Each time Lane Beattie has completed a term of service in the private and public sector, he's thought, "I was done, ready to step aside and spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren." But the world of service has had something much different in mind.
Whether that trend continues over the next few years is yet to be seen. When Beattie steps down in May from his position as CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, the family plan is squarely front and center on his radar. As it has been before. Time will tell.
Certainly, his journey to this point has traveled through many more different ports of call than he'd ever imagined. For the first half of his adult life, he was happy owning a very successful real estate agency--Lane Realty--in Davis County. He'd spent many years serving in various local positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but never imagined being in the world of politics. That changed in 1988, when friends first began encouraging him to run for the Utah House.
"I politely declined," he recalls. "I didn't see myself in that role.
But days later, another group came to our home and asked if I'd run for the Utah Senate. I thought the session only lasted 45 days a year and that was it. Guess I kind of underestimated that."
Encouraged by his wife and family and feeling "it was something I had the time to do, to serve the community," he ran and was elected. "I was the youngest state senator when I first took my seat in 1989. The average age of state senators then was about 64, almost my age now (he's 66). Now it's amazing how young the average age is for state senators."
Beattie rose quickly through the ranks, serving 10 of his 12 years in leadership positions. In 1994, he was elected senate president, a position he held until 2000, when he didn't seek reelection.
"By then, I felt my time in the senate was sufficient, and I truly intended to return full-time to my realty business," he says. He and his wife, Joy, also considered serving an LDS Church mission. But Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt called Beattie shortly after the gavel was passed, and told him, "'I know why you didn't seek reelection. I need you to be the state Olympic officer (for the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games).' He stayed after Joy and me and convinced us I should do that. So I gave them a three-year commitment."
In that role, he oversaw the Olympics on behalf of the state of Utah, including using the last year of that commitment to...