Born: Harrisburg, Pa.
Education: Mechanical engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology
What was your first job as a kid, and what did you learn from it that still applies today?
Selling magazines in junior high, so I was probably about 13 years old. [I learned] to be very respectful of people and get to your point very, very quickly.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Strangely enough, a salesman. My dad was a salesman. Not quite sure why I went to engineering school, but I got through it, and my first job out of school was in sales. My family has been in sales whether it be one product or professional services. I’ve always been attuned to really understanding the world through sales, and I’ve done a lot of research with Lee Iacocca and some great salesmen that were all signed up as being leaders of their company, but I’m of the belief (that) if you’re going to be successful in life, you have to know how to sell yourself. Whether you’re selling yourself, you’re selling your company, you’re selling your school, it’s having the empathy to understand your buyer well enough to know what it’s going to take for them to buy or hire or whatever.
A lot of guys want to be a doctor or a baseball player. I’m 6-foot-8, so it would have been logical for me to be a professional basketball player. I played in college, and I realized very quick that that wasn’t going to be a career for me. I’m slow and can’t jump that well.