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Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Modern Renaissance Man

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You’ve seen the Forbes 30 Under 30 Cover and his art website, so you know you’re meeting an extremely accomplished and handsome man. But what you’re not ready for is his approachability. You want to find something to dislike about this guy, but you just can’t. He’s a total mensch. Could it be that Nimrod Ron is perfect?

His resume reads like a guide in how to excel in modern Israeli society. Serving in the Special Forces in one of the top three elite units in the army; studying at the No. 1 undergraduate program at the No. 1 university in the country (dual program in business and law, of course); launching a successful tech startup before the age of 30. He casually lets you know he’s started training for a marathon, he bought a piano and is teaching himself to play, he’s going to lecture in the U.S. He has an upcoming art exhibition in Dallas at a premier gallery in the design district. He’s speaking to 500 people at a Jewish National Fund breakfast in Austin, Texas.

Just as he calmly discusses the aspects of himself and the world that he’s exploring, he also casually reveals extraordinary moments in his life: his time with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the days after the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015; his student exchange at King’s College in London, where he dreamed up a way to protect first responders from danger using micro drone technology; the time he was flipping Tel Aviv and Beersheba apartments while studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Even his supposed “failures” sound perfect on his resume — because everyone knows every successful entrepreneur needs a great failed venture story. “I mean, I failed with my last company. Big time. I threw 2 1/2 years away,” he said.

“I don’t think of anything as impossible now. I know my abilities are far more than what I think they are.”

But what makes Ron extraordinary isn’t his resume, his immense talent for  painting or his ever-quickening smile. It’s his attitude. “I won’t walk in the street and say, ‘Oh, I failed.’ I choose to see the success,” he said. 

Ultimately, this success lies in his belief in himself and his infinite potential — fueled by his time in his IDF Special Forces unit. “For two years, you are competing with yourself every moment,” he explained. 

After the multi-year training, 100-mile hikes without food (super-human missions he can’t discuss), Ron believes he can do anything he sets his mind to. “I don’t think of anything as impossible now. I know my abilities are far more than what I think they are.”

If perfection is an art form, Ron has perfected it. Perhaps this is why so many of his paintings feature the iconic faces of the highest achievers in their fields: Aretha Franklin, Salvador Dali, Clint Eastwood, Gandhi.  

For Ron, his painting has been “a spiritual journey, an awakening.” The self-described “last kid chosen in soccer” and “chubby, insecure teen” has built himself into a modern Renaissance man through hard work, self-confidence and a healthy dose of Israeli chutzpah.

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