Education: Cleveland State University
First job: Paperboy for the Cleveland Plain Dealer; first "real job" was in labor relations at the Plain Dealer and Cleveland Press; General Electric's labor negotiator, before changing career paths and moving into sales at the company.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
The executive who most impressed me in my days at GE was Larry Bossidy. He wrote a new book called "Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right," and it is a must-read.
I respect him because he showed heart and soul while making difficult decisions, but he was never afraid to make the decision. He had the backbone to confront reality and do what was right.
Locally, I admire A.G. Lafley, who runs Procter & Gamble. He came into a company and, in short order, expanded new products and geography and then bought Gillette for $57 million. I admire his personality. He is actively involved in the community.
What is the most important business lesson you've learned?
The two key rules to managing are to hire people smarter than you and then get out of the way and let them do their jobs. Once you surround yourself with smart people, you have to provide an environment where they can do their best work -- the sandbox. My direct responsibility is to create a world-class sandbox for their opportunities.
What has been your toughest business challenge?
Maintaining and growing our market share while paying off the bad debts of the past.