Co-founder and CEO of Fisher/Unitech in Troy. Established in 1993, Fisher/Unitech provides product lifecycle management products and services to manufacturing companies that improve their process of product development by integrating advanced software to replace legacy systems. The applications include CAID, CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM, KBE, reverse engineering, and rapid prototyping. Hess has more than 31 years of sales and marketing experience in the CAD/CAM industry. Prior to Fisher/Unitech, he spent 11 years with IBM Corp. in sales, marketing, and management. Fisher/Unitech recently was named among the 2010 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation and presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. It also has been listed in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies. In 2009, Fisher/Unitech launched a community service program called “No Engineer Left Behind.” It retrains displaced engineers and increases their skill development and marketability, serving as a comprehensive training program that equates to a $250,000 goodwill investment in the local manufacturing community. The company provided three-day training classes to more than 250 displaced workers in eight states. The company also achieved Michigan Proprietary School status in 2009, and supplies unemployed workers with software and training packages paid for by state-funded grants. Hess has served as president of the board of trustees for Kensington Academy and oversees a sailing instruction and racing organization that accommodates more than 180 youth each year. In the early 1970s Hess founded the Michigan Intercollegiate Ski Association and ski team at Wayne State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.“

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My very first sales manager who I’ll never forget – John Macky. He was a really positive influence. From a more formulation standpoint is the great management team where I spent 11 years. When it comes to my business ethics, my sense of fair competition, and thirst for success, there’s no question that my experience was honed at IBM and from several different managers there. The leader of IBM at that time was John Akers, and we all looked up to him. Although I never met him, he was highly visible.“

LAST BOOK READ: “I just finished Breakout Strategy by Sydney Finkelstein, Charles Harvey, and Thomas Lawton.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Intense, energetic, friendly.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “I’ve been in this field for 31 years and I can’t tell you that there was ever another period of time that held more promise or excitement than today. We’re changing the success of industry in America and one of those cornerstones will be IT for product development.”


FAVORITE PLACE: “Big Sky, Montana.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Racing sailboats.”


MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I’m awfully good at finishing concrete.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a thoughtful and considerate person.”