Visionary Leadership Award Honorees

For 7 of its 12 years, the Cyber Security Summit has honored the top cyber leaders across all disciplines in industry, government and academia since 2015. In 2018, our Visionary Leadership Awards program was expanded to include a wider array of visionary cyber leaders to fully represent the expertise needed in this thriving industry. The Cyber Security Summit’s goal is to recognize innovative cyber leaders at all levels who help develop and foster strategies to protect critical systems and data.

Each year the VLA Honorees are recognized at the Visionary Leaders Awards Dinner in conjunction with the Annual Cyber Security Summit. Along with recognition for their accomplishments, award recipients will get a brief opportunity to share their innovative strategies with other visionaries and then sit back and enjoy the show.

Visionary leaders from across the global cyber security community are eligible to receive awards, which are affectionately known as “Morrie Awards.” The awards are named after Robert Tappan Morris, the American computer scientist who notably created the first computer worm on the Internet. He later went on to make significant contributions to computer networking as well as co-found the funding firm Y Combinator and become a tenured professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Congratulations to the

2022 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees


The 12th Annual Cyber Security Summit will celebrate the Cyber Security industry’s Best and Brightest in our 7th Annual Visionary Leadership Awards on October 25, 2022 during the summit in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This fall the evening will shine brighter as we have added legendary rocker, Domenick Allen (from Foreigner, Broadway and more) to headline an evening that honors the efforts of our industry colleagues who are truly leading the way through their visionary approaches across the discipline of cyber security. And, the show will actually include some local cyber talent getting their groove on, we bet your curious who will join the band!

VISIONARY ACADEMIC LEADER
<strong>CHIP LAINGEN</strong>
CHIP LAINGEN

CHIP LAINGEN

Executive Director, Defense Alliance

Chip Laingen is Executive Director of Defense Alliance, an SBA-funded technology cluster; Corporate VP, LSI, and graduate faculty at the University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute.  He has a masters in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute, and was a U.S. Navy Moreau Scholar in the National Security Ph.D. program of the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University.  Commander Laingen is a 21-year Navy Veteran as an aviator and speechwriter to the Secretary of the Navy.  He finished his career in 2004 as a squadron commander.  He is the author of “Laingen on Leadership,” available on Amazon.

VISIONARY APPLICATION SECURITY LEADER
<strong><strong>TERRY SEIPLE</strong></strong>
TERRY SEIPLE

TERRY SEIPLE

Senior Enterprise Information Security and Cloud Architect, State of Minnesota

Experienced Information Security and Cloud Architect with a history of working with several large public and private sector employers. Skilled in many compliancy and Framework areas including NIST, ISO 27001 with a solid background in IT Strategy, Data Center, Identity & Access Management (IAM), and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Additional extensive background doing secure design architecture with many cloud-based platforms and technologies.

VISIONARY GLOBAL SECURITY LEADER
<strong><strong>PRASENJIT SAHA</strong></strong>
PRASENJIT SAHA

PRASENJIT SAHA

Executive Vice President and Global Cyber Security Business Head, L&T Infotech (LTI)

Prasenjit Saha is the Executive Vice President and Global Cyber Security Business Head for L&T Infotech (LTI). In his role, Prasenjit is responsible for defining and driving LTI’s global vision and strategy for LTI’s Cyber Defense Resiliency Services.  Prasenjit is an industry-recognized and respected leader in the Cybersecurity Services space. In the last 31+ years, he is highly respected for building profitable and fastest-growing global businesses in Cybersecurity, Digital Security, Cloud and Infrastructure Management and E-Commerce offerings. He is also an entrepreneur at heart as is known to establish the business as a founder for Cyber Security services in his last 3 organizations serving clients across all the continents.

VISIONARY GOVERNANCE
CHAMPION
<strong>WILLIAM RANKIN</strong>
WILLIAM RANKIN

WILLIAM RANKIN

Director of Governance and Compliance, ECS

William Rankin is the Director of Governance and Compliance at ECS. In this position, he has helped numerous companies establish information security programs that align with their business and industry needs. This work not only helps ensure industry compliance with applicable regulations and frameworks, but also helps protect the future of information security and cybersecurity on a broader scale.

