The conception of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance in 2002 embodied the foundation of mission, principles, courage, value and leadership reflected by its founding board member and described by President Teddy Roosevelt.
“Self-restraint, self-mastery, common sense, courage, resolution, and the power of accepting individual responsibility while acting in conjunction with others – these are the qualities which mark masterful people” – President Teddy Roosevelt
MDAA’s esteemed board member Hatim Tyabji has served on our board for two decades. He epitomizes the poignant statement of President Theodore Roosevelt, which Hatim has repeated to audiences at fourteen of our Missile Defender of the Year ceremonies:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
My wife Heather introduced me to Hatim at his office on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California in 2002. It was there that he had founded and brought public several billion-dollar companies including Verifone. Hatim also served on Boards of BMW and was the Chairman of the Board of Best Buy.
Hatim radiates purity, intelligence and drive through character that has produced leadership after leadership of team after team that wins. In 2002 we aligned in spirit and likeness: both of us immigrants and patriots to the United States. We are brothers in life with a common purpose.
One of the most notable memories of this first meeting in his private office was a quote on the wall displayed prominently, directly across his desk. In a framed poster with a picture of Emiliano Zapata was the quote, “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.” That picture now hangs in Alexandria.
Hatim graciously agreed to put himself in the center of the arena, volunteering to be the master of ceremonies at numerous Missile Defender of the Year award ceremonies, including Virginia and those in Ramstein and Cologne, Germany, as well as in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As a respected member of the MDAA Board of Directors, he participated in all our board meetings. These included meetings in Alaska; Czech Republic; and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California(where we were honored to host the very special guest, Mrs. Nancy Reagan), and in Hawaii.
There has been an abundance of achievements that MDAA completed under Hatim’s stewardship. It is the plethora of strategic advice passed through face-to-face discussions around the world and in our homes that has driven excellence for MDAA, for our Nation, and for our World.
Hatim is one of the great men in our lifetime who embodies the words of President Roosevelt. He is a true man in the arena who has been marred by dust, sweat and blood; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.
Hatim with courage, integrity and dignity has made the decision to withdraw from the arena. We honorably accept his decision and treasure him as a legend, a legacy, a hero, and a dream maker for our mission at the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.
Hatim has dreamed big, lived the dream and has given the dream. Thank you, Hatim, for all you have done for us.
Hatim the Dream!