Austin Ruhle

Director of Strategy and Business at United Technologies

Charlotte, North Carolina

Class of 2007, Business Administration major


As the director of strategy and business development, Ruhle focuses on United Technologies as an enterprise meets short-term goals today and long-term, innovative goals in the future. He also attends University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for his executive MBA.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

It really comes down to having an impact greater than just your self on business, the economy, and the community with which you serve — SPU prepared me to be a “servant leader.”

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

I had the pleasure of taking one of two finance classes Gordon Nygard has taught on finance (he is the chief investment officer at SPU and not typically a professor). That class introduced me to skills that I still use today. More importantly, the class introduced me to Gordon, who has become a dear friend, mentor, and blessing in my life. Much of my success I can attribute to the skills introduced in his class and the many mentoring meetings we have had post graduation.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

(1) True innovation starts with empathy for the needs of others, (2) don’t let learning stop at SPU, become a life-long-learner, (3) the market place is global, you compete with everyone, everywhere, everyday [engaging the culture and thinking global is required], and (4) change is happening faster than it ever has in the history of the World … if you think three years ahead you might just be on time.