Began my career as an automotive engineer, then pivoted to IBM when I discovered the role and power of computers. Two years in, I asked IBM to switch my career from development to sales, and three years later I was at IBM HQ. Soon I did something I now realize was pretty unique – I decided that I would only accept roles I knew I would enjoy. So I turned down promotions at numerous stages until roles I wanted became available – yet it served me well. I truly enjoyed my entire career there, and it led me to a diversity of experiences most of my peers did not achieve.
My IBM career featured a number of intrepreneurial leadership roles and concluded voluntarily when I wanted to gain experience with smaller companies and after authoring two strategy books for banks. First I became SVP of a local management consulting firm, then an entrepreneur. I founded a company with a new business model, taking it through all of the steps including raising equity under SEC regulations. Launching a second company followed. While running that company I volunteered to help C-Suite executives in transition sort out defining and getting their next role – as part of a major outplacement company with a center dedicated to CXO executives. After 18 months they asked me to stop my other activities and run the Center.
Beginning in my twenties I have served on non-profit boards helping the community every place I have lived, ranging from the arts to homeless to protecting homeowner rights to leadership and governance. I have also served on five for-profit boards, and been active in the National Association of Corporate Directors, where I served as President of the Atlanta Chapter and as a Founding Director of the Carolinas Chapter. Current roles include the local and national boards of CEO Netweavers and Board Chair – Strategic Leadership Forum, Carolinas.
Six years ago I founded ChapterTwo® as my third start-up, based on realizing the shortcomings of the outplacement model for senior executives and their advice about how much they would have valued charting their career before ending up in transition.