Haryl Dabney is the public relations representative for L12 and a full-time student working on two degrees.
While Haryl Dabney's profession may technically involve working at L2Networks, you might as well add professional juggler to his list of skills.
On top of his full time position as L2's public relations representative, he's a full-time student working toward degrees in information systems technology and public speaking, is a part-time waiter at Corner Cafe on Dawson Road and is the co-chair of Emerge Albany, the volunteer organization for young professionals in Albany.
In his interview with J.D. Sumner, Dabney reveals a lot about his ambitions and his drive, much of which involves bettering Albany.
Q: What was your first job?
A. My first job was for a lady named Doris Stevenson. She's about 85 or 87 now. She paid me, when I was about 12 years old, for about four years, she paid me $10 an hour to come do yard work for her about three days a week. We planted organic vegetables and things like that. That was my first fun job; that was my first job period.
NAME: Haryl Dabney
POSITION: Director of Public Relations, L2Networks
YEARS ON THE JOB: 2
Q: What did you buy with your first paycheck?
A. I was a computer game junkie. So I had any computer game that was driving or simulation games. Even back then, they were $40 or $50 and I saved my money up just for that.
Q: If you were stranded on an island, what three objects would you like to have?
A. A lighter, a Bible, and ... I only need two. I'll pray through everything and if I catch something by hand in the sea I'll cook it with the lighter. I don't think I could make fire with sticks and stones but I know if I've got a lighter I can survive.
Q: What motivates you each day?
A. Well, there's actually several factors. There are two particular quotes. My boss stated this to Emerge last year and it was "people at the top of every company have one thing in common: Simply put, they get things done." And then the other quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson but I've heard it was quoted before, is "don't go where the path may lead, instead, go where there is no path and make a trail." Those are to of the biggest quotes that I use all the time. Another thing that drives me is that our youth. They are straying so far away now, that we're losing them. And I'm not going to say that I was one of those lost youth, but I've been through the judicial system, I've been through several things in my life, that I've told people I've torn this city down enough — it's time to start rebuilding it.
Q. What do you do in your free time?
A. I don't have much free time. But the little bit of free time I do have is still spent working; coming up with ideas and solutions for problems that we have. I'm an optimistic person so I'm always thinking about the good rather than the bad. If I do read something, it's on technology. I'm a Google News junky and I stay in touch with The Herald and The Washington Post.
Q. Who were your role models when you were growing up?
A. I had several role models. I mean throughout the community; throughout church; throughout books that I admire. My biggest role model was probably my grandfather and that's just for the simple fact that he showed me what a man should do, how a man should treat a woman, how a man should act. He showed me the characteristics of being a man. But outside of him, I always wanted to be the first black president. And I admire Martin Luther King. Any book with Martin Luther King, as a child, I would read. No problem, no hesitation, I would read it.
Q. If you could have lunch with someone living or dead, real or imaginary, who would it be and why?
A. I don't know. I probably would say the late James H. Gray. Him or John Kennedy, but Gray had a vision for this city and he was working on this vision and then when he died nobody else carried on. So I would like to see what he, what his vision really was to revitalize Albany and to continue to grow Albany.
Q. What are some of your goals?
A. Well, in five years I'd like to be retired. I've had a vision of being retired by the time I was 30 for probably the last 20 years. I want to retire by 30 and I'm working hard at it. Really, my goals change daily. Because I'm stretched so many different places and I want to do so many different things I can never say that I want to be in one particular place other than successful. But I can't say that there is any particular goal that I have other than being successful.
Q: If you could go anywhere, where would you go and why?
A. I don't know. Probably Vegas just because I'm a gambler. When I say retire at 30, I want to retire from a lot of strenuous work but I want to still continue to work. But I don't know where I would go. I would love to go to Spain and France and Africa just to see the cultural difference. So there are a bunch of places. There is no one particular place.