The Caponi file Featured

8:00pm EDT May 26, 2007

Born: Detroit

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Xavier University; master’s degree, Central Michigan University

What is the biggest business challenge you’ve faced?

Growing St.Vincent Health from four hospitals to 17 hospitals. That was done at a time when I only had experience working at a single-hospital-type setting.

I had to trust the operations to people other than myself and to really concentrate on a new role of being more entrepreneurial and growth-oriented.

What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?

People remember what you did and not what you said. A lot of times, we’ll put rhetoric around what we would like to see happen. But at the end of the day, what we get done is what really matters.

What was your first job, and what did it teach you?

A paperboy for the Detroit News. I was 8 when I started, and I probably did it until I was 12. Please the customer. I got a lot better tips if I put the newspaper inside the screen door. They just opened the door, and it was right there.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

I admire Bill Gates. What he and Melinda have done in terms of pumping their fortune back into America and focusing on education is really admirable.

Favorite board game: Trivial Pursuit. I love trivia. I used to be a bartender when I was in college. My favorite category is sports.