Birthplace: Irwin, North Carolina (at Fort Bragg)
College: The Ohio State University, bachelor of science degree, industrial engineering.
Residence: New Albany
First job: “I called out orders at York Steak House. I was the order girl.”
Career moves: Started as in industrial engineer at Rockwell International, working on programs involving the space shuttle and B1 bombers. After five years, took time off before becoming an account manager at Bradford Travel, where she forged a business relationship that led to her next job <\m> helping integrate the acquisition of the Thomas Cook Corp. into American Express. Following that, she started Troilo & Associates and Travel Solutions Inc.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?
You need to accept failure with the same amount of grace as success.
What’s the greatest business challenge you’ve faced?
The greatest challenge for us has been that innovation has been as much of a blessing as it is a curse. Very often, we are ahead of our game.
We’ve had a number of really innovative ideas that we probably started too soon. The corporate community wasn’t ready to accept them yet. Recently, we dusted off some of those that failed before, wrapped a different strategy around them, and now they’re working.
Whom do you most admire in business and why?
I don’t just have one individual. I’ve read Jack Welch’s books. Also, Carly Fiorina (former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard). She fights her fights, picks her battles and knows what she wants.
Oprah. I love Oprah. Abigail Wexner is awesome with what she’s done with the (Columbus) Coalition Against Family Violence.