William has held previous leadership roles at American Technology Services, Symantec Corporation, and Gannett/USA Today. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Decision Sciences and Management Information Systems from George Mason University, as well as numerous cybersecurity and compliance certifications.

VISIONARY GOVERNANCE, RISK, AND COMPLIANCE LEADER
<strong><strong>NATASCHA SHAWVER </strong></strong>
NATASCHA SHAWVER 

NATASCHA SHAWVER

Information Security Architect, University of Minnesota

Natascha Shawver is an Information Technology Security Professional with a demonstrated strong history of working in a variety of industries, most recently as a Security Architect in Higher Education. She has extensive experience in Enterprise Information Risk Management and the development of Information Security Governance, an area she considers not only important because of various compliance requirements, but also because clearly ARTICULATED security requirements empower organizations to let them confidently improve their security posture. She particularly enjoys the educational opportunities that hide within an area of security too commonly viewed as a chore.

VISIONARY IT
AUDIT LEADER
<strong><strong>NADIA RIZK</strong></strong>
NADIA RIZK

NADIA RIZK

Director of Technology Audit & Data Analytics, Target Corporation

Nadia Rizk is the Director of Technology Audit & Data Analytics for Target Corporation. Her responsibilities include leading internal audit and risk coverage of technology across Target and driving digital change through solution delivery that enhances the insights provided by data analytics throughout Internal Audit. Nadia has over 14 years of IT and Engineering experience where she led systems and application development and platform implementation in previous roles. She is also an advocate for equality and equity in the corporate sectors, highlighting the experiences people of diverse backgrounds face that can be improved upon through allyship, inclusion, mutuality and belonging.

VISIONARY SECURITY AWARENESS PROGRAM LEADER
<strong>ALYSSA MAKI</strong>
ALYSSA MAKI

ALYSSA MAKI

IT/InfoSec Analyst, Kimley-Horn and Associates

Alyssa Maki started her career as an elementary educator but made the jump to cybersecurity in 2018. She has a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity from Metropolitan State University and is an IT/InfoSec analyst at Kimley-Horn and Associates. In this role she wears many hats, including leading the cybersecurity awareness and training program for the company. As an intern, she inherited the program as a blank slate. Through the last two years, she collaborated with leaders and teammates to understand the company, the users, and the risks they face to build a program that was curated for the audience it served.

VISIONARY SECURITY
OPERATIONS LEADER
<strong><strong>LAURA JOHNSON</strong></strong>
LAURA JOHNSON

LAURA JOHNSON

Enterprise Endpoint Manager, Minnesota IT Services

Laura Johnson is an Enterprise Endpoint Manager at Minnesota IT services serving the State of MN Executive branch agencies. She spent the majority of the past 9 years consolidating service to build efficiencies and provide a consistent service delivery to Executive branch customers. She has created consistent software delivery strategies and monthly Microsoft update processes that has drastically improved the landscape and has increased response time to sev1 vulnerabilities in the environment.

VISIONARY SECURITY PROGRAM AND OVERSIGHT LEADER
<strong><strong>BETTY ELLIOTT</strong></strong>
BETTY ELLIOTT

BETTY ELLIOTT, CISSP

Senior Vice President, CISO, Freddie Mac

Betty is an accomplished information security leader with 18+ years’ experience and a proven track record of building successful security programs across financial, retail, BPO and consulting services industries. Betty joined Freddie Mac in December 2020 as SVP, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Previously, Betty was at Mercer where she served as Partner, CISO. She has served as VP, CISO at MoneyGram International, Convergys and Stream Global Sourcing and has led security teams at Ameriprise Financial, Allianz Life and Best Buy. She was recognized as CISOs Connect C100 top 100 CISO’s in its inaugural year.

VISIONARY STUDENT
<strong><strong>NAOMI HOSPODARSKY</strong></strong>
NAOMI HOSPODARSKY

NAOMI HOSPODARSKY

Security & Compliance Analyst, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI)

As the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute’s Security and Compliance Analyst, Naomi brings over 20 years of Systems Engineering experience together with Information Security to protect and support a variety of research data. Naomi is a strong advocate of security through teamwork to create secure policies, procedures, and solutions to achieve best outcomes in support of high performance computing and advanced research. As a student at University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute, Naomi is combining theory with practice and method to enhance her skills as a security leader.

