Don Sloan

Occupation: Director, Professional Services, East and Canada, Adobe Systems

First Car:  73 LTD Brougham. It started with a screwdriver, only had shocks on the back, and the brakes were iffy. I loved that car.

Favorite Restaurant: Seafood: Legal Sea Foods, Boston
Date night: The Bay Tower Room Boston (awesome views)
Italian: Almost anything in the North End, Boston
Steakhouse - Chops, Atlanta (my new home town)

What are three things most people don't know about you?

a).  I jumped out of the first plane flight I ever took.
b).  I was part of a Navy battle group involved in action in the Persian Gulf.
c).  I’ve saved 3 people from drowning though I’ve never been a lifeguard.  They just keep sinking around me and I just keep pulling ‘em back up.....

What's been your greatest adventure in life?

Family, both the one I grew up in and my own.  Unoriginal, I know, but it’s true.

I was the oldest of 4 ‘spirited’ sons and yet somehow married a girly girl and we have two beautiful girly girl daughters.  What a collision of backgrounds. I think I’m still holding my own but I’m not sure if it’s really true or if they’re just letting me believe that.

What's your best childhood memory?

Summer vacations at Plum Island, Massachusetts.  My mother was one of 8 siblings (good Catholics up there!) and everyone went together for vacation.  I had about 50 cousins and 2nd cousins so it was a free for all.  The water was so cold you could only comfortably swim in it on August 5th, from 11 - 2 :- ) but the rest of the time you got numb pretty quick and then didn’t notice - and the waves were great.

If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

It’s October 2008 so my answer is Warren Buffett, to ask for some advice .... and a loan!

What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?

It’s a toss-up between walking 100 miles with 2 broken legs and 7 bullet wounds in me while dragging 3 elephant carcasses across the blazing desert, or trying to consistently shoot in the 70s in golf.

Tell us about your favorite hobby.

Golf.  Want to know my least favorite hobby?  Golf.

What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

“Succeeding with SOA” by TIBCO’s own Paul Brown.

I have a ton of favorite books but the one I think is the coolest is my autographed copy of “Discovery of the Titanic” by Robert Ballard.  Almost 100 years later the story still attracts new interested people every year.

Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

Australia, specifically the Barrier Reef, The Rocks, Bondi Beach, and The Australia Zoo to see Steve Irwin’s legacy.

Miss you, Croc Hunter!!

If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

The American Cancer Society.

If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

Probably selling software and working with professional services folks.  I love the software space and feel very fortunate to make my living in it.

What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

How much time do you have?.....

Like most, I didn’t graduate saying “Hmmmm, I hear that PS is a great career.  I’m doing that!” After my stint in the Navy I started teaching technology at a small school, days AND nights because teaching doesn’t pay, and I also took Novell classes and bartended in my ‘spare time’.

I got Novell certified during the client-server boom and an awesome ERP company was desperate enough for consultants that they actually hired me without any DBMS or business app experience.  Turned out to be one of the 5 best things that ever happened to me, and I’ll be forever grateful for it.

What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Narrowing this down is tough because there is so much I’ve learned from other great PS veterans throughout the years.  Since I like to be on the sales side, I guess this one is top of mind for me lately. There are always 2 answers to every question - the hard (factual/technical) answer, and the soft (nuanced/situationally aware) answer.  S/he who knows how to use and blend both optimally - and always ethically - will always be much more successful than the one trick ponies.