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Michael Karasienski, IBM Champion

Michael Karasienski, IBM Champion
Michael Karasienski poses for photo at the Carhartt offices in Dearborn, Michigan. Photo by Brian Kelly

Name: Michael Karasienski
Title: IBM i supervisor
Company Name: Carhartt Inc.
Company’s Function: Retail—providing premium work wear for hardworking consumers
Headquarters: Dearborn, Michigan
IT Experience: Since 2001

How did you end up in IT? My father thought it was a good idea to get me into an internship delivering computers to houses. I enjoyed setting the computers up and seeing the smiles on customers’ faces after installation. That’s when I decided to pursue my business degree in Management Information Systems at Wayne State University.

What’s the biggest challenge facing your company today? From my point of view, it’s the transformation of implementing SAP S/4HANA.

What IBM product could your company not function without? It’s the IBM Power Systems* platform, having the scalability, reliability and flexibility has allowed us to grow with the business. Having the systems of record reside on this platform allows us to optimize and be strategic in growth and overall performance.

What business skill would you most like to acquire or improve? Public speaking.

What trends are affecting your work? In my opinion, it’s the lack of good resources to excel in areas of importance. I feel like IT resources are hard to find as there is a shortage.

Who’s been your greatest mentor? What role has that person played in your life or career? The one who drives me to succeed in my career and my personal life is my wife Crystle. The commitment she provides to the family and the wellbeing of our kids is amazing, and for that is why she inspires me to be the person I am.

What’s your favorite part of your day and why? Waking up in the morning and wondering what’s on the to-do list and how I am going to tackle the task for the day.

What’s your favorite activity outside of work? Boating. Being on the lake with family and friends is a bond that grows stronger each summer.

What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work each day? Talk to the wife and kids about their day.

If money were no object, what would you purchase and why? I think I wouldn’t purchase anything. I’d try and help others in need.

What’s your favorite sound? Music from Lionel Richie.

What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you? I attended four colleges before I received my bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University.

Claire Walling is the managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.

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