Meet the Microban Team: Ivan Ong

From dreams of joining a mariachi band to having a pretty amazing musical memory - meet Ivan Ong, Vice President of R&D at Microban International.

Ivan Ong Profile Photo

1. How long have you worked at Microban?

24 years.

2. What three traits define you?

  1. Curious- I regard a day as wasted if I don’t learn anything new.
  2. Opportunistic- I get excited if there is a different, quicker, better way to do something. I am always trying to find a Plan B.
  3. Impatient- do I hide that well or not?

3. What is one interesting fact about you that people would be surprised to learn?

I have a pretty good musical memory- I can recall most songs I’ve heard since when I was 3 or 4 yrs old and play them on a keyboard in any key (except B major which I absolutely loathe).

4. Where is the best place you have traveled to and why?

I love the South Island of New Zealand- the climate, the easy-going people, the night sky so full of stars and the breath-taking Lord of the Rings landscape. I could live there.

Lake Tekapo NZ

5. How do you define success?

Success at work: to create and add value to the company and to continually learn to be humble and respect others. Personal success: to have truly lived- as in the quote in the movie “Walter Mitty”: To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life

6. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I would dearly love to learn some Spanish and learn how to play a guitarrón and join a mariachi band.

7. What three words would you use to describe Microban International?

  1. Variety- amazing variety in projects, ideas. We’re not just making the same old widget for years.
  2. Dynamic- we are always ambitious, always have our eye on the horizon.
  3. Dedicated- I’m humbled by meeting Microban folks who are dedicated to doing their best.

8. What is your favorite thing about working in the antimicrobial industry?

It’s not static. It’s a moving smorgasbord of opportunities, challenges, new innovations. As the SAS motto goes, Who dares, wins.

9. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Desmond TuTu, William Slim (British WWII general who gained victory under the most appalling conditions without any fanfare), Fred Rogers, Abraham Lincoln and Attila the Hun (we might have to tie him down at the dinner table).

I always love dining with my family because we argue about things like Taylor’s expansion and Riemann integrals.

10. If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

That’s the hardest question of the bunch because I love to eat. Impossible to answer!

Lake Tekapo NZ Photo Credit: Ivan W. Ong Photography