Where are they now: Shane Gernand

Shane Gernand nowWhen Shane graduated, like many seniors, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.

“I spent the first few months living at home with my parents,” Shane wrote in a recent email, “learning a little more about what I wanted to do, or what I didn’t want to do. I wanted to go to college, but I wanted to find my own way to pay for it. My dad retired from the military, so I knew this was something my parents would be proud of and support.”

In February of 1991, Shane joined the Air Force. His first permanent assignment was Altus, Okla., where he spent almost four years.

“I spent my final two years of active duty in Okinawa, Japan, which was an incredible cultural experience. I found Okinawans to be a great people, bound to tradition and committed to decency.

“After six years of active duty and five years of taking college classes without being able to complete a degree, I returned to Granville and joined the Air National Guard. I not only immediately missed the lifestyle of the military, but I knew it would be a great means of paying for the rest of my college. I chose to attend SUNY Plattsburgh to be close to my family, and my love for the outdoors delivered me to their environmental program.”

Eventually, his passion for the sciences steered him to chemistry, and in June of 2001 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences. 

“I was then accepted into the University of Connecticut Environmental Engineering Program.”

Shane left the program after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, to serve in the Air National Guard.

“I met my beautiful wife Jill (Jadwin) while attending school in Plattsburgh. She was an education major, and we both worked at a local marina/restaurant/bar where we had our first introduction. Prior to our wedding on July 20, 2002, I sought a commission in the New York Air National Guard and became an Air Force officer.”

Retired later in 2002 after 20 total years of service with a breadth of travel from Greenland to Japan, Alaska and the Azores, to name a few places he has been, Shane accepted a position with Albany Molecular Research, and within four months he and his wife bought their first house. 

“It was a busy, gratifying and successful year. I conducted pharmaceutical research for two years, after which I accepted a position with General Electric Global Research. Five years later, I moved to the GE Renewable Energy business as an Associate Project Manager.

“I was in Atlanta for my first class in a leadership management program when I got a call at 11 p.m. from Jill that she was in labor. I was stuck in Atlanta, and my first born was on his way. With a story too long to expound here, by the grace of God, 11 hours later I was in the delivery room awaiting Kyle’s arrival. Six months later, Jill, Kyle and I found ourselves in Florence, Italy for GE.”

Shane spent most of the next three years as a project manager in GE’s Renewable Energy business, and has recently accepted a position as proposal manager in GE’s Digital Energy Division. The family now lives in Glenville, N.Y., near Jill’s home town of Alplaus.

“Two years ago our family was blessed with a little girl, Madelyn Avery. Since I had adopted a no-travel policy within six weeks of her due date, I was certain I would be there for her birth.

“I am a passionate skier and outdoors enthusiast, and our family has embraced that lifestyle. Kyle is now five and has been skiing for two years, and Maddie will soon follow. Both of them are strong hikers. Kyle and I have taken up kayaking this year, and I think both children have that same thirst for the soul-fulfilling beauty of the outdoors as I do.

“Much of my interest in the outdoors stems from growing up in Granville. From seventh grade on I was involved in the Killington Ski Program with the school, and in my youth my father introduced me to hiking. However, only after I returned from the military did I appreciate those days spent with him in the mountains.  Granville was a great place to be a kid and go to school.

“Mrs. Barnes was my favorite teacher as I truly felt that she believed in me and never let go of the desire for me to succeed. I will always remember her. I always tell my friends that I grew up in a small town and wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was a large part of who I am today. A fellow Granville High student, Jeremy Martelle, is my closest friend, and we still hang out 22 years later.”

Shane’s parents recently moved from Granville to South Carolina.

“I was in Granville over the summer to close up some business for my parents, and it occurred to me that this would likely be the last time I visited the town I grew up in. Before I left, I spent a few quiet minutes and took it all in one last time.”

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