The Blake File Featured

8:00pm EDT October 27, 2005
Birthplace: Cincinnati

First job: Hotel laundry

Education: Bachelor of arts degree, MBA from University of Cincinnati

Involvement: Chairman of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education; Trustee of Alverno College

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
To listen to your customers.

What has been your toughest business challenge?
I think the toughest business challenge any executive faces is communication and making certain that everyone in the organization understands what the agenda is and how they contribute to the success of the business.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Jack Welch is someone that I have looked back to and learned an enormous amount from. He was very focused on fact-based management. He was very focused on customers and customer expectation. He was always pushing to get better.

When you asked him what he spent most of his time on, he said people and developing people. I think that is really a key to success for any businessperson.