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Donald Hullinger
Vice President, IT

Motto: Don’t treat the symptom, fix the problem.”

I graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a Bachelor of Science degree. Following my graduation, I dedicated nearly two decades to the fields of Information Technology (IT) and Financial Services. For the past two years, I have served as a valuable member of Sterling, where I assumed the role of Vice President of IT upon joining in August 2022. Prior to my tenure at Sterling, I worked at a prominent chemical manufacturing company. My diverse professional background spans significant periods in both financial services and chemical manufacturing, culminating in my current leadership position within Sterling.

I joined the company because I am deeply intrigued by the rich history and narrative of this company, particularly the involvement of the Sterling family. My extensive research into Sterling’s operations has revealed a compelling environmental aspect to their work, which I find particularly fascinating given that they may not be traditionally perceived as an environmental company. While it may appear on the surface that our operations involve significant lumber consumption, delving deeper reveals a nuanced and compelling narrative. Moreover, I am captivated by the intricacies of the manufacturing process. The opportunity to gain insight into this process and contribute from a technical standpoint to enhance efficiency and quality is immensely appealing to me. I am particularly impressed by Sterling’s utilization of fast-growing pine, which presents a sustainable alternative to slower-growing resources.

As a member of the leadership team, my objective is to align the IT function with the business strategy. We aim to transcend the traditional role of merely fielding inquiries, striving instead to provide comprehensive solutions that address the underlying needs and technical complexities often overlooked by users. To achieve this, I advocate for a proactive approach that emphasizes creative problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking. By shifting our focus from the limitations of existing frameworks to a holistic view of business objectives, we can identify opportunities for innovation and growth. In evaluating our current infrastructure, we must consider not only its current capabilities but also its scalability to support future expansion. Our goal is not to dwell on our current size, but rather to envision ourselves as a thriving enterprise capable of substantial growth.

When it comes to my leadership style, I prioritize active listening to gather insights and fully comprehend the situation at hand. This allows me to effectively analyze and address the technical aspects of any given challenge or project. Recognizing the value of diverse perspectives, I actively seek input from all stakeholders involved in the process. When working on a specific system or project, I believe in engaging directly with the end users who interact with it on a daily basis. Their firsthand experience and feedback are invaluable in informing our decisions and optimizing the user experience. This is why I’m a firm believer in failing quickly. It’s okay to fail. It’s necessary to learn and to improve. It’s going to happen, but doing so quickly affords us opportunities to try our hand at the same task in another way.

Overall, I am deeply passionate about leveraging my skills to contribute to Sterling’s mission and further enhance its operations, particularly in optimizing the manufacturing process and advancing environmental sustainability initiatives.

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