9 Questions

John Drain '83 is the senior vice president, finance, of Hearst Television, Inc.,

a member of Nazareth's board of trustees, chair of the Nazareth Annual Fund, and a past recipient of the School of Management’s Distinguished Alumni Award. We persuaded him to take a moment from his busy life to answer a few questions.

What about you would surprise people the most?

Growing up, I loved the US space program. I was at Nazareth when the space shuttle program was in its early stages. They use to launch the shuttles in the early morning … I drove my roommates crazy because I would get up very early to watch the launches. I was just fascinated by the engineering ingenuity that went into making such an amazing spacecraft.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

I was a big Batman fan growing up and I still am. Years ago, the company I was the CFO of hired Adam West for a corporate event. I was asked to sign the contract with Adam … I told him I would not sign it until he a signed a Batman picture for me. He did, and I have it displayed in my home office. I still love all the Batman movies.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to do public speaking without relying on notes. I have always worked for leaders who could speak publicly on multiple topics without any notes or speaking points. It’s a talent that I am envious of.

What is the best thing about your current job?

I love the Hearst Corporation because of its unique history. Hearst Television, which is the division I am in, owns 30 local TV stations and two radio stations. Our culture is very focused on serving the communities in which we own stations and serving our viewers in meaningful ways. I am responsible for the financial and administrative operations as well as human resources. My job allows me to help the stations secure the resources they need to impact the communities they serve.

When and where were you happiest?

One of my favorite places is my parents’ lake house in the Adirondacks. When we visit the lake, there is always a lot of family around. It’s been great to watch our children and our nieces and nephews grow up at the lake. It’s created a strong family bond … people tell me I am most relaxed when I am at the lake.

What’s your favorite meal and why?

I am pretty simple—a good filet (grilled) is my favorite … also nothing like a good pasta bolognaise.

What do you most value in your friends?

High integrity and strong values.

What trait do you most like about yourself?

I am a person who is always making a list of things that need to get done … both at work and home. I like getting things done and done right.

In the movie of your life, who would star as you?

Tom Hanks.