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Never Give Up ...

Never Give Up ...

I enjoy writing feel-good stories, and the story we posted today on our site is just that – a truly inspiring article on why you should never give up on your dreams.

Min Kyriannis’s story is not your typical “Family immigrates to the United States in search of the American dream” scenario. It’s a lot more than that.

Kyriannis grew up in New York in Flushing, Queens (which happens to be my hometown) and has worked in a variety of technology and security roles for 25 years. After paying her dues in the industry that she loves, her dream of running her own technology company that will serve a great benefit for the security industry is finally becoming a reality.

A wife and mother of two young daughters, Kyriannis now has a “third baby,” Amyna Systems, a manufacturing and software development company with the primary goal of fixing cybersecurity issues in IoT devices for physical security systems, building automation systems, lighting systems, smart building systems and other network-installed systems.

The process of getting Amyna off the ground has taken a little longer than I’m sure she anticipated – three-and-a-half years – but in the meantime, she has assembled a team of four to five employees - with the goal of expanding her workforce exponentially. In addition, she has worked on getting partners on board for her venture, while she develops revolutionary technology that is designed to fix the cyber issues plaguing IoT devices on the above-mentioned systems.

Kyriannis anticipates going full steam ahead with Amyna by the end of this year, when her technology will be utilized for the projects her team will be tackling head-on.

In the meantime, as I chatted with her recently about what her goals – both professional and personal – were with the launch of Amyna Systems, I came away more impressed than I already was with the long-term plans she has for her “third baby.”

First off, Kyriannis has a clear game plan of developing a company culture that will benefit not only her employees, but their children as well, because family is Min’s No. 1 priority.

“It’s not just me, it’s also the people who are coming on board who have that same mindset, that we as a company are also a family, so we will take care of our employees for the long run,” she explained. “It’s not just developing healthcare benefits; I’m also considering educational programs and family programs, so that with families, there’s an afterschool program at the company for kids. Stuff like that would be beneficial to maintain the longevity of these employees, and also develop a company culture where family is important.”

In addition to developing a company culture, Min wants to ensure that there is an open line of communication between herself and her staff.

I’m sure we’ve all worked for companies where you cannot even approach your boss about any issues that may arise. That will not be an issue with Min at the helm.

“I’m not going to be one of those people who you can’t approach. I want you to approach me and talk to me in any situation,” she told me. “I’m not going to put myself on a pedestal; I want you to come and talk to me. I enjoy these conversations, and I think it’s important that people talk, because we can’t learn without communication.”

Let’s talk long-term goals. As you know, one of the questions we ask our “40 under 40” award winners is what they think should be done to attract young, talented people to the security industry.

Min’s vision for Amyna is to create what she calls “Silicon Valley on the East Coast,” so that graduates from universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or New York University (NYU) could utilize their talents in the eastern part of the U.S.

“Especially with Amyna, I really want to foster talent on the East Coast,” she said. I love the opportunity to partner with someone who is willing to help create an extension of Silicon Valley here on the East Coast. Then we could start working with universities to start fostering programs that could foster these talents locally here.”

When discussing her personal goals, Min immediately referred to her two young daughters and how balancing work and family can be achieved if you work hard at it, just like their mom.

“For me, it’s not just pushing myself and elevating the company, but it’s also elevating my role as a female where my kids can say, ‘You know what, if mommy can do this, I can do this, and there’s nothing that can stop us,’” she said. “They can have a family, and they can work at the same time. It just takes hard work.”

Company culture. Full transparency. Fostering local talent. Maintaining a family/work balance. These are all ingredients of a recipe for success, and Min certainly has steered her company on the right path with the vision she has outlined for Amyna.

Min’s story is a perfect example of the old adage that if you work hard and never give up on your dreams, success will follow.

We wish Min the best of luck on her new venture. There’s no reason to believe she won’t lead Amyna Systems to success not only here in the U.S., but also globally. An American dream realized, with so much more to offer. 


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