Declara Co-Founder Ramona Pierson's Comeback Odyssey

The remarkable comeback of Declara’s co-founder
Ramona Pierson Photograph by Graeme Mitchell for Bloomberg Businessweek

As a 22-year-old marine, Ramona Pierson spent most days stuck in an office at the El Toro air station near Irvine, Calif. She excelled at math and was doing top-secret work, coming up with algorithms to aid fighter attack squadrons. Pierson enjoyed the covert puzzling. She was also an exercise addict: After clocking out each day, she would head off for a 13-mile run. Her male counterparts were impressed enough with the workout regime to nominate her the fittest person on the base.

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