After high school graduation in 1965, Darleen Johns went to work as a secretary in state government. Today she is president and owner of Alphanumeric Systems Inc. in Raleigh. In 1999, the 220-employee company earned $60 million. Alphanumeric, which Johns started in 1979, sells, installs, and services the hardware and software used to create computer networks. Johns is Business North Carolina's first Businesswoman of the Year.