NEWTON FALLS, OH (WKBN) – Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stopped in Newton Falls for dinner Friday night.
Dan and Lisa Moore welcomed him into their home for a meal, which Zuckerberg later said was delicious and that he appreciated their hospitality.
“We toasted to his initiatives,” Dan said. “And we did give him crystal wine glasses.”
Moore said Zuckerberg’s visit was mainly due to luck. Zuckerberg is currently on a U.S. tour to visit all 50 states. He posted the following message to his Facebook page on January 3, explaining his reason for the tour.
Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work. In recent years, I’ve run 365 miles, built a simple AI for my home, read 25 books and learned Mandarin.
My personal challenge for 2017 is to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year. I’ve spent significant time in many states already, so I’ll need to travel to about 30 states this year to complete this challenge.
After a tumultuous last year, my hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future.”
Moore said Zuckerberg wanted to visit the Youngstown area because of all the political attention the Rust Belt received during the past presidential election, due to Ohio being a “swing” state. Because members of the Moore family are Democratic, but voted for Republican President Donald Trump, they gained attention in the media.
Moore continued to explain that Zuckerberg ended up hearing about his family, so he decided to seek them out so he could discuss the decision behind their vote and learn more about the lives of the people living in the Rust Belt.
Moore said Zuckerberg arrived for dinner in Newton Falls at 6 p.m. Friday, but the Moore family didn’t know it was going to be Facebook’s CEO until 5:45 p.m. Moore got a call within the last week from a local guy who is connected with Zuckerberg, although he had only asked if he’d like to have dinner with a special guest.
“His staff people said, ‘I work for a very wealthy philanthropist in California and 90 percent of Americans use his product,’” Moore said.
Dan said the dinner conversation was not entirely focused on politics. They also discussed Zuckerberg’s latest philanthropic endeavors, Lisa spoke about education and son Dan talked about the Mahoning Valley Dream Center.
“The more he talked, the more I liked him and was inspired by him,” Dan said.
Earlier in the day, Zuckerberg spoke with Muslim students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He said most of them were immigrants and told him about their experiences in violent war zones. Zuckerberg also stopped at the Ford Rouge Plant outside Detroit, even pitching in on the assembly line.
He then traveled to Eastern Gateway Community College to learn about their machining and welding programs and to meet with students.