How do you pronounce your last name? is the question I get asked most frequently. It’s easy; just drop the first letter and say the rest exactly as it appears. I am an Armenian American, as you would infer from my last name. In the 1970s, my parents fled the civil war in Lebanon and moved to the United States. Prior to that, my grandparents fled to Lebanon to escape the Armenian Genocide in 1915. I was proud and patriotically raised in Southern California, where I was born. I still have relatives in Lebanon and Armenia, and I think of those places as second homes. Both nations have had a very difficult few years. I’m actively involved in raising awareness of the situation and offering my help where I can.
Coming from a Middle Eastern background, I learned Armenian, Arabic, and English as a result of my mother being a teacher and me growing up in the same school where she worked. Later, I changed schools and experienced all the good and bad that the Los Angeles Public school system had to offer.
Keep your promises. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do it and exceed people’s expectations. People will rely on you more and more. There is no room in this world for lip service or empty promises.
CISO, XYPRO Technology
My mother suffered a stroke when I was 12 years old, and my father died when I was 16 years old. I had to fast grow up and take care of myself. The carefree teen years were not mine. I held a full-time job working for a multinational internet service provider throughout my senior year of high school. Six days a week, I would get up extremely early and work until two in the morning. At that age, I didn’t have a mentor, so I had to make my own judgments about what was right and wrong. It’s very easy to get sucked into distracting lifestyles while growing up where I did, but because of my head start in personal responsibility at a young age, I have always been a self-starter, setting objectives and focusing intently on outcomes came naturally to me.