continued on page 42
Recently the client said that the project
would have never even started but for the
work that we did. So this engagement
was nowhere near the biggest that
we’ve had, but it’s certainly had the
greatest impact on the community. So
in that regard, I find it very gratifying.
Q Do any others come to mind?
I had a receivership that
involved a company for which I don’t
think anyone gave much chance at all.
The receivership ended up lasting
longer than we would have liked, but the
bottom line was that once we
accomplished what we needed to
accomplish, we were able to pay off all
the creditors in full and return back to
the owner a very large check. That was
equally as rewarding and certainly
changed a number of people’s lives. But
it doesn’t quite have the impact of the
other project I mentioned.
Q Who inspires you professionally or personally?
I have to admit I look to a
fictional character—and I’d like to
emphasize, I’m referring to the original—
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.
That’s somebody you should model your
life and work after. I mean you can’t go
wrong with the higher moral path—
doing the right thing and caring for and
In the real world, I have tremendous
respect for and am inspired by two
individuals: one is my father, who is
also named John Lane, and the other
is my partner at Inglewood, John
O’Brien. I guess I’d have to say they
are my real-life Atticus Finches.
Q How did you and John O’Brien become partners?
That’s an interesting
situation because my dad was also a
partner at Price Waterhouse. Many, many
years ago, my dad was John O’Brien’s
mentor. My dad was transferred to San
Francisco, I came to Cleveland, and John
O’Brien became my mentor at that point
in time. He and I both left Price
Waterhouse, and we went different ways.
Then in 2002, I called him, looking for a
new gig, and he said, “Hey, I’d like you to
join me at Inglewood.” He said there
were two conditions, and I asked, “What
He said, “One, you have to do most
of the work, and two, you need to be
the CEO.” I said, “I can deal with that.”
I’ve known John now since I was
a young kid and have great respect
for him, as do most folks who know
John O’Brien, as well for my dad.
Q If you could start your career over again, would you do
Going back to 1981, I was
living in Australia. At that time no one
knew that much about Australia. You
couldn’t find Australian wines much in
the United States. Very distinctly, at that
time I remember giving a fleeting
thought to importing Australian wines to
the United States, but I didn’t pursue it. I
think it’s pretty safe to say that I missed
the boat on that one. It would have been
a great opportunity.
But realistically, I really don’t have much
that I would want to change. I’ve enjoyed
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