Dan Goman, CEO and founder of Ateliere, clearly remembers bread and milk lines, and the day he left Romania, fleeing to Italy and then to the United States at the age of 10.
“We had a large family, so everyone had to pitch in,” he said. “One thing we had to do was get up early and get in line for food before they ran out.”
Born in Western Romania in the 1970s, Goman and his family lived under an oppressive communist regime that gave his father a choice to conform and become part of the communist party or keep quiet. He did neither, so both parents were fired from their jobs as university professors and blacklisted.
“The state is the employer, so you just can’t go from Microsoft to Google to find a new employer, he said. “They applied to leave the country, which took about 14 years.”