Over the years, it’s been intriguing to find that many executives interviewed for this piece seem to be living their personal lives in alignment with their company philosophies. The same holds true for Timothy P. Hayes, President, Cambric Corp., a Tata Technologies Company. Cambric’s corporate vision focuses on People, Planet, Profits, and Tim emphasized that while other factors play in, people are what will make or break you; treating people well is a #1 priority. As if in confirmation, Tim easily shared this philosophy, his business experiences and bits of home life in a thoughtful, friendly manner – even when our interview ran over our scheduled time.

Although born in Milwaukee and currently residing in Utah, Colorado will always be home for Tim. He claims loyalties to both the Broncos and the Packers, but his true passion is for nature and the outdoors – the mountains, fresh air and sunlight. He has ingrained this into his five kids (an adult son, a teenaged daughter and teenaged triplet boys), travelling, camping and hiking as a family. He has also instilled in them the importance of community service, something that Cambric and Tata Technologies also practice through support of various charitable organizations.

Tim says he really stumbled upon his career, and never would have guessed that he’d end up running a global engineering firm. He had a strong affinity for math and numbers even as a young child, and started out in public accounting at Arthur Andersen. He worked heavily in mergers and acquisitions, and eventually was hired by one of the M&A clients – a $300 million oil refinery business asset, purchased with no underlying business processes. Working with an investment group and acting as CFO, Tim was able to help build that business at the quick pace required. As he progressed along his career path, he realized that while processes and procedures may need to be somewhat tailored to the specific industry, the similarities from running one business to the next are significant. Eventually his experiences led him to Cambric.

Cambric was acquired by Tata Technologies, with whom you hold the title Chief of Staff, in 2013. As of January 1, Cambric will be rebranded as Tata Technologies. What are some results of the acquisition and why the rebranding?

Cambric’s strength has been our ability to engineer innovative business solutions for our customers using a global team and a strong value basis. The acquisition has expanded our reach, now encompassing India, China, Europe, South America and the Asia Pacific region. We have more capabilities, additional critical mass, and are now able to cross pollinate approaches and processes from different markets and to support full aspects of product development.

The rebranding reflects that broader footprint.

What do you feel are the greatest challenges ahead, for both the industry and for Cambric/Tata Technologies?

I think it’s evident that we are facing a much more rapid technological development cycle. There is a demand for much quicker response and faster advancement of technology embedded in the equipment. The challenge for all of us lies in meeting that demand, continuing to research and invest, while operating in a less robust market. Our role is to help customers navigate this situation. We need to figure out how to improve customers’ ability to be responsive in spite of the market constraints. The market itself, managing the business cycle, is what I feel to be the greatest long-term challenge in business overall. Managers earn their keep on the down cycles, not the up cycles.

Upon joining AEM, you immediately became engaged in the Associates Executive Committee, the Annual Conference and last year you accepted a seat on the Ag Sector Board. Comments?

It’s not worth doing something unless you’re going to be engaged, passionate and a part of it. Do it to make a difference. It’s how we run the company, and how I live my life. It’s important to give back to the industry, and to know what is going on in the industry around the globe. The data gained by active engagement with AEM is invaluable. We set our strategic plan based in part on where these companies are going, what they are dealing with. And we learn that by being actively engaged.

People, planet, profits. One has to reconsider: Is it the executive in alignment with company priorities, or the other way around?