Bachelor of science degree, electrical engineering, Marquette University
Design engineer at General Electric Medical Systems
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Jack Welch. While I experienced the performance and cultural changes introduced by Welch when I was at GE, in leading my own businesses throughout my career, I have come to value the importance of simple, strategic concepts of market leadership, Six Sigma and global enterprise he espoused at GE.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Define a future for your company that customers value and understand, that employees can genuinely get excited about and your shareholders want to invest in. Business success is the result of all three and will lead to greater gains.
In contrast, settling for average results and maintaining undifferentiated customer loyalty will readily destroy shareholder value in the long run, regardless of the product or technology.
What has been your toughest business challenge?
Newport’s photonic technology is used in many markets such as research, microelectronics and telecommunications. While we are a larger, financially strong company today, our growth during the 1990s was interrupted by the almost simultaneous external influences of the collapse of the telecom bubble in 2000, Sept. 11 and a severe downturn in the microelectronics market.
My biggest business challenge was keeping Newport on track to weather these storms and investing in the future. Obviously, that happened, and our strategic growth remains intact.
Describe your leadership style.
My style of management is informed, collaborative and empowering. I believe my role is helping Newport see its future and then resourcing that roadmap.
I believe in reward-for-performance tools to achieve that end. We operate primarily as a meritocracy, where goal-setting and achieving results foster personal and professional career growth.