The Winner File Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2009

Born: Versailles, Ohio

Education: Bachelor of science in business administration from Bowling Green State University with a major in accounting

First job and what you learned from it:

I worked in the audit department for KPMG, a Big Five public accounting firm. Working at KPMG gave me a broad understanding on all aspects of a business, especially insurance where I spent most of my time. It also gave me experience in working with senior executives at an early phase in my career.

Whom do you admire most and why?

From a business perspective, I admire Dan Carmichael, the former CEO of Ohio Casualty Group (OCG). Dan stepped in to run OCG at a time when the company was in a very difficult financial situation and there were doubts about the company’s ability to survive and succeed. Because of Dan’s strong collaborative leadership style and willingness to make tough decisions, OCG not only survived, it thrived.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

To be successful as a leader, you have to hire people more talented than yourself. By doing this, you not only create a strong team, but it creates opportunities for advancement by having staff that are capable of replacing you.

Your workday is off to a bad start. How do you turn it around?

I try to focus on positive issues or areas of success. In addition, when your day starts off bad, it usually means something went wrong. However, you can create business opportunities out of bad situations depending on how you react or address the issue.

If you weren’t in your current position, what might you be doing instead?

I would probably own and run a small business, most likely an insurance agency operation.