Congratulations to the

2021 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees


Once again, the 11th Annual Cyber Security Summit’s Visionary Leadership Awards occur against the back-drop of COVID 19.

Sadly, the pandemic has perpetuated the need for a virtual celebration of their contribution to cybersecurity. But this does nothing to dampen the impact their work has on moving the needle to better secure our businesses, organizations and nation states. We are excited to celebrate all our Visionary Leadership Awardees on Wednesday morning at the opening session and again in-person in the spring! Along with recognition for their accomplishments, award recipients and VLA All-Access ticket holders are invited to a VIP reception on April 21, 2022.

Visionary Academic
Leader 
<strong>DR. AMBAREEN SIRAJ</strong>“></div>
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DR. AMBAREEN SIRAJ

Professor/Director, CEROC;
Tennessee Tech & Founder, WiCyS

DR. AMBAREEN SIRAJ

Professor/Director, CEROC; Tennessee Tech & Founder, WiCyS

Dr. Ambareen Siraj is a professor of Computer Science and the founding director of Tennessee Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC). She has served as the leader on several NSF and DoD education and workforce development grants. Dr. Siraj’s research focus is on security in cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, situation assessment in network security, security education and workforce development.

Visionary Security Program
and Oversight Leader
<strong>JOHN VALENTE</strong>“></div>
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JOHN VALENTE

Security Consultant

JOHN VALENTE

Security Consultant

John has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. His professional IT career includes Citibank, Pepsi, Dell, Best Buy, and 3M, before retiring in late 2019. John’s career has focused mainly on Information Technology Infrastructure, architecture and management. He serves as a CXO Executive Advisor for Zscaler and on the board of advisors for Pacer Center.

Visionary Governance, Risk
and Compliance Leader
<strong>KUMAR DASANI</strong>“></div>
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KUMAR DASANI

Director, Cyber Security and
IT DevOps, Medtronic

KUMAR DASANI

Director, Cyber Security and IT DevOps, Medtronic

Collaborative leader and trusted advisor to the business on cyber security and privacy risk identification, risk management and risk reporting. Dedicated, and results-oriented leader with proven experience in cyber security and privacy governance, third-party risk management, risk assessments, data privacy and regulatory compliance across multiple industries.

Visionary Security Awareness
Program Leader 
<strong>TALYA GEPNER</strong>“></div>
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TALYA GEPNER

Director, Target Corporation

TALYA GEPNER

Director, Target Corporation

Talya Gepner is a Director in the Cybersecurity Risk organization at Target. Talya leads Information Security awareness and training for the Enterprise and high-priority groups. Her projects include compliance training, phishing awareness, National Cyber Security Awareness month campaigns and other risk-focused initiatives.

Visionary Security
Operations Leader
<strong>DEBRA STAFFORD</strong>“></div>
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DEBRA STAFFORD

Security Manager, Minnesota IT Services

DEBRA STAFFORD

Security Manager, Minnesota IT Services

Debra leads the state’s enterprise identity and access management team dedicated to building an environment where employees, contractors, partners and citizens manage only one credential to access State resources. Deb is building a framework of processes, policies and technologies to manage digital identities and secure access for all state technology solutions.

Visionary
Student
<strong>ALEX HEPP</strong>“></div>
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ALEX HEPP

Student, Metropolitan State University

ALEX HEPP

Student, Metropolitan State University

Alex Hepp is a graduate student at Metropolitan State University in the Cyber Operations program researching the application of artificial intelligence to honey pots to better detect malicious activity. In his professional career, he currently serves as the Chief Information Officer for the City of Hopkins along with teaching cybersecurity as a community faculty.

