JAMES SCAPA:
 
JAMES SCAPA




 
 
 
 
 
President and CEO of Altair Engineering Inc. of Troy. In 1985, Scapa and two partners founded a small consulting company in the new field of computer-aided engineering. Today, the company employs more than 1,200 employees with offices throughout 13 countries. The company provides product design services, engineering software, and grid-computing technology. Prior to establishing Altair, Scapa served as an engineering consultant to the automotive industry, beginning his career with Ford Motor Co. in 1978. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Scapa was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for technology in 2004. The company has won several awards, including Metropolitan Detroit's 101 best and brightest companies to work for, Automation Alley's technology company of the year, and the Future 50 of Greater Detroit award.


WHERE BORN: "New York City."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My parents. They were both from Greece and my father was 50 when I was born, so they were very wizened individuals. Both passed away when I was fairly young, but I have a lot of memories."

LAST BOOK READ: "Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille. I read all kinds of stuff. The one before was Ford: The Men and the Machine by Robert Lacey. Itís very interesting because itís historical and about Detroit and Michigan."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Honest, creative, and intent. Sometimes Iím too honest."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "Software is most of my business. The market that weíre in generally is having a lot of consolidation. Trends that I think are important are software as a service and hosted software. I see the industry continuing to be a key driver for the whole economy here in the U.S."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "My Mac, but I like my BlackBerry, too."

FAVORITE PLACE: "In terms of traveling, I enjoy Italy, especially the islands in the Mediterranean."

FAVORITE HOBBY: "Relaxing by the pool with my kids."

FAVORITE FOOD: "My ethnicity is Greek so I like tarama, an appetizer made with fish eggs, similar to caviar."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "Reading people. Iím very adept at knowing what other people are thinking and feeling."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a good father but also as someone who built or created something of importance."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.