Very few individuals choose to make a transition from engineering to business. However, according to Nuhad Karaki, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Inceptre Corporation, the hard work and integrity he learned from studying engineering played an essential part in making him the executive he is today.
We had the opportunity to interview Nuhad about his unique background and his role and successes at Inceptre. Here is what he had to say:
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
From a very early age, my parents emphasized the importance of family, religion, work ethic, and integrity. Integrity was weaved into all of life’s lessons: if something was worth doing, then it was worth doing the right way, without any shortcuts. Keep it simple and be true to yourself.
Upon arriving in the U.S., I devoted myself to completing my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Engineering (from University of Colorado in Boulder) and Business (MBA from Denver University). The systematic skills and processes I learned in the Engineering classroom, along with my Jesuit upbringing, shaped the way I think about and analyze problems today: sometimes to the dismay of my family and friends.
For my entire professional career, I have been focused on improving processes, expanding and growing companies, and providing executive level leadership for both the private and public sectors. I consider it an honor and privilege to hold a very high U.S. Government security clearance and even prouder that my current company provides input and solutions to extremely vexing national security issues.
What was a key point in your career that helped you get to where you’re today?
A pivotal point in my career was when I decided to focus on my business degree and enter the business world. Although I excelled at engineering and use many of its tenets today, my passion was centered on the business world.
What does your firm focus on and how does your role impact the organization?
Our company is a solution provider to multiple government agencies and provides Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) support to the U.S. intelligence community. We are well diversified and also provide subject matter expertise in the language areas and IT support to the IC and DOD.
My role is to provide executive management to the company while establishing corporate objectives, define the strategic plan and vision, align operations, and position and lead the company for growth to the next level. A key accomplishment has been my ability to maintain long-lasting relationships with key partners and stakeholders throughout the private and public sectors.
Can you describe your relationship with ACG National Capital? How has being a member factored in your career?
I consider my relationship with the ACG National Chapter to be excellent. I have attended many meetings and seminars, introduced key speakers to events, and developed long lasting friendships. The friendships developed have benefited me tremendously, and I enjoy the opportunity to connect people in meaningful ways.
You were recently elected to the ACG National Capital Board of Directors. What are your ambitions and/or expectations while serving on the board?
As a board member, I am focused on advancing the strategic goals and vision of the chapter. As I mentioned earlier, people are the key to solving problems and ultimate business success. I will continue to bring excellent speakers to important events and utilize my vast network of contacts in the private and public sectors to solve problems.
Any final stories or anecdotes you’d like to share?
Integrity and hard work are key. As a young teenager, I asked my father to buy me a car. Rather than buy me the car, he sent me to the middle-east (one of his key construction projects) to perform manual labor at a plant in triple digit temperatures. He introduced me to a very large construction foreman by saying: “Abdul – this is my oldest and favorite son who will be working for you this summer. If you treat him like my son, you will be fired”. Well, he worked my tail off that summer, but I learned the lesson that hard work pays off when I received the car.