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Coffee meetings and phishing attacks: Taralinda Willis and Norman Sadeh

Headshots of Taralinda Willis and Norman Sadeh
Maks Yadvinskyy, Ryan Smith
Left to right: Taralinda Willis and Norman Sadeh

Taralinda Willis never imagined she would start a company; Norman Sadeh never imagined he wouldn’t. Despite those different perspectives, both founded startups and built them into successful businesses.

Taralinda Willis co-founded Curate Solutions with her husband Dale. He managed the technical side; she managed the business side. One of the secrets to her hard-earned expertise in sales: Rarely turn down a coffee meeting. Curate, a civic intelligence company that helps customers monitor local government discussions, was acquired in 2021 for an undisclosed price.

Norman Sadeh is a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who spent his early career doing research, building educational programs, and working at the European Commission. When the time came to start Wombat Security Technologies, he used his understanding of technology and human behavior to create a unique training software that teaches employees how to avoid phishing attacks. Wombat was acquired in 2018 for $225 million in cash.

Midwest Moxie's executive producer is Audrey Nowakowski. She produced this episode. Subscribe to Midwest Moxie on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and NPR One. And if you love Midwest Moxie as much as we do, help us out by posting a review.

Kathleen Gallagher is the host of Midwest Moxie and previously the host of How Did You Do That?.