Visionary Governance
Champion 
<strong>JIM NASH</strong>“></div>
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JIM NASH

State Representative, Minnesota
House of Representatives

JIM NASH

State Representative, Minnesota
House of Representatives

Rep. Jim Nash is a 4th term member of the MN House of Representatives serving the communities of Western Carver County. He also works in the cyber security industry for FRSecure and advocates for cyber security everywhere. When not working at the House or FRSecure he loves to hunt, fish, and cook. Nash lives in Waconia with his wife and 6 children.

Visionary Applications
Security Leader
<strong>JAY JACOBS</strong>“></div>
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JAY JACOBS

Chief Data Scientist, Cyentia

JAY JACOBS

Chief Data Scientist, Cyentia

Jay is a Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist at Cyentia Institute, a research firm dedicated to advancing the state of information security knowledge and practice through data-driven research. Jay is also the lead author for the Exploit Prediction Scoring System (EPSS) and is co-chair of the EPSS special interest group at FIRST.

Visionary Global
Leader
<strong>MALCOLM HARKINS</strong>“></div>
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MALCOLM HARKINS

Chief Security & Trust Officer, Epiphany

MALCOLM HARKINS

Chief Security & Trust Officer, Epiphany

Malcolm is responsible for enabling client growth with optimal information security infrastructure, systems, policies, and processes. Malcolm was previously the Chief Security and Trust Officer at Cylance as well as Chief Security and Privacy Officer at Intel Corporation. Malcolm received a BS in Economics from UC Irvine and an MBA from UC Davis.

Founders Award 
<strong>KEVIN MANDIA</strong>“></div>
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KEVIN MANDIA

Mandiant

MANDIANT

Kevin Mandia, CEO

Kevin Mandia is the CEO of Mandiant, a global security company that helps organizations develop more effective and efficient cyber security programs, instilling confidence in their readiness to defend against and respond to cyber threats. A security industry pioneer, he led the first company built around cyber incident response. With more than 20 years in information security, Kevin has actively been on the front lines helping organizations respond to breaches.

Congratulations to the

2020 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees


This year’s award winners are very special friends of the Summit. Amid a relentless pandemic, they have demonstrated greatness in securing our global infrastructure and developing future visionary leaders. And without their support, this 10th Anniversary would not have been possible. When so many were saying, “table it for another year,” these cyber warriors kept pushing the Summit forward recognizing that cybercriminals weren’t taking a break and that global thought leadership must never be sidelined.

While next year we will recognize award winners across all categories, this year we threw out the guidelines to honor this distinguished selection of leaders whose contributions to Summit have been immeasurable.

<strong>JILL ALLISON</strong>“></div>
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JILL ALLISON

Chair, Board of Directors, WiCyS MN Affiliate; Security Consultant, Shuriken
<strong>ANNE BADER</strong>“></div>
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ANNE BADER

Founder, The International Cybersecurity Dialogue LLC
<strong>SEAN COSTIGAN</strong>“></div>
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SEAN COSTIGAN

Professor, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies; Director and Co-founder, ITL Security
<strong>TIM CROTHERS</strong>“></div>
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TIM CROTHERS

VP Security Solutions, Target
<strong>LOREN DEALY MAHLER</strong>“></div>
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LOREN DEALY MAHLER

President, Dealy Mahler Strategies
<strong>MATTHEW J. HARMON</strong>“></div>
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MATTHEW J. HARMON

Cyber Defense Infrastructure Architect, Global Technology, Accenture Security
<strong>DAVID LA BELLE</strong>“></div>
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DAVID LA BELLE

Security Business Systems Analyst, NorSec
<strong>DAVID NOTCH</strong>“></div>
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DAVID NOTCH

Enterprise Security & Cloud Architecture, Medtronic
<strong>CATHARINE TREBNICK</strong>“></div>
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CATHARINE TREBNICK

VP Equity Research (Security and UCaaS), Colliers International

Congratulations to the

2019 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees

Academic Leader Award: 
<strong>Christophe Veltsos</strong>“></div>
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Christophe Veltsos

Professor, Minnesota State University Mankato
Applications Security Leader Award: 
<strong>Mike Kijewski</strong>“></div>
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Mike Kijewski

CEO, MedCrypt
Global Security Leader Award: 
<strong>Andrew Borene</strong>“></div>
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Andrew Borene

