Leader Spotlight – Mike Murad

This month, our spotlight turns to Mike Murad, CU Engage’s VP of Technology. In this role, Mike manages all aspects of Technology, including system administration, software development, business and pricing analysis, and business intelligence. With CU Engage for almost two years, Mike is “delighted” to be VP of Technology and leads a smart, geographically sprawling (three time zones) but laser-focused team.  Mike not only leads a fantastic team, but they build incredible things together benefiting both the CU Engage team, and CU Engage clients.

Hullabaloo was the Norm

A transplanted Minnesotan living in beautiful Rapid City, South Dakota, Mike grew up in a lively family where hullabaloo was the norm, punctuated by thoughtful silences from time to time.  He has a background in philosophy and almost became a logician, but found his way into technology, where he discovered computers let logic affect the real world.  (“How cool is that?”)

Mike enjoys singing at church, walking, reading, napping, cooking, and occasionally chasing the deer out of his backyard.

If your Thursday is feeling a little bit too much like a Monday, read on for guaranteed chuckles.


Q & A with Mike

Q: What is one thing about you few people know?                                                                             A: My LDL cholesterol number.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working here?                                                                                A: The culture of fun and hard work, and all of my colleagues, who make that possible.

Q: What inspires you?                                                                                                                                A: Building things.

Q: What makes you laugh?                                                                                                                      A: Absurdity, including my own.

Q: What chore do you hate?                                                                                                                    A: Opening snail-mail.

Q: Are you a hunter or a gatherer?                                                                                                         A: Hunter.

Q: What are your pet peeves?                                                                                                                  A: Other people’s poorly-managed pets.  “Bark! Bark! Bark! Said the barking dog.  Bark!”

Q: What was your favorite book, toy, or outfit as a child?                                                                    A: Anything from Dr. Seuss.

Q: Is the glass half empty or half full?                                                                                                      A: It’s too small and needs handles on both sides.

Q: What is your personal brand statement?                                                                                           A: A pleasant, well-nourished man in no apparent distress.

Q: Do you have a motto or a mantra? What is it?                                                                                 A: “More to come!”

Q: What would you do if you won the lottery?                                                                                      A: Invest in my current employer and gradually reduce my role to eliminate all administrative tasks.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?                                                                                                               A: ‘80s music.

Q: If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?                                A: Ribeye.

Q: What is your definition of success?                                                                                                     A: [to] meet with triumph and disaster/and treat those two impostors just the same.

Q: What is your favorite holiday?                                                                                                             A: Feast of Christ the King.

Q: Where is your hometown?  Where are you now?  If different, what brought you there?              A: From, Minneapolis living in Rapid City.  “The trees are drawing me near…I’ve got to find out why…” – The Moody Blues

Q: What is your favorite thing or place in the city you live in?                                                              A: Skyline Ridge – 600 feet above downtown smack-dab in the middle of the city.  Plus dinosaur statues!

Q: When are you happiest?                                                                                                                        A: When I’m singing Gregorian chant or Renaissance polyphony.

Q: What would the title of your autobiography be?                                                                                A: Regards, MGM

Q: Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?                                                                                                        A: A plastic button.

Q: First concert?                                                                                                                                            A: Sting

Q: If you could pick one theme for CU Engage to turn into a book about the company, what would you choose?                                                                                                                                    A: How I stopped worrying and learned to help the little guy.

Q: Best vacation you’ve taken?                                                                                                                  A: Rome and the Shrines of Italy, 2000

Q: Are you messy or organized?                                                                                                                A: Both/and.

Q: Do you have an office nickname?                                                                                                        A: I suspect I do but have never caught anyone saying it …

Q: What is your spirit animal?                                                                                                                    A: The eagle.

Q: What book did you read last?                                                                                                              A: House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds.

Q: What celebrity do people think you look like?                                                                                  A: I have had a friendly tell me Tom Hanks, but then that was several decades ago when I was less bald.  More recently, a not-so-friendly said John Malkovich.

Q: What is an ability you wish you had?                                                                                                 A: To quiet my imagination, senses, and memory sufficiently to focus on one thing and penetrate it more deeply with my intellect.

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?                                                                                         A: Keep your will fixed on the good without flinching when forced to confront the bad.

Q: Top three life highlights:                                                                                                                        A: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Q: Advice for new hires?                                                                                                                            A: Don’t be (too) shy, we don’t bite.

Q: Describe CU Engage in 5 words or less:                                                                                             A: More Fun and Les Anderson.

Q: If you could learn to do any one thing, what would it be?                                                              A: Play a musical instrument.

Q: When you have 30 minutes of free time, what are you doing?                                                      A: Reading.

Q: What is the coolest or most important trend you see today?                                                         A: Working remotely.

Q: If you were the newest crayon in the box, what color would you be and why?                          A: Vantablack.  It’s the closest thing to the color of a black hole.

Q: What is your favorite 90’s jam?                                                                                                            A: Good Beat – Deee-Lite

Q: What is something funny that happened to you recently?                                                              A: I was served a “gluten-free” hamburger with a bun made of…mushroom tops…just, no.

Q: Have you ever met anyone famous?                                                                                                    A: I took a class from a visiting professor who was at that time the most-cited intellectual alive.

Q: What is on the radio in your car?                                                                                                        A: I don’t know!

Q: Best advice you’ve ever been given?                                                                                                   A: It’s never as good as it seems or as bad as it seems.

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