Calling on 13 years of experience in the U.S. Navy as a fast attack submarine officer, Eric Regnier began his career at ZAG as a project manager and then manager of the IT Security and Compliance line of business, quickly showcasing his dedication to operational excellence, continuing improvement, and quality.
Recently, Eric was named Interim Vice President of Operations, where he’s responsible for overseeing the client services, engineering, and project management teams. He says he’s honored to be a part of a mission-driven organization like ZAG.
“Not everyone gets to work in a job that holds meaning for them,” he says. “For me, what I love about working for a company like ZAG, which is mission-focused, is that you feel a part of the organizations we serve and their missions. There’s a pride of ownership in being part of the team effort to support businesses that are providing livelihoods for their employees and their communities.
Here, we talk to Eric to hear more about he got into technology, what his first job was, and where he’d like to travel next.
- Bachelor of Science degree in control systems engineering, U.S. Naval Academy
- Master of Philosophy degree in technology policy, Cambridge University
- Master of Science degree in computer science, Naval Post-graduate School
Where do you currently live?
How and when did you get your start in the technology industry?
I started getting into technology during at my last posting in the U.S. Navy at the Naval Post Graduate school as a staff program officer for the computer science department. In this capacity, I oversaw officers going through the program and the curriculum. While I was in that position, I pursued a degree of my own from the department and earned a master’s degree in computer science with a focus on cybersecurity. From there, I worked to pivot from submarines to technology-focused endeavors. This, in addition to my master’s degree focused on cybersecurity, along with academic certificates around cybersecurity defense and fundamentals, helped me leverage my experience to join ZAG.
Why did you decide to join ZAG?
I’ve got agriculture in my family. I’m from the Midwest and my mom grew up on a farm in Nebraska. While I didn’t grow up on a farm myself, my family maintained a multi-acre hobby farm in the country where we spent most of our time, and agriculture was an important part of my early years as well. When I had the opportunity to combine that love of ag with protecting the nation’s food supply through project management at ZAG, I took it. I wanted to join an organization that had a mission I could support through my experience. I was later tapped to lead the IT Security and Compliance line of business and now am serving in an interim capacity as the Vice President of Operations.
In this role, I lead a team of professionals to deliver a broad spectrum of services to our clients with quality and consistency. Our mission is to enable our clients to succeed, and we live that mission day in and day out.
How would you describe your job to a class of kindergartners?
I work with people to make the most of the technology they have and work with them to bring in new capabilities to help them grow.
What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t in IT?
I’d probably be doing something else in technology since it’s been a consistent theme in my life. Working on Navy Nuclear Propulsion with the complexity of modern submarines gave me a passion for technology and computers and the capabilities these tools can unlock for us. I might work in other tech-heavy industries, such as green energy, power generation, industrial control systems, or robotics.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the team members we have and the opportunity to do something meaningful and valuable for our clients. Not everyone can work in a job that holds meaning for them. For me, what I love about working for a company like ZAG who is mission-focused is that you feel a part of the organizations we serve and their missions. There’s a pride of ownership in being part of the team effort to support businesses that are providing livelihoods for their employees.
What is one piece of professional advice that you’ve received that stuck with you through the years?
Nobody can succeed alone and you’re part of a team. Remember that.
And some personal questions:
What was your first job?
Mowing grass on a John Deere riding mower. I was 6 and my dad had to strap blocks to the pedals so I could reach them.
Do you have any hobbies or interests you’d like to share?
I hike, love the outdoors, and love cooking. And (of course), hanging with my puppies.
What is your dream travel destination?
Home! I spent a lot of years in the U.S. Navy, with more than 2.5 years of my life under the ocean without being able to be with my family, go to a store, or have the opportunity to be home. Being home is the best place to be and I don’t take it for granted.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t take yourself so seriously; it will be ok. Nothing is ever as good or bad as it seems.