Education: University of Denver, bachelor’s degree, accounting
First job: I was a CPA for a public accounting firm. I went to work for United Technologies for 10 years in a series of financial management positions and I came to Michigan and worked for Williams International, which makes the engine for the cruise missile. I ceased being a financial type and got more involved in operations during my days in the aerospace industry.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
I tend to admire people that I’ve either worked for or competed against in the past for what they taught me about business and how to operate in a role of leadership. From some, I learned what not to do, and from others, I learned how to manage.
The people I learned from the most are those I think about when I consider, ‘What should I do?’
What has been your toughest business challenge?
Leading people, by far. What’s toughest about it is being able to communicate effectively with people at all levels and getting your message through to them. With every decision you make, some people are adversely affected, and others benefit.
You have to convince those adversely affected that in the long run, this decision is the best one. To do that, you must be logical and passionate at the same time.
What was your greatest lesson learned?
Talk less, listen more.
Describe your leadership style.
Open, fair, but at the same time, willing to take action and make decisions with reasonable quickness.