Home: San Francisco, CA. Age: Older than I look. Birthplace: Marjeyoun, Lebanon. Profession: Cybersecurity. Organization: Normalyze. Title: CEO and Founder. Pronouns: He/Him/His. Significant other: Rosemary Cremesti. Alma mater: American University of Beirut (B.S.); Santa Clara University (M.S.).
Current project: Normalyze.ai. Recent recognition: Finalist at Black Hat 2022 Innovation competition. Recent professional development: Founding cybersecurity startup and recently closed series A-round in $22.2M. Latest accomplishment: Launch of Normalyze.ai. Latest contribution to others: Eduarte Courtot Foundation. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Getting Normalyze funded and launched. Hobbies: Full-time dad to my one-year-old son. Recent travel or adventure: Paris and Plovidiv (Bulgaria). Last book read: Missing, Presumed, by Manon Bradshaw. And lots of children’s books! Recent unique acquisition: A beautiful painting by Marisa Adesman.
Personality profile: Decisive, people-oriented, dedicated. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Kind. Moral compass: Gratitude. How do you define a perfect friendship? Loyalty. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Trustworthy. What is your greatest joy? Besides parenthood, building and scaling companies. What is your greatest fear? Losing my parents. What is your guilty pleasure? Acquiring and collecting art. What word or phrase do you use far too often? It is what it is. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Chefs.
What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? The Amalfi Coast. What is at the top of your bucket list? Seeing the morning light in Iceland. How do you relieve stress? Meditation. What is your go-to workout? My trainer, Sabin (or, the Boss). What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Sea and sun.
What was your first paying job? Software engineer. What was your favorite college course? All programming courses; I loved C++ course. What was your favorite childhood toy or game? My matchbox house for the cars. What book have you repeatedly read? Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen; Anna Karannina, by Leo Tolstoy. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Sound of Music. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Family photos. What’s the best advice you received growing up? Education makes you a real person. What’s the best advice you received in your career? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? iPhone. What is your favorite app? Slack. What is your go-to source of news and information? Google. What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Instagram. What company or organization do you most admire? Apple. What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? The Internet. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Lebanese Civil War.
What is your big idea? Security of data in the Cloud. What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Cybersecurity. What change would you like to see in the world? More kindness. What message do you want to send out into the world? Children are sacred. What mega-trend most excites you? The relationship between AI, cybersecurity, and data. What mega-trend most concerns you? Social media.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? I Did It All My Way. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Tom Hanks. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? The Dalai Lama. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? An astronaut. After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? None. All objects can be replaced. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Surrounded by family and loved ones. What advice would you give your younger self? Prioritize better, be in the moment more and don’t put work too far over your personal life. What day in your life would you choose to re-live? My wedding day. What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My thirties.
Personal mission: Be the best father I can be. Personal motto: Be kind. Favorite quote: “When you love you should not say, ‘God is in my heart,’ but rather, ‘I am in the heart of God’” (Khalil Jibran).