Sales Director at Sun Microsystems Inc. in Southfield; Founder of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT), and President of the MCWT Foundation. Bayer and her team develop a range of programs for the MCWT Foundation, which is dedicated to correcting the dramatically growing gender disparity in information technology fields. Bayer has been with Sun Microsystems for 14 years in various leadership roles. She currently leads a team that spans 16 countries, bringing creative technology solutions and premium customer service to Sun's top customers and sparking innovations in their products and services while helping them to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Her previous posts at Sun included chief architect for the global GM account and regional systems engineering manager for automotive and telecommunications. Before Sun, Bayer served as regional systems engineer for Amdahl Corp. and product development manager at Control Data Corp. One of her innovations at Control Data is the product now known as NetBackup from Veritas. Bayer was named a Top Michigan Woman in Computing in 2003 and a Midwest Technology Leader in 2008. She also received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Lawrence Technological University in 2007. She has mentored younger women through the MCWT and Menttium (an organization that provides mentoring), where she has been an advisory board member as well. Bayer volunteers with Destination Imagination, an international creative problem-solving organization for youth and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). She received her bachelor's in computer science and math from Central Michigan University and her MBA with Distinction from Lawrence Technological University.

WHERE BORN: "Royal Oak."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "My parents, certainly. Coming from where they were, without a lot of advanced degrees in the family, their expectation was that I have a degree. In my professional life, the first person was Jill Jordan. I met her when she was at Menttium and she got me out from behind my 'geek desk' and into the world. Also, my former manager, Willard Richart, who helped me learn emotional intelligence. Currently, Lynn Ellin, the CIO at DTE Energy. She's an amazing person besides being one of the top CIOs in the world."

LAST BOOK READ: "Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. I had an 'aha' moment when I read Freakonomics a while ago, then read Influencer and added in The Tipping Point. The three books together are everything you need to change the world."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Optimistic, action-oriented, and a leader."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "I have two fields. I work for Sun Microsystems, and in IT, there's a lot going on and the future is going to be quite different, primarily in our business world. We're moving away from core IT capabilities in-house and moving to outsourcing. We're moving away from products toward services from outside – software as a service or services–oriented architecture. Social networks, information networks, and work from home will change everything we do. On the nonprofit side, governments are becoming less and less effective in fixing social problems. The new agents of change are nonprofit organizations and we're starting to see real impact from them. In the future, we need to leverage technology to make organizations more effective and to reach more people to drive education into all corners of our country, at far less cost."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "It's a tie. One is my Kindle. They should pay me because I sell so many of them. My Chrysler has the MyGIG system and I love it. It does just about everything I'd hope a car would do."

FAVORITE PLACE: "The woods in Michigan's U.P. I also went to Egypt last year for 10 days and it was incredible. I've had some great vacations, but Egypt was so fascinating."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "Reading, hiking, and car racing. I'm in the SCCA."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Chocolate éclairs."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I am a gourmet chef."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "As a person who improved the position of women in technology and helped build the culture of education."