by Chris Buse, CISO
Old Republic National Title Insurance Company

August 15, 2022

I can still remember the amazing feeling when I won a Visionary Leadership Award in 2016. At that time, the Cybersecurity Summit only gave out two awards: one to a private sector leader and another to a leader in the public sector. Serving as the Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Minnesota, I won the public sector award.

At the time, I led a phenomenally talented security team, so I rightfully credited the award to the people who did the heavy lifting. But still, standing on a big stage and walking off with a fancy memorial felt disingenuous. I knew that my success was attributable to a team of talented professionals who worked tirelessly to protect the citizens of Minnesota. I still love that team and am still very proud of what we did to help chart a course for robust cybersecurity in our state.

Hungering for change that would recognize people throughout the security ecosystem, the following year I volunteered to lead the Visionary Leadership Awards Program. In lieu of just recognizing top leaders, the VLAs would recognize all the people who demonstrated leadership in key cyber disciplines.

Christopher Buse 2016 Public Sector Visionary Leader
Christopher Buse
2016 Public Sector Visionary Leader

The awards continue to recognize contributions across a number of areas:

• Visionary Academic Leader
• Visionary Application Security Leader
• Visionary Global Leader
• Visionary Governance Champion
• Visionary Governance, Risk, and Compliance Leader
• Visionary IT Audit Leader
• Visionary Security Awareness Program Leader
• Visionary Security Operations Leader
• Visionary Security Program and Oversight Leader
• Visionary Student

Fast forward, the Visionary Leadership Awards Program has recognized countless cybersecurity stars for their contributions. For example, last year we recognized Kevin Mandia for helping organizations worldwide understand the highly complex SolarWinds attack.

Over the years we made the recognition event more fun for the award winners; this year we’re even bringing in Domenic Allen, a rock and roll legend from the band Foreigner. We also gave the awards a cool Hollywood-like name, “The Morries®”. We coined the name after Robert Morris, a college student who unleashed the Morris Worm in 1988.

Now older with a touch of grey, it is still an honor to be helping the Cybersecurity Summit run this incredible program. For me, it all comes back to that amazing feeling that I had when I won my award in 2016. I want to see other hard-working professionals have that same experience.

What makes me proudest of all is that three members of my former government team have now won awards of their own. They all are cybersecurity rock stars and highly deserving of recognition.

Kevin Mandia 2021 Founder’s Award
Kevin Mandia
2021 Founder’s Award
#NealDawson 2018 Security Operations
Neal Dawson
2018 Security Operations
#JohnIsrael 2019 Security Operations
John Israel
2019 Security Operations
#DebStafford 2021 Security Operations
Deb Stafford
2021 Security Operations

I sincerely look forward to honoring a new group of deserving professionals with this year’s Visionary Leadership Award. There is no greater honor than being recognized by your peers for outstanding contributions to our profession.


Christopher Buse serves as Chief Information Security Officer for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company. In this capacity, Christopher is responsible for designing and implementing the enterprise security architecture for the company.

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