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With a career track that grew from the mailroom to finance and ultimately to CFO, by most standards, Bill is onto his second career. After leaving his position as CFO and taking a year or so of "temporary retirement", the lure of business drew him back. This time however, Bill jumped into something new and unknown to him, the world of technology.
Calling upon his 25 years of personal communication skills gleaned from negotiating cost cutting measures with vendors and unions, he takes a customer-centric approach to determining client needs and offering cost effective solutions that make sense. Never one to miss an opportunity to solve a problem, Bill doesn't hesitate to help clients find a happy medium between wants, needs, and budget limitations.
How does your role with Biz Dev help clients?
There's a myth that a great salesman can sell ice to an Eskimo. People will not buy what they don't need, at least nothing of significance, when they have a budget to live by and have to defend their actions to their boss. I look for problems that clients or potential clients have and see where we can help solve them. We don't do plumbing, heal their colds, etc., so if their problem is not in our perview, I make no bones about telling them and when I can, connecting them to someone who can help them.
What has SPIA accomplished that you're most proud of?
The web, technology, kiosks, that was stuff I knew from nothing. Deb and Ken showed me a vision that captured my imagination and that I could believe in. I'm proud that we've exceeded that vision.
What is it like making a career change and going from employee to owner?
I started my career in the mail room in college and stayed with the same company and eventually worked my way up to CFO with a budget of nearly 3/4 of a billion dollars to manage. Nevertheless, it was people skills that I relied on most and now it's people skills again that are the major part of my job. Ownership means that you believe in what you're doing and have skin in the game. I believe in SPIA.
What's the future of technology as you see it?
I'm not a futurist by any means, but I think some of what we've explored at SPIA in the area of Natural User Interface is just around the corner and the rest isn't too far into the future. I remember when a computer mouse was the latest/greatest gadget. No one imagined what we have today, so I believe NUI is very real, real soon.
What's the most difficult part of your job?
Keeping up with technology. There's a lot going on and while it's fascinating, it's hard to keep up with without a technical background.
If you had to do something completely different for a living, what would that be?