It happens all the time. I meet someone new at a local coffee shop (today it was Giant Coffee in downtown Phoenix), and we share our excitement about technology.

They talk about the efforts they are making to train a local workforce, retain top talent in Arizona, or develop a thriving tech economy. (In the case of Security Canyon, it was all three!)

I explain my goal to have kids learning to code for free in every public library in the country, and talk about discovering a model that allows any library to succeed, even if the staff has zero technology expertise.

These conversations are a form of jet fuel for me, as I get so much energy when I find like-minded, talented people working for the same objective.

And so it was today, when all of the sudden my coffee guest mentioned Frank Abagnale in connection with a cyber security effort she is working on. It took me a few seconds to figure out where I had heard the name. Of course! The crook gone good guy portrayed by Leo DiCaprio in the movie “Catch me if you can!”

catch_me_if_you_can_poster

As it turns out, Frank has spent a long time helping law enforcement agencies catch white collar criminals. And even though the technologies of his day included forged checks and phony identification, Frank has kept up with the next horizon of nefarious criminal activity: cyber crime. Now he is a regular speaker on the topic, and has even joined forces with a Scottsdale-based cyber security company!

That was certainly unexpected! Maybe Frank can encourage all those young coders out there to use their powers for good!