Position: President, North America Operations, Software AG, a Reston-based provider of database management for transportation, financial services and local, state and federal government.

Career highlights: Senior vice president, sales and marketing for the Americas region, Software AG; at GE Global eXchange Services, he was vice president and general manager, vertical industry profit and loss; vice president, worldwide marketing; vice president, North America sales; area sales manager; regional sales manager; and sales representative; sales manager, Burroughs, now Unisys.

Age: 55 Education: BA, business administration, University of Vermont.

Personal: Lives in Darnestown, Md., with wife, Pat.

How did you get where you are?

I really believe it was based on three things that I learned throughout my career. I spent my whole career listening to customers and understanding their business issues. . . . The second is by providing sound business leadership to help my company achieve its goals. The third thing is that I always put together a good team and surround myself with some very good people who help me achieve those first two goals. I think early in my career, when I was at Burroughs -- right out of college -- they provided me with great training and they had great products, great technology. But the thing that I learned was that the most successful people at Burroughs always seemed to find a way to apply the technology to help customers solve their problems. They found a way to help the customer. And I learned the same thing at GE. I was there for 24 years, and while I was there we were constantly a company in transition. When I came to Software AG a little over a year ago as senior vice president of sales and marketing, I brought these same principles with me. At Software AG, we've actually used the term "Customer First." For us to succeed, we had to change the way we did business. And, to change the way we do business meant we had to get more focused on our customers.

I've always been involved with sales even when I was working my way through college. I worked full-time in college and took a full class load in sales. So I guess I've always been around selling. Two things you gotta enjoy in sales: You have to enjoy dealing with people. Second, you gotta be competitive. And those have been two things that drive me . . .

I put in some pretty long days and I think you have to do that to be successful. I believe I should do things that I wouldn't ask another person to do. I'm constantly trying to stay abreast of what is going on. But I also believe you have to create an environment where people want to work . . .

When I'm not working, I enjoy playing golf because my wife is a golfer and that gives us a way of doing things together. But the second thing is I really enjoy being with my family. I have a son and a daughter. Both are married and live in this area. And I also have a grandson. Everyone gets busy. So, a couple of years ago I told everyone that once a month we're going to have a family dinner, and you needed a doctor's note not to be there. It gives a chance for all of us to be together, something I really enjoy.

-- Judith Mbuya