Born: 1960, Toledo
Education: BBA, University of Michigan; CPA
First job: Working for my father, who had a construction company. I was doing the painting.
Career moves: Deloitte Haskins & Sells (Deloitte & Touche); Comerica Bank, controller, 1985-1986. Joined Republic Bank in 1986 as controller, chief financial officer 1987-1992, executive vice president and treasurer 1992-1996, president and chief operating officer 1996-2000, president and CEO 2000 - present
What is the greatest business lesson you've learned?
Everyone needs to have a philosophy. You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything, as the country music song says. Do the things that allow you to take pride in your life. If you do that every day, you'll never have to look back.
Whether you're talking business or you're talking personal, that, to me, is the most important thing. What does that mean? Sometimes you've got to do something that's hard, but it's the right thing to do. You've got to be understanding of others. It's a balance in life.
What is the greatest business challenge you've faced, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest business challenge I had was becoming CEO of this company. I was president of the company before, but once you become the CEO, clearly, you have a different responsibility.
I sat down with the people that work with me and put together a strategy of how we were going to work, how we were going to communicate, what our focus was going to be, and we've been able to achieve some great things.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
That's a tough one. My philosophy on business has been to observe the best in a number of people and capture that. No one individual is perfect, but you can see some very good things that people do. I'm very much a student of business philosophy. I've kind of taken my management style from several and incorporated that, as well as what I believe I need to do.