Tell us a little about your Black Owned Business or Blog (no links or url's please) in 300 words max- we will share this on approval with our 250K network!
IRIS MACK, PhD, EMBA, earned a Harvard doctorate in Applied Mathematics and a London Business School Sloan Fellow MBA.
Why did you become an Entrepreneur?
From 1997 to 2000 I lived abroad. I studied and worked in Brussels and London. In addition, I traveled all over Europe and Asia, learning about many different cultures and meeting many interesting people. The only problem I had with being abroad was that I missed spending time with my very large immediate and extended families back in the states. During my last Christmas vacation while living in Europe, I spent some time with my mom in New Orleans. She was not feeling very well and looked a bit frail. Hence, during the summer of 2000 I resigned from a position as a structurer of derivatives products at a London investment bank to return to the states to be closer to my family.
Why did you choose your business niche?
Between 2000 and 2009 I experienced some amazing highs and lows living in the States again: Al Gore winning the popular vote and the Supreme Court selecting Bush as president; working as a vice president of derivatives structured products at a Silicon Valley dotcom investment bank that went bust; working as a derivatives quant and trader at Enron when it went bust; living through the pain and suffering of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina -- which devastated my hometown New Orleans; getting fired for blowing the whistle on derivatives trading and risk management issues while working as a financial engineer/quant at Harvard Management Company; taking care of my ailing mom and disabled veteran brother on Miami Beach after they lost their homes in New Orleans due to hurricane Katrina; dealing with the global economic crisis; and trying to deal with my mother's sudden death last year. If I had a chance to redo a decade of my life, it would certainly be the last one. However, we don't get redos. So I did all I could to learn from these experiences and to move forward.
Most Exciting Life Experience?
Except for a few short trips to Europe and to the Bahamas, I'd spent most of my time in the states since 2000. However, this past December I was fortunate to be able to return to Europe. I have been spending my time in various western European countries -- consulting, doing research, lecturing and writing a book. My life in Europe is much more serene and healthier than it was in the states. I can actually drink the delicious tap water. Also, most of the food is organic, folks have health care, crime is low, not many folks are packing guns, the education systems are very good, college tuition is quite inexpensive and political debates are stimulating. There are lots of great restaurants, night clubs, museums, beautiful lakes, very scenic Alps for skiing, great public transportation systems, etc.
Another exciting thing about living in Europe at the moment is seeing firsthand how the various European countries are dealing with the global economic meltdown. I just love Germany's Angela Merkel's take-no-prisoner attitude. She basically told Greece to straighten up and fly right before the Germans would consider bailing out the Greeks. Too bad the U.S. did not take a similar approach before bailing out greedy Wall Street bankers. Greek citizens are rioting in the streets -- protesting their corrupt and incompetent government. For several years corrupt Greek politicians paid Goldman Sachs millions of dollars to structure toxic derivatives products so they could hide Greece's debt from the other EU countries.
What's your Favorite Quote?
All students deserves a solid Math education - the gatekeeper subject to many careers
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