BreakLiner Harold Penson has landed a Product Manager role at Adyton! Here is part of his story:
“My dad grew up on the south side of Chicago. He enlisted in the Air Force and got to serve his country and see so much more of the world. He met my mom while stationed in South Korea. My father always hoped I would have a warrior’s heart. As a child, I felt proud of my dad for serving in the military, but that wasn’t my dream early on. I got on the ‘go to college and get a good job’ track.
Stanford recruited me and I was admitted. At the time, I’d never even heard of it! I quickly learned what a big deal it was, and then also realized there was no way we could afford it. But then Stanford paid my way to visit the campus, and I was sold. My parents said we’d find a way.
I graduated with an economics degree and went to work in banking. This was during the war in Afghanistan. None of my coworkers—or their families—had ever served in the military. Over time, I felt the call to enlist and be shoulder-to-shoulder with the people who were helping our country in such a meaningful way.
I resigned from my banking job and enlisted in the Army, ultimately joining the Special Forces as a medic. Soon after, I met my wife, Kymberly Penson (also an Army veteran and BreakLine alum). I served on several combat deployments, and then we both transitioned back into civilian life. I went to business school at the University of Chicago and started working in tech.
A year ago, I connected with BreakLine because I wanted to find a position where I could combine all of my passions. When they first introduced me to James Boyd & JJ Wilson, Adyton’s co-founders, it was like a scene from that movie Stepbrothers. We were so aligned on our mission and vision and values, it was incredible. I’m super excited about the work we’re doing together.
The other big thing that’s happened since working with BreakLine is that Kym and I had a son. We recently held a traditional Korean ceremony where he selected an item to forecast his path. Instead of choosing just one thing, he picked up two of my military challenge coins. Perhaps he has a warrior’s heart too.
I haven’t really told these stories publicly before. But I’m really proud to be a part of the BreakLine family. And if BreakLine asks, I will always say yes!”