David Behen, current VP and CIO at Michigan’s own La-Z-Boy, has approached every career move with a sense of adventure and discovery. He’s moved from high-ranking positions through Michigan’s state government to privately owned companies like GDI Infotech, describing these transitions as opportunities to be challenged and learn something new. “I love the mission of the public sector,” he says. “I’m passionate about good government for the people. I wouldn’t have left the private sector and career with GDI Infotech and InfoReady Corporation, had I not received the opportunity to work as CIO for state government. It’’s a stressful space, but I had great mentors from both sides of the industry that encouraged me to take it on.”
Behen’s career already had exciting momentum. GDI had been developing a platform solution for its existing clients, and with industry interest the leadership decided to spin-off InfoReady Corporation as a product company. “It was a really exciting time for us, working together in the boardroom with the intensity, passion, and entrepreneurial spirit,” Behen recalls. “Co-founding a private sector company was a big risk, and GDI’s team inspired me to be a risk-taker with InfoReady Corporation.” Behen worked as InfoReady’s Chief Business Officer from 2009-2011 until he was asked by Governor Rick Snyder to serve as the administration’s CIO.
The success that Behen has cultivated in his roles is fed by his dedication to his principles. “I’ve learned to act fast, take calculated risks, and prioritize family-oriented company culture,” he says. “The leadership at GDI, like Bhushan, Jim and Madhuri, inspired me to do all three and pursue any career path with this mindset.” Even though the shift from a start-up culture at InfoReady Corporation to over 50,000 state employees (not to mention 9.9 million Michigan residents) was tremendous, his values have remained the same. For him, the GDI team is an example of maintaining good principles and hard work, regardless of the setting. Knowing this, he says, “That’s why the company will be around for another 25 years.”
Photo source: govtech.com