When Taryn Aguas first started working at Deloitte twenty years ago, it was clear she was unique. She grew quickly through the organization and became a leader known not just for her keen intellect and leadership, but also for her quick wit, her incredible laugh, and her loyalty. She was valued by her colleagues and her clients, who both came to rely on her ability to switch from leading deeply technical conversations one minute to charming a group of senior executives over dinner the next.
When Taryn spoke to you, you felt like the only person in the room. She shifted effortlessly from her role as a team leader to that of a friend. She was a one-of-a-kind leader. She was a one-of-a-kind person. She was a friend, a sister, a daughter, a wife, and a mother.
On April 23, 2022, Taryn passed away from metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.
Taryn and her husband Nelson’s two sons love hearing stories about their mom. We want them to know their mom was core to our cyber practice and the spirit of our community. So, we asked our colleagues, and a few close family members, to describe Taryn’s superpowers. Their tributes are a testament to Taryn’s lasting impact.
We will miss Taryn. Her tenacity, generosity, and ability to genuinely care about each of our lives has shaped and impacted us all. She represented the shared values of our Firm.
—The Deloitte Global Cyber Community
What was Taryn’s superpower?
“Taryn’s superpower in cyber, as well as in her personal life, was her determination. Her passion for cyber began at an early age, but it was heightened in college. As a computer information science major with very few women, she excelled, despite the odds against her. While she struggled at times, Taryn’s determination would never let her consider changing majors. That unwavering passion transferred directly to her career. In the world of cyber, Taryn would find herself in situations where her colleagues, who were predominantly male, had superior educational backgrounds. She could have chosen to be intimidated by this, but her relentless determination and passion for cyber made her a fierce contender for any project. Taryn never accepted anything less than perfection. She was meticulous in her daily work and expected that from her peers. When Taryn envisioned a goal, her incredible talent and determination allowed her to focus and avoid distractions until that goal was achieved. Her family witnessed this same determination and relentless passion that made her successful in her career in her battle with cancer.”
—Nelson Aguas, Taryn’s husband
“Taryn’s superpower was her ability to handle so many different roles. She was the complete package. She had tremendous knowledge in her field, and she had the ability to develop meaningful relationships with her clients and to help them understand the necessity of cybersecurity. Taryn was a mentor to many in her field, and she loved her career. In addition to being a leader in cybersecurity, she was an amazing wife, mother, sister, and friend. She was able to balance all of these parts of her life beautifully, and her ability to handle all of these different roles was truly her superpower.”
—Laura Sebekos, Taryn’s sister
“In a word, Taryn was magical. She instantly lit up any room she walked into and easily transformed complex, complicated cyber and business issues into simple, digestible problems and proceeded to solve each one with ease. She won the hearts and minds of everyone she met. She will be missed, but her magic remains in each of us that she’s touched.”
“Taryn to me is the epitome of Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and her superhuman skills. Taryn projected grace under pressure, exhibited superhuman strength and incredible stamina, and like Captain Marvel, was always there to bail out her Deloitte Avengers family (which was often) … and then it was off to the next world (clients, alliance partners, etc.) to save. I know she is watching over her children Aiden and Ethan from the skies above.”
“From the first time I met Taryn – almost 20 years ago – I was constantly in awe of her fierce tenacity, unwavering compassion, and devout loyalty coupled with that ever-present smile and her laugh, especially the twinkle in her eye (and that slight tilt of her head) when she shared stories of love and laughter about Nelson, Aiden, and Ethan. I am incredibly grateful for our friendship. She is deeply loved, will be forever in our minds, and is most certainly an inspiration to everyone.”
“Taryn has been a force since the moment I knew her. Her superpower was knowing when to use her superpower. She could be firm when she needed to, gentle when she needed to, a coach when her team needed that, and a mama bear watching her cub get threatened when her team needed that.”
“Taryn had many superpowers and an amazing ability to know when and how to put them to work. She was incredibly steadfast and when she believed in something, and had a view of what was right, she was unwavering. She spoke her mind, even when it was tough and did so in a thoughtful, intellectual and empathetic manner. She was incredibly strong, and was fueled by a deep determination to find her way in all of the challenges she faced.”
“Taryn’s superpower was being able to actively listen and understand her clients in ways that made her not just an advisor, but a friend – someone they could talk to and trust. She was able to build incredible relationships because of this authenticity.”
“Taryn’s superpower was charisma. She could captivate the full table at a business dinner with her kitchen remodeling story, but also could explain how she was going to modernize a client’s identity management program with that same charm and zeal. She was inspirational, a true problem solver, graceful, effective with difficult clients, and she delivered with distinction. She cared deeply for people’s careers and was a strong role model, especially for women in our practice. As a friend, she was fun-loving and adventurous, had an infectious and sometimes mischievous laugh, and was extremely loyal. Her love for her children and husband were unmatched. I miss her a lot and always think about her when I’m drying my hair…no idea why.”
“Taryn’s superpower as a woman in cyber was to look through the initial ask or problem statement and understand the larger picture, the bigger strategy, and how we can enable our people and our clients to be most successful. She possessed this innate curiosity, mixed with a drive to always do the right thing, even when it’s not easy. The result was that people looked to her as a mentor, leader, professional, and human that they all strived to be like. Taryn may not be here with us today, but the example she set continues to guide what it means to be kind, thoughtful, and servant-focused.”
“I’m confident that Taryn would call me out on this, but I’m going to compare her to Elastigirl. Taryn could flex to any situation. She could quickly assess problems and morph herself — and the team — to provide a solution.”
“As I reflect on Taryn’s impact on me personally and to our practice, I’d suggest that one of her superpowers was courage: courage to say things as they are, directly and candidly, even if it was a tough message that she had to deliver. I always appreciated her candor and transparency as well as her ability to influence others around her.”
“Taryn had so many incredible superpowers, but the one I always appreciated was her sense of calm in the midst of the storm. She was the “Captain Sullenberger” of cyber. She balanced emotions with a rational and deliberate thought process, acted with calm and bounded optimism – which gave those around her hope that they can face the challenges ahead.”
“Taryn had many superpowers, but the greatest by far was her strength. She was a strong leader, mentor, colleague, and friend, and was never discouraged by adversity. She never faltered and every challenge made her stronger. There were many more superpowers: her BS-detector, her generosity, her ability to ‘tell it like it is’ while making you feel that she had your best-interest at heart. She was passionate about our people, a true mentor and advocate. Fighting until the end, she never changed her outlook on life. We are lucky and better for having crossed paths with Taryn.”