Now sitting in the C-suite, Alexandra Shapiro is a long way from her humble start as an 18-year-old fleeing political unrest with her parents and then-5-year-old brother.
These days, she's the chief marketing officer of BigCommerce, an e-commerce platform for merchants selling on the web.
Back in 1991, the family of four only had their one-way tickets to San Francisco out of Ukraine, two bags of clothing per person, and $650 in cash, Shapiro said.
"We were coming as refugees, looking for freedom," she said. "We were full of hope for starting something new, going after our dreams and going into a country of opportunity."
But the road to finding that success was a tough one.