People Who Deliver: Spotlight Interview with Brian Hanson


What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

Embracing and using tech tools. I work for an IT-focused company, so I need to up my game there! Lucas, Chris, and David all helped me in our past lives, and they’re doing it again!

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?

One key for me has always been taking initiative. I’m more likely to ask for forgiveness than permission, within reasonable bounds, and that has served me well over the course of my career. Focus on doing the right things, the right way, and right away, and you’ll usually be rewarded for it.

What led you to this career?

My experience with recruiting Involta to Duluth as an economic developer about 12 years ago led me to my position today. I have always been so impressed with the Involta team and how they worked with the regional economic development team to educate business leaders and elected officials on what a data center is and why it was important to have one in the community. It’s a little different today, as most people know what a data center is and why it’s needed, but the site selection process is still relationship-driven. We work together to identify customers, infrastructure, and sites that will help us bring Involta’s winning team to new communities. It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to leverage skills developed throughout my career and serve a company that I love.

What’s your favorite piece of technology? Why?

No question it’s my iPhone. It’s all there – calendar, mail, messages, music, news, maps with directions, encyclopedia, weather, stocks, sports, recipes… That list could go on for pages. I especially love that it’s so easy to stay in touch with my adult children Alex and Sammy! I don’t know how people did it in the past? I love dropping this line: “If only we had a small, magical black box that could answer that question…”

What is one thing you’re currently trying to make a habit?

I’m one of the employees following the Wondr plan offered by Involta. Lots of great tips, but the best ones for me are to avoid snacking by only eating when you are hungry enough for a complete meal, then slow down mid-meal to allow your food to digest before digging into that second helping. They both work. I’m trying to make them both habits, but it’s hard!

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?

Get outside! Bike, garden, hunt, fish, golf, have a fire, watch live music or sports, shovel the snow, ride the fast bike, or go snowshoeing (the snow is coming to Duluth soon, folks, and I love it!), take a walk, or just fire up the grill or smoker and enjoy a cold beer outside while preparing something delicious. Whatever the season, outdoor activities always seem to be a great source of energy and renewal for me.

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