The first in our new series on the dedicated individuals behind CDI World features US-based project-management-magician, Zane. Spoiler alert – he started young.
When we ask him what he was like as a kid, Zane laughs.“Definitely a little nerdy, I enjoyed the puzzles, the K’nex erector sets…”
Zane is from Peachtree City, Georgia and his parents had one early rule: “No video games. We’re not buying you a console, you’re going outside and playing, when it’s dark, come home.”
Often, that outdoor neighborhood play focused upon collaborative fort-making: design and construction, not unlike his present-day job. “Pure childhood pride” is how he describes his 3rd Grade survival structures.
After dinner and homework, he would often sink into music practice (piano, guitar and drums) and meditative model building (cars and rockets) and says that what he now does professionally for CDI-World – designing, building, communicating –is precisely how he spent his spare time as a kid. “I was always making something or taking it apart.”
He also learned that surrounding himself with like-minded inventors was crucial to “never get stuck in a box.” His efforts soon gained technical lift-off and functionality, “If we would build something, we would be racing it, we would be trying to stand on it!”
The link between what put Zane in the zone at nine years old and his grown-up role years later as a multi-hat wearing Project Manager at CDI-World, is a clean, bright line – a love of creative problem solving.
As a result of following his childhood talents and interests, he also received valuable training in teamwork and consensus building – though it always just felt like fun at the time. Today, every day, he brings imaginative solutions to his work and communicates them clearly.
Zane’s a deep musical soul. Growing up a Jam Band enthusiast (The Allman Brothers retain special status), and a multi-instrumentalist, he always found music “a great outlet, to express and jam with others.”
He even worked a youthful spell as a travelling craft vendor on the music festival scene with his then girlfriend and now wife of 3 years, Danielle. But, as life and career ramped up and “adult responsibilities set in,” he admits, music went a bit out of focus.
That focus is crisp once more. When asked what he was currently ‘noodling on’ in his garage when he is not distracted by his two pups, Lucy and Buffalo, and the duties of homeownership, we were jazzed to learn it’s Progressive Jazz Piano.
“I’ve been recently re-addressing the piano, finding a new relationship to it. Looking at my basic understanding of its musical possibilities from a fresh perspective. Re-learning piano in a new way…”
We finish by asking Zane if music feeds into his job at CDI-World. “There’s a challenging aspect to every project that requires creative skill.” He thinks further and smiles. “And jazz piano actually frees me to tinker less at work. Here is where I stay in the lines and focused.”
Thanks, Zane, Jam on!