Gregory Lane

Occupation:  Area Manager,  Professional Services Northeast, NetApp

First Car: 1970 VW Fastback that was crashed by my friend. Bought it for $50 and did a complete rebuild.

Favorite Restaurant: Beluccio's Rye, NY - A great family owned/operated Italian restaurant that I have been going to since I was a kid.

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

1. I can cook, sew, and do housework in addition to the usual manly carpentry, plumbing, electrical, painting, etc. 
2. I race historic cars. 

3. I love my job.

What's been your greatest adventure in life?

When I was 16, I was part of a crew that sailed the Bermuda Race.  While we placed 2nd in our division, the real adventure came when we went into the infamous Devil’s Triangle.  The sky got yellow, the instruments went nuts, and the wind died. We just sat there for 2 hours dead in the water.  And just as quickly as the condition came up, it cleared out.  Blue sky, full instruments and 15 knots of wind.  Creepy.  I have since done the race 4 more times and never had that same experience.

What's your best childhood memory?

Christmas mornings.  I was an only child, so I got plenty of neat gifts, but the real fun was when we went down to my cousins later in the day.  They, being proper Irish Catholic’s had 7 kids spanned out every 1.5 years.  This is where I was exposed to all the chaos that a large family of kids brings (much to the chagrin of my parents), and loved it.

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

My Grandparents on both sides.  They all died when I was young, so my memory of them is through pictures and stories.  There are so many questions that I want to ask about our family and it’s lineage.

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

Sit patiently in the hospital awaiting the results of my Mother’s heart operation.

Tell us about your favorite hobby.

My favorite hobby is to race historic cars.  Over the past 10 years I have owned and raced 48 of these fine machines with great enjoyment.  I currently have 5 in the stable that are exercised as much as my work schedule allows. My approach to racing is like any other professional endeavor: in order to be successful, you need to be prepared mentally and physically for the challenge, and be able to push the limits. The best part of this is that my fiance races as well!  This certainly makes the planning of time off together a much easier task.

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

I’m currently reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein.  Despite it’s name, the story is not really about racing. Interesting study on the human relationships and personal hardship told through the eyes of a dog.

I don’t really have a favorite, but I am a big Ludlum, Cussler,Clancy, Patricia Cornwell fan.  All the intrigue, suspense, who-done-it stories do it for me.  Then I have the Geek side, that reads auto/technical books and manuals.

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

Le Mans, France in June for the 24 hour race.

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

Habitat for Humanity.  After seeing all the natural disaster fallout, I can’t imagine not having a place to go at the end of the day.  Everyone needs a place that they can call home, no matter how humble.  It is core to the human condition.

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

I would definitely be a CSI. I am fascinated by how things happen.

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

When I was in college, they had just started offering programming classes.  This stuff called PL/1 and Cobol.  Those were the days (1983), when you either could or couldn’t do it.  No 4GL back then.  So, I guess I could do it and became a mainframe programmer on Wall Street.  Then I migrated in the networking/connectivity realm , designing Trading floor systems and eventually project management.  Coming from the technology side, this became my lead in to the world of PS.

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

Find a mentor.  This person can open doors to you professionally as well as be your guiding light from a career perspective.