Occupation: Director, Deloitte Consulting
First Car: 1967 Chevrolet Impala
Favorite Restaurant: Manuel's Restaurant, Aptos, CA
What are three things most people don't know about you?
a). I own a banjo
b). I have two granddaughters
c). My first name is actually John
What's the best memory from your youth?
When I was 7 I spent a night in a windmill in East Anglia. Just after dark, there was a magnificent thunderstorm which we watched from the platform just beneath the sails. I heard on the radio the next morning that there had been 3,000 lightning flashes. I duly reported this fact in my school "news" the next Monday, and my teacher asked if I had counted them. Even at that tender age, I sensed the implicit skepticism, and somehow felt that my story has lost some of its allure.
Years later, it occurred to me that, since the flashes had certainly come every few seconds and the storm lasted about 3 hours, this was probably a pretty good estimate.
If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?
Dr. Max Walters (1920-2005), former Director of the Cambridge Botanical Gardens and a lifelong family friend. When I was a small boy, I overheard him remark to my parents that some economic trend they were discussing would not matter in the long run, since the future of the world would belong to the people of India and China. This comment has stuck in my mind ever since. How did he know, in 1962?
What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?
Climbing the Western Breach on the way to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I've published a day by day log of the trek at http://www.hornekilitrek.com.
What's your favorite hobby?
Playing with my 8-year old son and 7-year old daughter
What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?
Currently reading "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy
Favorite book "Smiley's People" by John le Carre
Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?
Kiribati and Tuvalu, formerly the Gilbert and Ellice Islands and the setting for Arthur Grimble's wonderful book "A Pattern ofIslands".
If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?
Doctors Without Borders, very often the first charity on hand to help address the effects of natural - and man-made - disasters worldwide.
If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?
I would most likely have stayed in academia.
What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?
I came to the US in 1978 in a Post-Doctoral research position after work in surface physics that had applicability to the metal machining process. I soon discovered that it was going to be very tough supporting a wife and 3 children on an academic's salary. I made two swift job changes, first into a research post in Industry, and then in 1980 I joined a Consulting and Systems Development firm in Berkeley. In the past quarter century I have operated my own firm for 5 years, worked for both large and small consultancies, and had PS-related roles in several software startups. On the way, my focus has shifted from machining processes, to machine tool and factory automation, to information systems, and recently to customer transformation.
What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?
Always be asking yourself: "did I provide value today?" This question becomes more important the higher you rise in the profession.