Education: Master’s degree in theology, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis; master’s degree, public health and business administration, University of California at Berkeley; bachelor of arts degree, psychology, Princeton University
What is the most important thing a CEO has to do?
Be a servant leader. My dad was a homicide detective. He never graduated from high school, but he was a voracious reader and a very bright man. He really put things in perspective for me.
I went to a prep school; they needed to refurbish their athletic program, I guess, so they recruited a bunch of athletes from the Catholic schools on the west side of Chicago to go to the lake. So I went to school with the Wrigley’s and the Woolworth’s and the Marshall Field families very, very wealthy families out of Chicago. And I told my dad, ‘I don’t belong here. Every day these kids are being picked up by limos and chauffeurs.’
My dad said to me, ‘Son, they may be getting picked up in a $100,000 limousine, but you take a half-million-dollar bus home every day.’ It’s just a matter of perspective.
My dad taught me that you just have to respect people no matter what their lot in life is and really serve them.
I see myself as a common person, in no way an elitist. I have as much respect for a person who is cleaning bathrooms eight to 12 hours per day and caring for a family of four, making $14 an hour, and I will speak to that individual like I would speak to my top neurosurgeon.