Q&A with Board Member, Dan Galorath

This month we caught up with board member Dan Galorath for a Q&A session on his professional success, the importance of family, and his hopes for the Widtsoe Foundation.

Galorath has been involved with engineering, estimating and analysis for 40 years. Under his leadership, Galorath Inc. developed SEER cost, schedule, risk applications, methods, and training for software, hardware, electronics & systems, information technology, and manufacturing.

I was working as a software developer and was promoted to software manager while also working on my MBA. Soon thereafter I was asked to provide an estimate of a new system. I knew the people and the technology and applied techniques I was learning to produce an estimate as well as a risk analysis. The division head reviewed the estimate and told me I had overestimated by a third. He then provided methods to cut the estimate by a third. The one I remember was his suggestion to assume twelve hour days rather than eight…and that would cut the estimate by a third. I said I could not plan for twelve hour days because those extra hours were my risk contingency. He then killed the project. I was frustrated that I had done what was probably the best estimate that company had ever seen and the project was killed because if it. So began seeking ways to estimate software that were repeatable and defendable.

I have tried to do as Brigham Young taught: work as if everything depends on me and pray as if everything depends on the Lord. And remembering it all comes from the Lord.

I still follow that strict diet and exercise regimen. It includes lots of protein and vegetables, protein shakes and bars, and little refined carbohydrates. At times, if I feel out of balance, I log my calories eaten and burned. I travel a lot but try to do heavy weight lifting three times a week and serious cardio, such as spinning or hiking hills, several times per week. And when I am trying to cut fat, I do moderate walking for about 45 minutes per day.

My biggest lesson learned is there is always an excuse to eat poorly or overeat: a birthday, a meal lovingly prepared, the cookies brought by a neighbor, the large restaurant portions, etc. It is better to not succumb to those temptations.

Wall Street Journal article link

I love heavy weight lifting, hiking, martial arts, scuba diving and anything I can do with my wife.

The obvious items really work: scriptures and prayers every day, family night every week and following the prophets. Live the gospel yourselves, always. Give increasing levels of agency to children as they can handle it and give them the opportunity to fail sometimes. Praise in public, correct in private. Have personal interviews with each child. Show love and respect to your spouse while prioritizing that husband and wife relationship.

We have always taken our family for beach or water adventures as well as one couple vacation annually. My most memorable family vacation was our most recent, and not just because I am getting older. We had four of our kids (the fifth was on a mission), our four daughters-in-law and our six grandchildren in Maui. We hung out at the pool, splashed in the ocean and four of us went SCUBA diving using underwater propulsion devices. Seeing each of my kids and their wives as incredible, thoughtful, gospel living people… Priceless.

I have had so many wonderful couple vacations, but being on a private island in Fiji is most memorable. We went scuba diving, explored, ate fresh-caught lobster and just enjoyed each other’s company.

I am so grateful for the fullness of the gospel and how LDS modern as well as ancient scripture and living prophets give us such a unique perspective. Having Widtsoe scholars and future graduating scholars take a seat at the table with scholars of other religions, promoting mutual respect and understanding will yield a lasting legacy.