Matthias Horch

CEO and co-founder of Secure-24 Inc. in Southfield. A managed hosting and cloud provider, Secure-24 specializes in delivering global support for the technical requirements of industry and government, including infrastructure, implementation, management, and enterprise applications. Horch is a leading expert in security products and methodologies to mitigate the risks of security breaches and attacks. His expertise has been trusted in highly secure projects, such as the creation and management of a hosting environment for a nuclear power plant in Germany. Over nearly 20 years, Horch has overseen the deployment and protection of IT systems for organizations in the finance, insurance, nuclear power, technology, and automotive industries. He established the eBusiness Hosting and Network Security business for TDS, one of the largest SAP application hosting firms in Europe and was responsible for maintaining the company's success in information security technology. Secure-24 also entered into a private-public partnership with Wayne County for the development of an 18,000-square-foot data center in Plymouth Township. The firm was named to Inc.'s 5,000 fastest-growing companies for several years and was honored with the 10th Anniversary Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report (GLITR) Award that recognizes 10 innovative companies that are making a difference in Michigan through investment and growth. Secure-24 Inc. has created more than 250 IT jobs in Michigan and plans to create another 250 jobs by 2015. It is a certified SAP hosting partner and Oracle partner. Horch was the Central Great Lakes regional winner of the Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2009. He received his advanced technical degree in electronics, automation, and information technology from the Christian-Schmidt-Schule (College), in Germany.

WHERE BORN: “Heilbronn, Germany.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My brother Wolfgang guided me in my teenage years, inspiring me to make something out of my life. He got me into IT and encouraged me to move to the U.S. Guenter Steffen, founder of TDS Information Technology AG, is one of those individuals who gives you goosebumps when listening to his speeches. He has been one of my biggest mentors for the last 10 years, reminding me to stay focused, and to appreciate life. And Volker Straub is a true friend who has never let me down. While we sometimes disagree, we always come together.”

LAST BOOK READ:The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company by Joseph Michelli.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “A good person at heart who lives an honest and open life. I like to inspire people to follow their dreams, to lead, and make a difference.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The information technology sector will be the true leader to change our lives. We have already experienced how mobile devices and online applications can support us. It is shocking to me, though, to see how little we utilize technology to help humankind. For instance, why not collect all of our medical data and information and make it available for research? Wouldn't it be amazing that when you go to a hospital in China, the doctor could bring up your family medical history and before prescribing medication run a check to determine the positive or negative impact based on millions of others with a similar history? I don't understand that we go to a doctor and the only information we share is what we remember.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “I like the iPhone a lot. The experience is user-friendly and state of the art.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “A little island in the Mediterranean called Corsica.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “When I was younger I used to experiment with electronics and computers a lot. These days my family has become my hobby. It is simply amazing to see your own children growing up.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Thai food; however, nothing competes with a good old German 'Zwiebelrostbraten with Spaetzle' (pan-fried aged steak with onions).”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I wish that it was playing the guitar. I started a couple of years ago and it turns out that it requires a lot of practice and time to become good. People sometimes tell me that my smile and positive outlook impacts them. So I guess my hidden talent is to put people in a better mood.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “My vision is for my children to be proud of me. There is so much more to life than the materialistic aspects. People usually remember what you did for them or others, the impact you had on their lives, not how much money you made. I wish I would be as brave as people like Nelson Mandela or Mohandas Gandhi.”