Vitali Lai began his professional career with an apprenticeship as a chef in a star-rated restaurant in southern Germany. He then worked as a ship’s cook on a reconnaissance ship of the German navy in a NATO coalition. After this, he completed a vocational training as a construction mechanic and ventilation technician. Finally, he continued his career at REVEN as a ventilation technician for commercial kitchen ventilation systems. He kept training himself and worked his way up to the position of the Sales & Distribution Manager within ten years. Thus, Vitali knows commercial kitchen ventilation better than anyone else in the REVEN team! Today Vitali can profit from his first profession as a cook not only when working with air cleaners for commercial kitchen ventilation but also in his free time, because cooking has become his favourite hobby. You can read more about this and other topics below in our interview of the “Inside REVEN“ series. In these interviews, we give a voice to those who make REVEN and who are REVEN: all our administrative staff, workers, fitters, technicians, project managers and our close external partners.
Vitali, if you may meet a famous personality – whether alive or dead: Who would it be and why?
I would like to meet Christopher Columbus. His passion for seafaring and his ambition to discover new worlds keep gripping me. To enjoy the feeling of freedom on the high seas, to be within reach of the stars at night, to venture into the unknown and yet always keep an eye on your destination. To have the skill to motivate the crew again and again and to give it the strength to carry on, even in hopeless times far away from home, are skills of a personality that deserves my deepest respect.
Which three things in your life are you most thankful for?
For my beloved little family that gives me so much strength to keep going. The wonderful country that offers me so much security and life itself.
If you could change one thing in the world: What would that be?
The constant, unstoppable quest for more.
What was the best decision in your professional career?
To successfully complete my apprenticeship as a cook and to continue cooking intensively but as a hobby.
If you were a food, what would it be?
What question haven’t you had an answer to lately and have you been able to find it?
Do I have to believe in a higher being or in myself? I’m afraid I don’t know the answer yet.
How often do you look at your mobile phone every day?
Unfortunately, my mobile phone is always in sight in front of me and there is a regular visual contact. On weekends or in my spare time I try not to use the mobile phone.
What profession did your parents have in mind for you?
Doctor, I was supposed to follow in my mother’s footsteps. However, my parents are still happy with my job and very proud of me, they definitely say that.
What will be your next project?
To build up at REVEN another niche in the textile industry and also to develop suitable air cleaners and suitable solutions in the sector.
Privately I strive for a new hobby, which is archery. Even as a child I was very interested in how the English in the Middle Ages could pull a knight out of his saddle with their longbows from a distance of about 350 metres. And how they could hit their target from a distance of up to 450 metres and thus were far superior to the enemy. That requires a very high level of concentration, doesn’t it?
What was the nicest compliment anyone ever gave you?
A great man once explained success to me in three letters: SNS. This Swabian shortcut stands for “schaffe, net schwätze” which means in English that you should rather work than talk! As a salesman you are supposed to “talk” a lot, however! But after some time, the same person made me a compliment: “You can not only talk you can also work.”
What could you possibly do without in your life?
Bad weather, bad food and stupid gossip!
And what could you not do without in your life?
My son and my home.
What used to be your favourite subject?
History! It is fascinating and sad at the same time, how the world changes and yet makes the same mistakes over and over again.
If your life was filmed: Which actor (or actress) would play you?
Robert De Niro, of course. 😉
If you could choose a country: Which one would you like to live in?
What would you get up for in the middle of the night?
I sleep like a dead man!
Which decision in your life would you want to undo afterwards?
My stubbornness towards my fellow men.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The smile of a satisfied customer!
If you had three wishes free: What would they be?
A world without economic crises, without wars. That REVEN will continue to exist for the next 115 years (all the best for the 115th anniversary).
What should never be missing in your holiday suitcase?
What are your hobbies and do you have a nice snapshot of one of your hobbies?
My passion is grilling extraordinary food like steaks or seafood. My motto is: “Anything under three inches is carpaccio!”
I have built my own fully functioning kitchen and barbecue station.
Chess is another hobby of mine and I am always looking for a worthy opponent!
Finally, one more question: What is your favorite song, if you also take into account the message of the song?
“Altes Fieber” from “Die Toten Hosen”.