Owner of Windward Associates, a consulting firm based in Rochester Hills. Cross is a veteran of 35 years in investing, private equity, venture capital and entrepreneurship. He worked for Kidder Peabody in Detroit, New York and the San Francisco area, worked as a CEO for a California tech startup, and currently is an investor and board member in three Michigan companies, including an e-commerce company, an Internet security company, and a women’s clothing and gifts company.

WHERE BORN: Detroit.

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON: “It’s between my wife and my mother, and it’s close, but I’d have to say it was my mother, Genevieve Cross. I had a real taskmaster father, and she brought a sense of rationality to my upbringing that was very helpful to me.”

LAST BOOK READ:1776, by David McCullough.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Focused. Organized. Pragmatic.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “For venture capital, short term it’s up, long term it’s uncertain. If the market tanks that’ll kill it because there’s a real strong correlation between the NASDAQ and venture investing. The long-term problem has to do with venture capital getting into private equity, private equity getting into venture capital, venture capital people getting more risk averse, and private equity people being bigger risk takers. There’s a huge appetite right now for going private because of all the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. The question is how investors will be rewarded in the future. It used to be an IPO. Now it’s a buyout. You put all that into a bowl and it gets very foggy going forward. The person who figures out how to reward investors without an IPO or a buyout is going to be the owner of the next Google.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My IBM Think Pad. I’ve got all the others, but at the end of the day, this does more for me than anything.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Salzburg, Austria. I love classical music and it’s really a heartland for that.”

FAVORITE HOBBY: “Swimming, music, and the stock market, probably about equally.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Spring rolls from the Slanted Door, a Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “People say I’m good at finding simple solutions to complex problems.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a kind and helpful person.”