Chief Information Officer at in Troy. Robert was tasked with building a ground-up financial platform catering to membership-based organizations during the company’s startup in 2002. After spending several years building the business, Billhighway has emerged as a market leader, serving hundreds of thousands of customers internationally and processing billions in financial transactions. Billhighway’s online approach to member-based finances provides real-time integration of cash management, accounting, reporting tools, and membership management. In 2009, Billhighway was awarded a $1.1 million mega-credit through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and was recently recognized as one of Michigan’s 50 Companies to Watch, which celebrates high-performing second-stage businesses. Corp! magazine named Robert an entrepreneur of distinction and a 2009 Michigan top executive and presented the company the 2010 Business of Science and Technology Award for excellence in technology. Robert has experience in numerous industry disciplines, such as QS9000, ISO 9001, Lean Manufacturing, CMMI, Six Sigma, Agile, XP, and Scrum. He is a contributor to pending business method patents, a certified Scrum Master, and a participant in the Midwest Technology Leaders mentorship program.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Dr. Gary Gabel and Mark Toth, both successful Detroit-area entrepreneurs, friends, and mentors.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I usually read multiple books. The last two were Linchpin by Seth Godin and Rework by the guys at 37signals, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Tenacious, creative, and resourceful.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “It’s hard to imagine any industry not impacted by technology. There are a few phenomena occurring; the well-publicized virtualization and cloud-computing are real game changers. Mobile hardware is starting to meet consumer expectations and it turns out the App Store itself may just be the killer that app people have been waiting for. Also noteworthy are self-organizing communities, the convergence of people’s online and offline lives, and awareness of their personal brands and influence. Additionally, the real-time web is forcing businesses to adapt. It seems the pace is increasing exponentially, and the barrier of entry is so low that I expect to see innovation on many fronts for years to come with the ultimate markets becoming health and time management. If your product can help to maximize either, people will get in line for it.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “Professionally, the iPad is slowly edging out my iPod for productivity. Personally, I’m awaiting the Boxee box.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Martha’s Vineyard.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Reading, eating, snowboarding, watching movies, cycling, and golf. I’m an early adopter so gadgets and beta software consume a lot of my time.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Sushi and oysters.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I can drive a mean Hi-Lo.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a loyal friend, wonderful husband, great dad, community leader, and contributor to Michigan’s forthcoming economic turnaround.”