Andy Youniss co-founded Rocket Software in 1990 and continues to guide the company’s growth through strategic technology investments, acquisitions, and partnerships, including actively managing Rocket’s long-standing relationship with IBM.
A software engineer by trade, Andy understands the importance of building software that matters. He is also a guitarist and pianist, and has given talks on the connections and meaningful links between music, software, entrepreneurship, and business.
Even though Rocket is a global company, Andy has made sure that Rocket stays connected with its Boston roots. Andy is a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston Medical Center, an extraordinary community of health care providers with a mission to deliver exceptional care without exception. He also sits on the board of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a Boston-based non-profit focused on food rescue and filling gaps in the food supply chain. Andy also is a member of the Berklee College of Music Presidential Advisory Council.
Andy holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
What compelled you to get involved with Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
The company I founded, Rocket Software (www.rocketsoftware.com), holds a leadership meeting in Boston the first week of December each year. A couple hundred Rocketeers fly in from all over the world, and we design a program that lets them experience and connect with Boston. A few years ago we invited Ashley to speak to our global leaders and tell her story. She had us at “food rescue.” Her passion was contagious and inspiring. We all loved the Lovin’ Spoonfuls story, and she in turn loved the Rocket story. Two entrepreneurs with two different backgrounds and experiences in two completely different domains, but with so much in common. I couldn’t jump in to help fast enough!
What resonates with you about the LS mission?
It is hard to believe that in 2015 there are people in and around Boston who go hungry each day. In simple terms, Lovin’ Spoonfuls is an organization of people that care – people that go out and find the excess in the food supply chain and deliver it to people who are going hungry. That resonates with me as a person, as a citizen, as a neighbor, as a Bostonian. As an engineer and an entrepreneur, I am always looking for ways to do things better and optimize for efficiencies. The more I learn about the inefficiencies in the food supply chain, the more convinced I am of the LS mission.
What mottos do you follow, personally and professionally?
“Software That Matters.”
“Customers. Community. Category.”
“You can always turn it up to eleven.”
What’s on your iPod?
I’m using Spotify these days. My current playlist favs include Montrose (that’s what Sammy Hagar was doing in the early seventies), Texas (Guitar Song, a single from 2001), Grace Potter (any/all of her stuff!), Jack White (Lazaretto), Frampton (check out his cover of Roadrunner performed at the “Dear Jerry” concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion back in May), and a bunch of stuff from the Eagles (Take It To The Limit…a classic sung by “forgotten” Eagle Randy Meisner…).
What’s your favorite food? Do you have a favorite way to use leftovers?
My parents make awesome Lebanese food. My father published a biography about his father and includes our family recipes as an appendix. And I can assure you there are never any leftovers when we cook our big Lebanese dinners. Ever. I also love our homemade pizza on the grill. Fun family time and great pizza.
What’s your best Lovin’ moment or experience so far?
Lauren gave me an up close and personal view of the data just a few weeks ago – pounds of food delivered, types of food delivered, truck routes, etc. I am really excited about the data that LS captures each day and the power that we can unleash with that data.
Anything else you want folks reading this to know?
Aside from running a software company, I also play guitar and piano. In fact, we have a band made up of Rocket employees from all over the world. Our catchy name is The Rocket Band. We played a local gig at Boston TechJam at City Hall Plaza in June and are now rehearsing for our next gig at House of Blues in Las Vegas in October.