Position: President and chief executive, QuadraMed Corp., a Reston company that provides information technology and services to the health care industry.

Career highlights: President, M. Transaction Services Inc.; chief technology officer and senior vice president, product development, Misys Healthcare Systems, which was Sunquest Information Systems before acquisition; chief technology officer and senior vice president, products and technology, QuadraMed Corp., which was Compucare Co. before acquisition; assistant manager, information systems, Culinary Institute of America; programmer, Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Age: 42

Education: BS, computer science, State University of New York.

Personal: Lives in Leesburg with wife, Linda.

How did you get to where you are?

I got to where I am by recognizing the importance of the people that work with me and around me. Having a strong team is hugely important in a management position. I've always tried to build a strong, diverse management team to drive the vision and execution to accomplish the company's goals. . . . I've also tried to strive to understand the needs of the market and of the customers that I serve. I also believe in a hands-on management approach that engages every employee in the company in helping the company succeed.

During 21 years in the health care information technology market, I've seen the recurring issue of companies becoming too focused on a particular technology and forgetting that what we're all here to do is to deliver features and functions that help our customers -- health care providers -- provide quality care to patients across the country. This is one example of a pitfall that I've tried to avoid during my career. I've always found success whenever I've understood the real needs and the future needs of my customers. It is too easy for any executive to become distracted with all the day-to-day tasks of leading an organization or leading a company and become disconnected from the customers that they serve. In several of the organizations that I've joined, morale was low, employee satisfaction was nonexistent and staff turnover was over 20 percent. Addressing these situations is never easy. But I always believe that people want to be successful. They want to be part of something great. And they want someone to be a leader. By providing a vision, a clear strategy and a common goal, I've been successful in decreasing turnover, improving the culture of the business and ultimately improving the bottom line. What I've learned from this is that more often than not, these types of issues are a failure of management and not the staff. The employees want to succeed. My job is to create an environment in which they can do that.

-- Judith Mbuya