The Hagerty file Featured

8:00pm EDT July 26, 2007

Born: New Rochelle, N.Y.

Education: University of Massachusetts, bachelor of science, industrial engineering and operations research

What is the best business lesson you have learned?

People — talking to people, people leadership. I was trained in the technical fields and really resonated to that. You don’t get anything done without people. It could be the greatest invention in the world, but if you can’t talk to people, it’s going to sit in the closet.

Childhood career aspiration: I probably didn’t know that I wanted to be an engineer, but I wanted to be involved in technology. I loved computers. They had them [way back when]. They ran on water back then. It was before you kids. It was the ’60s.

First job: Paperboy at 12 or 13. Then I was a soda jerk when I was 14 or 15. I had to get permission from the school to do it. You had to get a work permit because I was under 16. It was an after-school job. It was close enough that I could walk there.

Most admired businessperson: I would say it’s the people who built great companies. Early on, Ken Olson from Digital Equipment because I worked there, and I admired the way the company was built up. I don’t cherish the way it unraveled, but in the early days, it was run really well. It had people engagement. It had technology innovation. I have a ton of respect for that organization. I learned all the basics there. You look back and you can see all the warts, but for the time, what a brilliant leader.

Favorite board game: Monopoly because I win. I like it. I love the challenges — a little bit of strategy. There’s a fair amount of luck, but there’s also some skill, and I enjoy that game.