5 Minutes with Alexander Canacci, Consultant

By Greencastle Consulting

Today we are spending ‘5 Minutes With…’ Consultant Alexander Canacci.

You might recognize him from his Meet the GACer episode on Shots from the Winchester. But if you haven’t met him yet, Alex is a former Army officer who knew he wanted to be in the military since he was 10 years old when he attended his first military boarding school!

He is always willing to help others work through a problem to find a solution. That same commitment to problem-solving is what his future business idea is based on! Keep reading to learn more about who Alex is as a person past his military career and bio on our website. And if you’ve been lucky enough to try his famous chicken parmesan let us know how it is!

What was your favorite age growing up and why?

10 years old was my favorite time as a child.  This was the year that I felt the entire trajectory of my life change.  Back in 2002, I started my first year of military boarding school at Howe Military School in Indiana.  I began my career at Howe as a summer camper and continued to attend their boarding school the following academic year.  I am certain that this experience is what led me to attend a different military boarding school in high school called Culver Military Academy.  From there I went to the United States Military Academy and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army in 2014.  I am forever grateful for the time I spent in the Army and the experiences that made me who I am today.  I cannot say this with 100% certainty, but I believe the decision of a 10-year-old boy in 2002 led to a very rewarding career in the Army many years later.

Would you rather cook or order in? What are you making/ ordering?

I would rather cook Chicken Parmesan at home for my friends and family.  My wife and I love hosting dinner parties with friends and family at home, so this one is an automatic answer.  I am a big fan of Gordon Ramsey, and he has an awesome video on YouTube where he teaches how to make an excellent chicken parm dinner.  I have watched that video so many times that I practically have it memorized, but every time I make chicken parmesan, I play that video on repeat during the entire cooking process.

What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family?

In my later years this has begun to change, but growing up and through my young adult years, going to Disney World with my family was my favorite way to spend time together.  Because my family was often spread out due to my sister and I both attending boarding school / out-of-state colleges throughout our childhood and young adult years, meeting down at Disney World was always the easiest way for the family to get together to do something special.  Unspokenly, this became a tradition for our immediate family and any extended family that was available at that point in a given year.  As I’ve gotten older and moved back to Indiana, I am now close enough to share routine family dinners with my in-laws and my side of the family.  I am very grateful to be able to see my family far more often now than ever before.

If you had unlimited money to start your own business, what would it be?

Since leaving the Army, one of the most annoying changes is that I now have to figure out what I am going to wear every day.  Gone are the days of throwing on the old uniform for the thousandth time and heading into work for the day.  Now that I am a civilian, I need to go through the painstaking process of matching shirt to pants to shoes each and every morning before logging on for the day.  With all that being said, if I had unlimited money to start my own business, I would create a company and fund the development of an application that makes this process much easier.  The premise of the app would start with the user logging all the pieces of clothing in their wardrobe.  Then a proprietary algorithm would build matching/fashionable outfits based on pre-selected parameters.  Some of these options would be color (family), dressed up / relaxed, event type, temperature, style, current trends, etc.  This functionality would allow the user to swipe through recommended outfits for the day based on the users’ selections.  This application would have a high up-front cost in terms of time, but the end result would be significantly less time spent picking out an outfit when time is not necessarily on your side.

What’s the best career decision you ever made?

Coming to Greencastle after medically retiring from the Army is the best career decision that I have ever made.  Leaving the Army before 20 years was not the plan when I started my career in the military.  Unfortunately, my medical retirement was not my first option, but became the direction that my Army career would ultimately go.  With that being said, there were many interests that I had that eventually distilled down into three primary courses of action. Moving into the business/consulting field was one of the main COAs that I would consider and refine more through the planning process. Once I settled on this COA, deciding which company was the next key decision.  Thankfully, an old friend and West Point classmate introduced me to Greencastle and all the opportunities this amazing company had to offer.  These opportunities were so great that I ultimately accepted a position with GAC.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Take advantage of the opportunities available that may lead to more opportunities down the road.  A dead end now might end up being the path you take later; it just doesn’t seem that way right now.  Also, remember that a potential “better” opportunity down the road is not always more valuable than a good opportunity available now.  Avoid thinking in absolutes – e.g., always, never, etc.  Do not be afraid to take a deliberate pause in order to allow a situation to develop before making a decision; HOWEVER, the only thing worse than making a bad decision is making no decision at all.