Johan Roets leads Intersections Inc. I’m not surprised that Intersections Inc is now the only company in partnership with IBM Watson to bring privacy protection into the 21st century.
They successfully avoided getting hacked, kept all their customers data safe and continue to deliver on their promise to protect people’s identity and their privacy. Perhaps I’m biased because I love their product, but from the day I met Johan 20 years ago, he’s been an innovator, a business builder and the best of friends. He is an incredibly focused and driven individual. This was clear from the day we met in my office in South Africa. We had a one hour conversation and the next day we started a company together! The following week he’d found the first client for that company. The man is incredible to see in action. He built one of the largest and fastest growing IT and BP outsourcing companies in South Africa, then turned around an Argentinian bank while learning Spanish in the process, and is now doing the same for Intersections.
Outside of work, he is a connoisseur of life and it’s many pleasures. Hanging out with Johan is a joy and you’ll learn the lost art of the renaissance gentleman from spending time with him. He’s been a great friend over the years and is on speed dial for me whenever I’ve got a business problem that I’m battling and need a cool head and a sharp mind.
Although his contributions to my personal life and business life have been too numerous to count, there is one I want to especially call out: that’s introducing me to Melba Amissi.
As he usually does, Johan set up a meeting with little more information other than “you guys should meet”. So, we both arrived at our first meeting with some apprehension. Sometimes in life, you know in five minutes that you’re in the presence of someone that will impress, inspire and amaze you for a long time to come. We’ve known each other a few years now, and that initial feeling proved correct. Melba does many things at Intersections, but the one that will mean the most in the long term is how she has touched the lives of so many people and supported them through difficult times to get them to a place where they are now flourishing and loving life again. We get a lot out of our work, but when someone there has a positive impact on your whole life, that's a place worth sticking around.
Melba, despite our infrequent opportunities to catch up in person, I appreciate your clarity, courage and commitment to the work we do together and am very thankful to have you as a friend and business colleague in my life.
Melba and Johan, thank you for all the important work you do with Identity Guard. I would like to express my deep gratitude to you as wonderful, kind, generous and inspiring people. I am honored to know and work with you both. Along with superstars like Ron Barden, Jerry Thompson, and Dennis Tebon and their first-class sales team, I know our privacy and identity is in good hands. I’ve come to meet and work with some wonderful people at Identity Guard: Dawn Kresslein, Marie Velez, Stephani Ruggieri, Mark Hastings, Kathy Vance to name a few, as well as many others that have since left Intersections. Thank you all.