Culture

Let's get Personal: Meet Bobby!

Learn more about Bobby Kozyra, a former U.S. Naval Officer and current partnerships manager at Persona who values connecting with others over food.

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⚡ Key takeaways

At Persona, we're incredibly proud of our amazing team. We think they're smart, funny, and kind, and we're sure you'll think the same. That's why we started this blog series to help you get to know the people behind Persona.

Today, meet Bobby Kozyra, a former U.S. Naval Officer and current partnerships manager at Persona who values connecting with others over food. He shares what a typical day looks like for him, his career path at Persona, and more in this Q&A:

What does your typical day look like at Persona?

The partnerships team is in charge of sourcing, evaluating, and onboarding new partners. While we support a range of different partners, one type I support are Persona Marketplace partners, which are third-party data and productivity platforms seamlessly integrated within Persona. 

To that end, a typical day might involve a monthly sync with a partner to coordinate on our go-to-market activities, collaboration with the sales team on an existing opportunity where there might be a need for a new partner (or new product with an existing partner), or learning about new tools within the identity verification ecosystem. Our mission is to help our customers easily access and use the tools they need to accomplish their goals.

Why did you choose Persona?

I chose Persona because everyone I met throughout the hiring process made themselves available to discuss the role, the company, and areas of collaboration. It also helped that each person I spoke with was genuinely curious and smart, and recognized that there needs to be a mutual fit for each role. The process highlighted that people at Persona don’t just want to fill a role — they want to fill it with an individual who is interested in that position and ensure it aligns with what they want to do next. 

I started as a customer success manager here, and I enjoyed diving into different industries and building personal connections with our customers. True to what I felt during the interview process, Persona made room for me to flex my relationship-building and entrepreneurial skills in a new direction when I joined our partnerships team. It’s exciting to be on the business development side and figure out how the types of services we provide can add value to other organizations.

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Tell us one thing that people may not know about you.

I’m very passionate about sharing food and having a meal with other people. Across the world, food represents a core part of our identity. The best way to learn about another person (and region/country) can often be found within food. 

When I was serving in Iraq, I had a lot of chai and was occasionally invited to share masgouf, a roasted catfish delicacy. In the US, catfish is fairly common, but in Iraq, it’s harder to come by — so when someone shares masgouf with you, it’s really meaningful. Another particularly memorable meal I had overseas was at Sushi Umi in Tokyo. It was fascinating to see the sushi chefs at work, each finding joy in perfecting their part of the meal before moving to the next level.

Who is someone you look up to or admire at Persona and why?

Tim Chang, who leads our privacy, security, and compliance programs, is the first individual who comes to mind. Tim is responsive, dependable, and best of all, a genuine joy to be around. Persona operates in a heavily regulated and sensitive industry. As a result, many organizations require trust and confidence that Persona takes our responsibilities of handling personal information seriously. In practice, this means ensuring we comply with a wide range of security certifications, answering hundreds of questions from prospective customers, hopping on calls to dive into details, and staying up to date on changing trends in the industry. Tim does this all with a smile!

What should people know about Persona?

What makes Persona different is that Persona has built a culture of excellence. This is something that companies always strive toward, but there is no guarantee that they’ll get there. This culture of excellence is embedded in our value of pursuing high standards. Regardless of which team you’re on, there is always a strong emphasis on how you can be challenged to be better in your role. Moreover, people here strive to work toward something good. The analogy of “I don’t know how to cook, but I know what good tastes like” encapsulates Persona as well.

What is your favorite Persona Slack channel and why?

My favorite Slack channel at Persona is #outbound-nerds, where we get to see the incredible tenacity of our sales development team. Reaching out to people day in and day out is not easy. You’re often told, “no” or “not interested” — and more often than not, you’re not told anything because you’ve been ghosted. Despite all of this, our sales development team shares their wins (and creativity) in our outbound channel, from an initial meeting to close, and it sure is a sight to see!

What is your favorite place to eat at, and what would you recommend to someone who has never been?

I live in Austin, and two places immediately come to mind. First is Gracia Mediterranean. The place is a hole-in-the-wall, only seating approximately 30 people. I highly recommend their fresh chickpea hummus, beets, and local tomatoes. And don’t forget to strike up a conversation with the bartender: he knows how to get creative with the beverages! The second place is June’s All Day, whose slogan speaks for itself: “a little bit of Paris in Austin.”

Stay tuned as we continue featuring more Personerds in this ongoing series!

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