Occupation: VP of Professional Services, Acesis
First Car: 1960 used (aka pre-owned) blue Ford Falcon. I drove this car cross-country from Boston to California.
Favorite Restaurant: Thai Garden, Mountain View, CA
What are three things most people don't know about you?
a). That I wrote AMD’s first sales order entry application
b). That I wrote Intel’s first sales order entry application
c). That I managed sales organizations for 8 years prior to becoming involved with Professional Services.
What's been your greatest adventure in life?
Personal - Parenting two great kids.
Professional - Being involved at the early stages of three revolutionary technologies that had huge impacts on the way business is conducted (computer time sharing (1970’s), RDBMS (1980’s), CRM (1990’s)
What's your best childhood memory?
Accidentally dropping a large sand crab on the beach in Cape May, New Jersey and seeing it run right into the swimsuit of a man who was sound asleep sunbathing. He was instantly awake and on his feet with a truly world-class adrenaline rush.
If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?
Richard Williams. I would like to know why he thought that his two daughters, Venus and Serena, from the inner city of Compton / Los Angeles, California could rise to the top of the extremely competitive world of women’s tennis.
What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?
I was a full-time single parent for two daughters during a time that I was also running my own company. I am not sure how I managed the scheduling during this stage of my life, but somehow time magically appeared when it was most needed. I have great respect for the millions of single parents in this world.
Tell us about your favorite hobby.
Softball. I have played in softball leagues for many years. I enjoy being in an environment in which I can get some exercise, numerous amusing things are always happening, and I and my friends have the opportunities to be the “hero of the day” several times per year.
What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?
I am currently reading an amusing book on the “101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived”. These are characters of fiction, myth and legend that have shaped our society in various important ways.
My favorite book of all-time is “Wind, Sand and Stars” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is a book filled with wonderful true-life stories about the early days of the air-mail service in Europe, Africa and South America.
My favorite book of the past few years is “Mapping Human History” by Steve Olson. This book uses genetic evidence to trace the spread of modern humans around the globe during the past 100,000 years.
Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?
There are many. For example, the Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, and a ballet performance at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.
If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?
I don’t know the name of the charity, but it would be the charity that is focused on exposing underprivileged school children to the arts that is most highly rated by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?
From a practical perspective, I would probably be selling software or alternative energy solutions. My dream job would be to excel in an athletic endeavor - probably baseball, tennis or ballet.
What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?
When I was working with Tymshare (computer time-sharing) back in the late 1970’s, the company needed somebody to manage the company’s first adventures into charging for the time of its people. Up to that time, all the personnel time had been provided at no charge because the hourly rate that was charged for the computer time covered most of the costs of the personnel. However, as implementation projects became larger, it became obvious that we would have to begin charging for the personnel time. I was the most technical senior manager in the company at the time and I was selected to lead this new business endeavor. I became hooked on the concept that the time and talents of good and hard-working people can be converted into profitable revenue for the company and can also result in hugely successful solutions for customers. This is a very nice combination of outcomes, and I have been in professional services ever since.
What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?
Become very skilled at listening to and talking with customers, be passionate about delivering true value to your customers, and figure out how the true value can be measured so that both your company and the customer can appreciate the value that you deliver.