The Branch file Featured

8:00pm EDT October 26, 2008

Born: Charlotte, N.C.

Education: Bachelor’s degree and MBA from The University of North Carolina

Career path:

I started my career here in Atlanta with the firm, and I was overseas for seven years in Germany and in the U.K. I’ve been back in the U.S. for about three years now. Usually people are in one functional area, but I’ve moved through all four of the functional areas in my career, so I’m a bit of an anomaly. I’m also a bit of an anomaly having spent time overseas. It was a great experience.

What did you learn overseas that helps you here?

Discerning business value is something that’s universal. Different countries have different values. People have different cultures, different geographies, different laws and regulations, but the universal truth around business is business value. If you can add business value to a customer, whether it’s in Greece or Slovakia or New York, that’s the recipe for success. It’s adding business value, and that’s common throughout cultures.

As a child, what were your career aspirations?

I wanted to be somebody wealthy. I wasn’t too concerned with how I was going to get there. I figured there’d be lots of opportunities to sort that out once I got through school, so I never had a definitive destination. I just knew I wanted to be successful. It seemed to be a better life than being unsuccessful. I never focused on any one thing as a child that I wanted to be other than being a success, whether I was a senior executive or a professional or a person waiting tables.

What was your first job ever?

I actually worked at an airport. Where we lived was close to a rural airport. I actually worked there keeping the grounds neat — mowed, basically it was landscaping. It was outside work around airplanes, and I was just fascinated by airplanes and aviation growing up. I was 14.