Editor’s note: LTW regularly features Q&As and profiles of tech executives on Tuesdays.Among the first entrepreneurs to seize upon the idea of integrated communications over the Internet were husband and wife Kelly and Adrienne Lumpkin of Alternate Access.

They founded the team in 1993, survived the telecom and dot com meltdown, and continue to provide a wide variety of services to such customers as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pepsi cola, and IBM.

True to its name, Alternate Access offers a variety of services, including voice over IP; unified and integrated messaging; inbound and outbound call/contact centers; CRM integration for incoming screen-pops for call center personnel; web collaboration; interactive voice response and management hosting.

Communication either online or over phone or in person seems to have always fascinated Lumpkin. He also speaks three languages in addition to English — French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Here’s a personal look at Kelly Lumpkin:

Title and length of time in position: Founder, CEO, and Director of Business Development for Alternate Access, a company specializing in converged communications.
Alternate Access was founded in 1993.

Highlights of earlier career: 15 Years with IBM, including six years with ROLM International. Extensive international business experience.

College/university and degrees: Carleton College BA – Chemistry/French; Pepperdine University – MBA

Your top priorities in life: Family.

Your top priorities in business: To treat customers the way I dream of being treated as a customer. Ethics and business acumen are inseparable.

Favorite saying or quote: Seize the day.

Principals crucial to your career and executive decision making: Lifelong learning. Impeccable professionalism and honesty.

Hero you try to emulate: My father, one of the Tuskegee airmen, and an amazing man.

Recent book read and movie watched; did you like them and why? “Blood Work”, by Michael Connelly- Easy reading mystery thriller. Great for a long plane ride. (Movie) K119 – I like Harrison Ford as an actor. But I would never ever want to get on a submarine!

Favorite movie, movie star, author, and why: Favorite movie star: Denzel Washington. Can play any part and transforms himself into the role. Favorite Author: Michael Crichton. Great books for plane trips, which is the only time I have to read.

Outside interests and hobbies? I like to play golf and spend time with my dog. Both provide time outdoors and few demands on me.

How did you survive the ‘dot com’ bust? We survived the ‘dot com’ bust because we never fed upon it. We did not use venture financing. Most of our customers were in more traditional businesses. So as the local economy faded, we were adversely affected but still able to tighten our belts and keep our company afloat.

What’s your favorite means to deal with stress? To deal with stress, one must have a full and balanced life. For me, this means always being very busy, but with different types of things – business, spouse, kids, pets, sports, hobbies, friends, etc. The change of scenery helps my relaxation. If I am tired at the office, I can dive into a project with my kids as a distraction, and I’m rejuvenated.

Best advice you can give fellow executives and entrepreneurs in today’s tough business climate: Stay focused on your business, not someone else’s. And stay true to your business principals.

Have a suggestion for an executive Q&A or profile? Send to rsmith8@nc.rr.com