Nello Franco

Occupation: Acting VP, Field Operations, SCOPIX

First Car: 1979 Fiat 128

Favorite Restaurant: La Toppa, San Donato, Italy

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

a). I studied Japanese in college
b). English is my second language. I really didn't start speaking it until I was about 4
c). I've known my best friend since first grade and he's been my best friend since the 7th grade

What's the best memory from your youth?

Spending summers in Italy with my cousins.

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

I'd like to have a conversation with my children when they're in their 60's about what they've learned and accomplished in life with the hope that I've been a positive influence on them and that they've developed a combination of tolerance, independence and principles.

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

That's a tough one. I'd have to say that I try to challenge myself daily. If I don't end the day feeling like I've challenged myself somehow - or that I've learned or experienced something new, then I feel like I've wasted an opportunity.

What's your favorite hobby?

Flying. I have a commercial, multi-engine pilot license with an instrument rating. I haven't been flying for a few years, though. I definitely miss it.

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

I'm currently reading State of Fear by Michael Crichton. I've read all of Thomas Friedman's books and I'd have to say that he's my favorite author - hands down. He seems to convey the common sense that seems to be lacking in a world that is rapidly polarizing.

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

I want to travel extensively with my children as they get older and share the places I've been as well as discover new ones with them. I've only been to four continents. There's still a lot of world left to see and I'm excited to learn how they see it as well.

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

The charity I've been most active with has been AngelFlight. It provides air transportation via private plane to people who can't take commercial flights - either because they're financially constrained, they live in remote places where they don't have commercial air service, or because they have compromised immune systems. I've gotten a great deal of personal satisfaction by doing some real good.

One trip involved a departure in the middle of the night out of San Carlos with an arrival in San Luis Obispo at dawn to transport a Leukemia patient for treatment. I think getting out and doing *any* charity work is important. It accomplishes two things: 1) It gives you a great perspective on how good you really have it; and 2) It allows you to do one of the best things possible - help others. I think that's what religion used to be about.

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

I seriously considered organizing some trips to some lesser known areas of Italy and turning it into a business.

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

I started doing consulting and Macintosh systems integration with KPMG in 1990. I guess I haven't looked back since then... although I did blink once when I ended up being VP of System Development for an internet company back in the bubble days.

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

Learn at least one other language - preferably a relevant one. If you're on an assignment that involves travel, take some personal time and soak up the local culture. Come up for air and live. Your personality and your friends will thank you for it. Don't get complacent, and remember - the more you think you know, the less you actually do. Challenge yourself everyday, and "audit" yourself every day by asking yourself how you've challenged yourself or expanded your horizons. Set goals for yourself. Make them realistic and make them challenging at the same time. This will keep you motivated and moving in the direction you want.