Co-founder, President, and CEO of OpTech, LLC, in Detroit. OpTech provides IT staffing and e-business solutions, application maintenance outsourcing, and enterprise resource planning. Kruse has more than 12 years of experience in business, tax, and IT consulting, servicing clients such as General Motors Corp., Textron, and DTE Energy. She founded the company in 1999 and has grown it to a $12 million business. She is active in public policy for procurement opportunities for businesses owned by women. Previously, Kruse was a consultant for Deloitte & Touche and what is now PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also served as an adjunct professor for Wayne State University. She received the 2007 diversity champion award from the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater Detroit Chapter. In addition, Inc. magazine ranked OpTech 915th on its list of 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in 2007 after the company reported three-year sales growth of 382 percent. In the same year, Working Mother magazine named OpTech one of the 25 best small companies for working mothers. Kruse and OpTech have been members of several organizations, including the Michigan Women's Business Council, Michigan Minority Business Development Council, and Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. Kruse received her bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in taxation from Wayne State University.

WHERE BORN: "Detroit."

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "Three people. My brother, who is also a cofounder, has been a really good mentor. My aunt has been a great role model. Finally and most importantly, my mother, who allowed me to focus on my business while she took care of my girls during the early years and continues to be helpful and supportive."

LAST BOOK READ: "Good to Great by Jim Collins."

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Type A personality, extreme juggler, strategist, intense yet personable."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "In the information technology industry, there are numerous changes taking place. It is becoming bigger and touches every aspect of our lives. It's an enabler of so many things. With the election, Obama is using the Internet to reach out, and he might not have been a candidate without it. Certainly, companies are in competition, and we have to be better at what we're doing by ‘rightsizing' and doing more with less. IT is an enabler that can accomplish that. Companies are looking for more value out of IT than they've gotten in the past. Technology is changing so rapidly. What's hot today is out of date six months from now."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "My BlackBerry is what I use most frequently."

FAVORITE HOBBIES: "I enjoy running, reading, and traveling. I have three girls and enjoy spending time with them. I am very involved with their school and enjoy their activities such as piano, soccer, and dance."

FAVORITE FOOD: "There are so many of them. I'm Middle Eastern so I have to say that's my favorite – especially mother's cooking."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "I'm always multitasking – I work in my sleep. When I ride my bike, I work on my computer at the same time."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "Everyone talks about accomplishing something great and that's wonderful but in the end, people remember human relationships. I want to be remembered as a great mother, wife, friend, employer, colleague, and a good person who people enjoy being around and has positively impacted their lives."