By Curtis Bagnall, Solution Engineer for Umbrella Managed Systems
Hello all! Recently, we’ve had some great new hires. And I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a pretty cool guy named Zach Lakin. I would like to introduce him to you by sharing our interview!
Curtis: Hey Zach, if you’re free, I’d like to ask you a few questions for an upcoming blog that I’m writing to help our clients get to know you better.
Zach: Sure, no problem. Sounds like fun.
Curtis: Awesome! I suppose I’ll start right from the beginning. Would you tell me a bit about your journey before you joined Umbrella?
Zach: Before I joined Umbrella, I worked in the Army for 16 years. I joined the Army two years before I’d even finished high school and went through boot camp and initial training when I was 17 years old. I started in the reserves and worked with computer programs such as Microsoft Excel and Word. Eventually I joined the Army full-time. I worked for the Nuclear Biological Radiological Chemical division making it to the rank of Sergeant.
Curtis: Wow, that’s a mouth full, what exactly does that position entail?
Zach: Basically, we maintained equipment that was hazardous and kept track of where the equipment was located. We also did site surveys for areas to make sure they didn’t contain any contamination. We were the “go to” guys for defending against chemical attacks. After that, I served as Military Police in Guantanamo Bay and eventually ended up in Leavenworth for the last six years of my service. When I left the Army, I decided to take classes at Centriq Training because I’ve always been interested in computers. I met Brant (another Umbrella employee) at a career fair and the rest is history.
Curtis: If you won $300 million in the lottery, what would be the first three things you would buy?
Zach: I would pay off all the bills and loans for myself and my family. I would buy a Tesla. And then I’d take a vacation while driving my new Tesla!
Curtis: If you could choose to have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Zach: I would like to be able to teleport from one place to another. Kind of like in the movie Jumper. It would save so much time! I don’t like walking everywhere, so I drive. But I also don’t enjoy driving all over the place, so teleportation would be great!
Curtis: What is your favorite part about working at Umbrella?
Zach: I never get micromanaged like I was in the Army. Management at Umbrella will tell me to get a job done and give me the space I need to complete it.
Curtis: What is your earliest memory?
Zach: I was helping my grandpa and uncle move some concrete because they were tearing up some stairs. Grandpa told me the concrete was too big for me or my brother to carry, so we decided to lift it together. As we were moving a big slab, I lost my grip and dropped the concrete on my brother’s foot. It broke his big toe. I was 7 at the time and he was 8. Not fun.
Curtis: If you had to eat at one restaurant for an entire year, without eating anywhere else, what would it be and why?
Zach: I think I’d have to choose Jack in the Box. They have a variety of food from breakfast to dinner and I love it.
Curtis: What is something that you have a lot of passion for?
Zach: I like playing video games. Games got me interested in software development. I played around with coding for a while. I prefer to play games on older systems such as NES and super NES. Nintendo 64 is probably my favorite game system.
Crochet vs. Croquet… Whoops!
Curtis: What’s one skill you have that you’re better at than everybody else at Umbrella?
Zach: Hmm, I’d probably have to say crochet.
Curtis: Oh, you play crochet?
Zach: Ummm… How do you “play” crochet?
Curtis: Isn’t that the sport where you hit a ball through some hoops with a mallet?
Zach: Are you talking about croquet?
Curtis: Oh, yes. Whoops! What are you talking about?
Zach: Crochet, like knitting and stuff.
Curtis: Ohhhhhh. Ha! I was way off. What makes you better at crochet, in spite of the fact that nobody else here can probably crochet?
Zach: I learned it because my daughter was interested in it. She wanted to crochet the character Gir from the TV show Invader Zim. I wanted to do it with her, so we learned how to crochet together. I made her a Gir doll.
Curtis: Speaking of family, tell me about your family.
Zach: I have two daughters and a wife. My youngest daughter’s name is Kylee and she is 9 years old. My oldest is Monica and she is 15. I met my wife, Bridgette, in high school and we’ve been happily married ever since. She works as a child care provider in Fort Leavenworth.
Curtis: Who is somebody that you look up to?
Zach: My mom, because dad left us before I was born without paying child support or anything. She’s always worked two jobs to support me and my two older brothers. She’s a strong woman that always made sure we had food on the table and kept us together.
As you can see, Zach has some great stories. We appreciate his service, and we’re thankful to have Zach on our team. He has hit the ground running… by winning a recent Employee of the Quarter award. We hope you get to meet or talk with Zach soon!