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Meet a #futureshaper: Rich DeGraff

He meets the future needs of customers.

Rich DeGraff says that software will accelerate business model innovation.

“Increasingly, customers will place higher value on outcomes that deliver better customer experience, efficiency, security and sustainability,” said Rich, vice president of original equipment customer segment. “The shift to outcomes will change how every player in the ecosystem delivers value.” 

Based in Phoenix, AZ; here is his #futureshaper story.

What do you do?

I am responsible for all aspects of the customer relationship with Honeywell for some of the largest enterprise customers in our industry. My team works with our customers to ensure they are successful with Honeywell’s products & services today, while establishing a platform for growth together in the future.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child in Chicago, I knew I wanted to make an impact when I grew up, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. I was fortunate to follow in the footsteps of my father & grandfather who had distinguished careers (accounting and law) in Haiti. Their perseverance inspired me to pursue the career I have today.

Where did you go to school? What did you study?

I went to Arizona State University (ASU). That’s right I’m a Sun Devil! I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. I also hold an MBA from the University of Arizona but make no mistake, my allegiance remains with ASU (Go Devils).

What brought you to Honeywell?

After achieving some early career success in semiconductor (start-up), consumer products (Fortune 100), my thirst for learning attracted me to Honeywell. The breadth of customers, products & services made Honeywell the ideal place to learn alongside a talented team.

What gets you excited about going to work every day?

I’m fortunate to be one of a handful of executives that regularly engages with customers at a strategic and operational level. Whether its business model innovation or technology innovation, we have the privilege of enabling our customers’ success with Honeywell products & services. With Honeywell Forge & Honeywell digital, the opportunities to grow with our customers is limitless, which excites me every day.

Did you ever imagine you would end up in the job you are now?

No, I can’t say I envisioned being in the job I’m in now. I’ve been fortunate to be the first person to have many of the jobs I’ve held at Honeywell. Each role required me to invent various aspects of job.  I’m certain those experiences & accomplishments led me to the job I am in today.

In your eyes, what qualities does a #futureshaper possess?

From my perspective, a #futureshaper must be courageous and possess a growth mindset. Courage is vital to innovate beyond what is currently utilized today. A growth mindset creates resiliency by evolving one’s approach based on the learnings acquired throughout the journey.

What advice would you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Embrace risk taking. I’ve found the greatest reward comes when success follows uncertainty. The initiatives that started out with the most audacious objectives turned into the most rewarding experiences for me.

When you are not working, what do you do for fun?

Reading, running and watching movies with my family.

Learn more about what it is like to be a #futureshaper.