version and be able to evict people. I think it challenges you in a lot of ways, and I always like the complexity.