Driven by expertise in computers and telecommunications, Sally A. Smith Shuler paved the way for women in her field. She worked hard and wasn’t afraid to assert herself to her peers and managers, which led her to become the first woman to ever complete general manager training at General Electric. This propelled her to the position of manager of federal systems at GE Information Services Co in Washington, DC, her first in the industry. Ms. Shuler quickly proved herself and began advancing up the ladder. Her next professional role was manager of marketing support at GE Information Services Co in Maryland, followed by director of business development and information technology groups at Electronic Data Systems, vice president of the Marketing Optimum Systems Division and of planning and communications at Electronic Data Systems, executive director of commercial development at U.S. West Inc., vice president of marketing development at Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, Inc., and vice president of major accounts for U.S. Computer Services. Ms. Shuler spent the last few years of her career consulting on mergers and acquisitions in Denver, Colorado. She retired in 2002.
Looking back, Ms. Shuler attributes much of her success to her mentor, Peter Drucker. He wouldn’t let her stop or give up; he pushed her to be the best she could be. Ms. Shuler also credits her management style. She promoted and supported her employees as they sought to achieve their goals, even if it meant losing them in the long run. Further, she understood the difference between serving the customer and serving management, and she made putting the customer first a priority.
Ms. Shuler prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Duke University in 1956 and by completing postgraduate studies at the University of Lioge in Belgium and Claremont Graduate School. Additionally, she joined prominent organizations like Pi Mu Epsilon, Tau Psi Omega, and Phi Beta Kappa.
In her free time, Ms. Shuler enjoys singing, playing the piano, theater, and opera.