The Chambers file Featured

11:38am EDT September 20, 2006
Age: 57

Born: Boston

Bachelor’s degree, English, Springfield College; MBA, Boston College

First job:
School teacher and coach, Newark, N.Y.

Who has had a great influence on your business career?
Our chairman, A.R. Ginn, whom I will be replacing next year, is a man I have learned a great deal from. He has an appreciation and genuine approach in understanding the men and women on the shop floor and what’s important to them.

Whom do you admire most in business?
A.R. Ginn, and a completely different guy, Dick Cheney. Working for both of them has been an incredible experience.

I worked for Cheney at Halliburton, and he’s obviously a very visible person, the vice president of the United States. Ginn has been a leader in this industry, a guy who has spent 40 years in the business.

What are some universal truths you’ve learned about leading a business?
Always try to invent future possibilities that enable you and those around you to live within, and be stimulated by, those possibilities. And always try to have your behavior be consistent with what you are trying to achieve and have the open mindset to let people question you and challenge you.

How do you define success in business?
It might sound very traditional, but it’s growing our earnings in a way that is consistent with laws, regulations and ethical behavior that we have within this company and within this country. It’s just as simple as it sounds, trying to be good people.

Chambers on growth opportunities:
One of the things is if there is a notion of sustainable growth that you need to be aware of. And a lot of that is not getting ahead of yourself, understanding what limitations your IT infrastructure and your back office processing have. You need to target the kind of acquisitions that make sense, ones that you can absorb without putting the company at risk.