Based upon my life experiences over the last 85 years, I know a little about leadership, service, and solving problems, local to global. I've known Greg Hansen in number of capacities since 1993. His biggest gift, other than his heart, is “seeing systems of systems of systems.” What’s that mean? He can see the “big picture” and connect the dots in new and different ways.
As Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community Learning and Information Network (CLIN), we decided to develop and submit a $100M proposal to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The timeline was short. We needed capable captains in targeted states and regions to lead those efforts. Dr. William F. Pierce, CLIN vice president for education and training (former executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers and National Association of State Boards of Education), who had known Greg through the National Community Education Association as well as the Education Utility (Jack Taub) demonstration project in Utah, recommended that Greg lead the coalition building and proposal development in the Pacific Northwest.
In approximately five weeks, Greg was successful in forming a steering committee and this group secured signed letters from Oregon’s governor, both U.S. Senators, all members of their Congressional delegation, and heads of all leading state associations, along with local letters of support. In short, more than 85 letters. The proposal met the deadline and had a unique design for piloting CLIN sites in 20 communities throughout Oregon. While the Federal proposal didn't receive President Clinton’s signature after receiving approvals at all other checkpoints in the ARPA process, a foundation had been laid for advancing technology and telecommunications in Oregon. Rather than sit back and lick their wounds, the Steering Committee, commandeered by Greg, chose to plan, produce, promote and state the “Oregon CLIN Workshop: Pioneering Pathways…Past, Present, and Future”. More than 500 people from community teams around Oregon attended this workshop at then George Fox College on June 6, 1994 (D-Day 50th Anniversary). It was a huge success, as a team effort, with Greg leading the way.
In 2013, I launched my From Pigeons to Tweets national book tour at Portland State University and its School of Business. The second stop was as the inaugural speaker at Paul Allen’s new Living Computer Museum to 250+ Microsoft alumni. Who arranged both appearances on relatively short notice and no budget…take a guess.
The most important way, though, that I know Greg is that for more than 20 years, we’ve developed a very special bond. I’m his #2 surrogate father after Bill O’Hearn. Greg has sought counsel, advice, and insights from me and my life over these two plus decades. I consider him to be like a son. Greg is a man committed to faith, family, friends, and country.If, Heaven forbid, I should ever need to led a troop into battle again, I’d want Greg as my right arm.