Gary Jackson

President, SunTel Services in Troy. Jackson has nearly 40 years of telecommunications experience. Jackson started SunTel in 1986 with his brother, Don, and has helped lead the company to 25 years of growth and profitability in the ever-changing world of information technology. Serving as a technology partner to more than 1,000 businesses, SunTel has completed more than 2,500 installations since its founding. SunTel installs, manages, monitors, and maintains services for enterprise networks for major businesses nationwide in the automotive, manufacturing, government, healthcare, education, finance, professional services, and technology industries. Active in all facets of the company, Jackson oversees the sales team, customer service programs, technology partnerships, company expansions, and employee programs. Before founding SunTel, he served as Michigan branch manager for IBM/ROLM Corp. Earlier, Jackson was vice president of sales for Ultra Com Communications, responsible for marketing key systems and systems leasing. His career began at IBM in the office products division. SunTel's new contracts include a new Mitel virtualized VOIP phone system for Northwestern Michigan College. The company has expanded to more than 90 employees in five offices and has increased revenue 10 percent this year over last. SunTel received the 2012 Unified Communications Specialist Partner of the Year award from Mitel, a global provider of business communications and collaboration software and services. SunTel also achieved Elite Portfolio Partner Network Infrastructure status in Juniper Networks' Partner Advantage program for leadership in sales, customer service, technology expertise, and service specialization. Jackson received his bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from Hillsdale College.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My father. He instilled a good work ethic and we had active business conversations on how to be successful.”

LAST BOOK READ:Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Hard-working, dedicated, honest, fair, firm.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “High technology is headed toward future integration of data services. We're involved in the IP networking business, putting computer systems together for businesses, and the challenge and where we're going is to help people communicate with dissimilar devices to get the data they need that's out on the cloud. With presence management, they can understand where their resources are and what's available to work more efficiently.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “iPhone – I use it for business and pleasure and when I travel. It's a tool I can't live without.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Walloon Lake.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Golf, skiing, racquetball.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Spaghetti.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I'm a good listener.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “A great dad, a good friend, and a fair person.”