A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:
CRAIG PRATT SERVICENOW
Title: Vice president, product line sales
Craig Pratt and more than 220 other Twin Cities tech sales executives last week raised more than $63,000 for youth work opportunities at their sixth-annual "MSP Hatfield & McCoys" auction.
At the fundraiser, sales executives from technology vendor companies bid to have lunch with corporate senior IT leaders. The proceeds benefit Genesys Works Twin Cities, which places underprivileged high school students in paid technology internships.
Pratt, the event's organizer and a vice president with enterprise cloud services company ServiceNow, dubbed himself the "Hatfield" of the fundraising group after realizing that many joining him for the first event were past or present professional rivals or "McCoys."
"It's like-minded people who want to do the right thing and believe in helping others," Pratt said. "That's the spirit of the group."
Last year's auction raised more than $30,000. Pratt said he was confident the event would top this year's $50,000 goal.
"Everyone in that room is a high performer, an overachiever," Pratt said. "If they worked for me, got fired by me, partnered with me or got recruited by me, we play to win."
Pratt, who has a sales and marketing degree from Ferris State University, has worked in tech sales in the Twin Cities for 20 years. He was working as an assistant golf pro at a country club in Michigan after graduation when a club member recruited him to join the software company where the member was a senior executive.
Q: To what would you attribute the growth of this fundraiser?
A: We've found the perfect intersection of a wonderful program (Genesys Works) supported by two outside entities, the vendor community and the leadership of the local IT market, where we get a chance to rally and support the same mission and leverage our strengths to do that.
Q: How did you make the transition from golf pro to tech sales?
A: As a blue-collar kid, I knew I got a shot that most kids in my situation maybe wouldn't have gotten. I wasn't going to mess it up. People have helped me along the way in my life and I always felt a responsibility to do the same.
Q: Why should a company consider ServiceNow?
A: ServiceNow is an enterprise cloud platform that helps customers automate manual tasks and delivery service across their enterprise. We serve a third of the [Forbes] Global 2000, the largest customers in the world. From an end-user experience, it's next generation technology. It's not a Motorola flip phone, it's an Apple iPhone 6s.