James Willett

Occupation: VP, Product Management & Professional Services, Neustar

First Car: 1978 Chevy Caprice Classic

Favorite Restaurant: Volt (Frederick, MD)

1. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

a) I have a son in the Marine Corps
b) a daughter going to college next year
c) I coach football on my step-son's youth football team.

2. What’s been your greatest adventure in life?

Spending 6 months with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and seeing many parts of the world.

3. What’s your best childhood memory?

Having the freedom to play with friends - the only restriction being when it gets dark and dinnertime.

4. If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

Vince Lombardi - who else can provide more motivation (yes, I like football and yes, I am a huge Green Bay Packer fan).

5. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

Lay off an employee. It's inevitable for managers and executives but it never gets easier affecting one's life in that manner.

6. Tell us about your favorite hobby.

I enjoy target shooting, although with time constraints I spend much more time buying new guns and much less time shooting them.

7. What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

I just finished Wooden on Leadership and am between books.
Favorite book is "Sh!t My Dad Says" - I've never read a book that caused me to laugh so much and still have valid points splattered throughout the pages.

8. Do you have a favorite app(s) you can't live without?

MyRadar - I find it amazing that I have a weather person at my fingertips at the click of a button. And this weather person isn't wrong 80% of the time.

9. Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

Like most, I have my "bucket list" and don't have any one place or thing I want to see. A few on my list include: Maine (one of the few states I've never been), Bordeaux region of France (yes, I like wine), and Ireland.

10. If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

Wounded Warrior Project - being a veteran, I have the utmost respect for the men and women who make the sacrifice.

11. If you weren’t on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

Hmmm, I have an option? ;-)

12. What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

Coming out of the military, I spent some time working in an IT consulting role and found that I enjoyed the challenge of seeing diverse environments but even more so, enjoyed solving problems for customers and seeing the satisfaction that comes as a result.

13. What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Expect two facets to your job:

1) Be THE expert in your discipline… that's what customers are paying for.
2) Master the art of managing the customer... you don't have to be perfect to make customers happy, but you have to make them feel like you are striving for perfection for them.