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“My partner and I were tired of taking direction from and making money for the companies we worked for,” says Julie Fleener Hamrick '81, president and cofounder of Ignite Sales, Dallas, Texas. “We decided to reap some of the benefits for ourselves.” An online service company, Ignite Sales develops, markets, and maintains customer profiling and predictive marketing software for financial institutions.

“I started with a partner, Barbara Boe, who is creative and marketing-oriented-the opposite of my metallurgical engineering background,” says Hamrick. “We stumbled upon a pattern-matching technology that could match people to products and predict what people would buy. But we needed a way to capture lots of data to make the technology work. We came up with the idea of doing visual financial planning for banks, brokerages, and insurance companies.”

On a financial institution's web site that has the “visual planner,” a customer may fill in personal information about debt, mortgage payments, and the like, and get personalized recommendations for products such as home equity or debt consolidation loans. The company's customers, including Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank One, and Sovereign Bank, report that the visual planners are “magnets” on their web sites.

A metallurgical engineering graduate, Hamrick earned an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University (SMU). She finds time to volunteer for Interface Housing, a faith-based organization that helps homeless people achieve self-sufficiency.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles