The Tunney file Featured

8:00pm EDT April 25, 2008

Birthplace: Phoenix

Education: B.S., Brigham Young University; graduate, Harvard University’s Executive Management Program

Childhood career aspiration: Growing up, I was always fascinated going to the airport and seeing all the people travel. I always thought I wanted to be a business guy who travels. Now that I travel every day of my life, I realize ... you’ve got to be careful what you ask for.

First job: Cutting fiberglass — it was the worst job of my life.

What was your greatest business challenge?

Cultures of companies. I think it is easy to change strategy, it’s easy to strengthen your balance sheet, it’s easy to change people, but it’s much more complex to change company culture. Culture is deep. It’s in the walls; it’s in the carpet. It’s in everything in the company. You can think you’ve changed a lot, but until you’ve changed the culture, you haven’t done anything.

What is the most important business lesson you have learned?

It continues to be all about the people. How quickly you can assimilate the team and get the right esprit de corps among that team is really the recipe for success. No matter what strategy you have, it will be duplicated by someone else or the components of the environment you do business in will completely change, and that strategy will become obsolete. The only way you can continue to produce year in and year out is to have a great team. That’s how it happens.