Award-winning project: Gave new life to a mainframe migration project by facilitating business process re-engineering. Saved $1 million by eliminating license fees.
Time in job: Five years in the Peace Corps (as director of application systems) and four weeks at the DOT.
Educational background: Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, in West Bengal, India; a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT); and a master's degree in computer science from NJIT.
First job: Graduate research assistant at NJIT.
Best advice you've ever received: To understand and acknowledge the priorities of your boss. If you don't agree, it's time to move on.
Best career move: Joining the Peace Corps from a private-sector job. Its mission is world peace and friendship. I didn't realize how passionate people are. I realized how important it is.
Biggest career influence: Having the trust and confidence of my managers. In a job I held for 16 years at InterCAP Graphics Systems, the trust and confidence my managers had in me helped to boost my spirits and made me work harder. I started there as a software engineer. By the time I left I was director of customer support.
Best technology decision: The one that stands out was at InterCAP when we migrated to a turnkey technical illustration system that required us to go from using Unix to using Microsoft Windows. Once we migrated, it boosted sales and the company became profitable.
Biggest IT challenge: Being hired to make a change. Change doesn't come easy. It takes time and effort.
Best personality trait: Ability to stay calm under pressure.
Worst personality trait: Stubbornness and not being able to stand indecisiveness.
Hobby: Fix broken stuff and design and engineering model making.
Alter-ego career: Automotive design engineer looking at alternative sources of fuel.
Current reading: Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama -- I'm just trying to understand why he thinks he can get things done.
Next big technology: Software as a Service -- with some changes so the customer has better control of data.
One word of advice to IT pros coming up the ranks: If you're not passionate or mission-driven, the job is not for you. Put in your best 100% and you can make a difference.
Let us know what you think about the story; email: Kate Evans-Correia, Associate Editor