Sandy Lyons is CEO of Hickory-based Siecor Corporation, the world's largest fiber optic cable maker. He joined the company in 1986 as a sales manager and worked his way up. A graduate of West Point, Lyons honed his leadership skills while in the military. Siecor employs 6,000 people, 2,500 of whom work in North Carolina. Total sales in 1998 topped $1.2 billion.