Jon Harris

Occupation: SVP - Services, Ultimate Software

First Car: '73 rusted out Chevy Vega. You could actually see the road underneath the driver side floor board.

Favorite Restaurant: Zia's - St. Louis (on the hill)

What are three things most people don't know about you?

a). I grew up on a farm in a small southern Missouri town with a population of only 47
b). I’m a beer maker
c). I used to sell fire extinguishers

What's been your greatest adventure in life?

Helping my wife raise our two kids. It’s the adventure that doesn’t stop.

What's your best childhood memory?

My dad taking me to see the Braves, with Hank Aaron, play against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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

King Solomon.  Life, to me, has always been a quest for wisdom and Solomon is known as the wisest man that has ever lived.

What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?

When I was 8 years old, my parents got divorced.  I had to sit in the judge’s chamber and decide which parent I wanted to live with while knowing I would rarely see the parent I didn’t choose.

Tell us about your favorite hobby.

Right now, I’m very into golf and trying to improve my game.  It’s a very tough hobby to have with the role I’m in at Ultimate.

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

Current:  Last Templar - by Raymond Khoury and Setting the Table - by Danny Meyer
Favorite: The Bible

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

In 100 years, I’d love to see how the town I grew up in has changed.

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

Kid’s in Distress.  The charity supports children that have come from terribly abusive situations.  It offers housing, support, counseling and an opportunity for a new life for the kids.

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

Coaching high school football.

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

I’ve always been one that took commitment management seriously, so that was a good foundation.  However, when I started out doing programming and dba work, I quickly learned that I loved interacting with customers and had a knack for uncovering their real business needs.  That set me on a path to figure out what kind of career would combine my skills with what I really enjoyed.  That journey led me to my first consulting gig.

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

Never compromise integrity and always be accountable.  Never be afraid to say “I don’t know’ but I’ll find the answer and get back with you”.  In this field we all are faced with conflict and challenges.  In my experience, handling the challenges with honesty, directness and realistic commitments pays off over the long-term.  It may be tough initially, but building trust with our relationships is what we all have to achieve to be successful.