Senior Director, Symantec National Security Group; Director Homeland Security Program at George Mason University Law School
Governance Champion Award: 
<strong>Suzanne Spaulding</strong>“></div>
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Suzanne Spaulding

Senior Adviser, Homeland Security, International Security Program, CSIS
Information Technology Audit Leader Award: 
<strong>Mary Frantz</strong>“></div>
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Mary Frantz

CEO, Enterprise Knowledge Partners, LLC (EKP)
Security Awareness Program Leader Award: 
<strong>Jerrod Montoya</strong>“></div>
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Jerrod Montoya

Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, Open Access Technology International (OATI); President, InfraGard Minnesota Chapter
Security Operations Leader Award: 
<strong>John Israel</strong>“></div>
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John Israel

Security Operations Manager – Security Operations Center (SOC), Incident Response, and Forensics, State of Minnesota
Security Program And Oversight Leader Award: 
<strong>Jodie Kautt</strong>“></div>
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Jodie Kautt

Vice President, Cyber Security, Target Corp.
Founders Award: 
<strong>National Cyber Defense Leadership<br /> Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®)</strong>“></div>
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National Cyber Defense Leadership
Center for Internet Security, Inc. (CIS®)

For bios and more information on the 2019 awards, please click here.

Congratulations to the

2018 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees

Academic Leader Award: 
<strong>FAISAL KALEEM</strong>“></div>
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FAISAL KALEEM

Metro State University, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Security, Executive kaDirector, MN Cyber
Application Security Award: 
<strong>JENNIFER CZAPLEWSKI</strong>“></div>
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JENNIFER CZAPLEWSKI

Director, Target Product Intelligence team lead
Emerging Technologies Award: 
<strong>TODD CARPENTER</strong>“></div>
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TODD CARPENTER

Adventium Labs, Chief Engineer
Global Security Leader Award: 
<strong>BRADLEY BREKKE</strong>“></div>
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BRADLEY BREKKE

Mayo Clinic, Chief Security Officer (Interim)
Governance Champion Award: 
<strong>COL. STEFANIE HORVATH</strong>“></div>
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COL. STEFANIE HORVATH

Minnesota Army National Guard, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the MN Department of Military Affairs; Executive Director Enterprise Services, Minnesota IT Services
IT Audit Award: 
<strong>STEEN FJALSTAD</strong>“></div>
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STEEN FJALSTAD

Midwest Reliability Organization, Security and Mitigation Principal
Security Awareness Program Award: 
<strong>CHRYSA FREEMAN</strong>“></div>
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CHRYSA FREEMAN

Code42, Manager, Security Governance Risk & Compliance Awareness
Security Operations Award: 
<strong>NEAL DAWSON</strong>“></div>
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NEAL DAWSON

State of Minnesota, Minnesota IT Services, Vulnerability Management Director
Student Award: 
<strong>RICHARD KETELSEN</strong>“></div>
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RICHARD KETELSEN

Metropolitan State University, Student
Visionary Program Leader Award: 
<strong>JIM O’CONNER</strong>“></div>
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JIM O’CONNER

Cargill, Chief Information Security Officer

For more information on the 2018 awards, please click here.

Congratulations to the

2016 Visionary Leadership Award Honorees

In 2016, the Cyber Security Summit presented two Visionary Leader Awards – one for the private sector and one for the public sector. The individuals honored have made lasting contributions to improving our nation’s security.

Visionary Award for Public Sector: 
<strong>CHRIS BUSE</strong>“></div>
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CHRIS BUSE

Deputy Legislative Auditor, Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor

Read published articles at prweb.com:

Chris Buse

Brian Isle

Visionary Award for Private Sector: 
<strong>BRIAN ISLE</strong>“></div>
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BRIAN ISLE

Senior Fellow, Adventium Labs; Senior Fellow, University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute

Congratulations to the

2015 Visionary Leadership Award Honoree

<strong>DR. MASSOUD AMIN</strong>“></div>
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DR. MASSOUD AMIN

Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota

For more information on the 2015 award, please click here. View Dr. Massoud Amin’s current bio at massoud-amin.umn.edu.