WiCyS Minnesota | Women in Cyber Security

Diversity, Inclusion & Leading High Performing Teams in the Cyber Workforce


To counter cybersecurity’s complex and evolving threat landscape, we need talented individuals from all backgrounds. This year at the Summit, after the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural Women in Cyber Security event, we carry the momentum forward with a four-part program offering essential perspective on diversity, inclusion and keeping teams engaged. What’s more, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, each of these four sessions is complimentary to attend!  


9:30–10:20 AM
Part One – Pillsbury House Theatre presents “Breaking Ice” (Tech Session 1B)
A 50-minute performance exploring how systemic inequities, implicit bias and common misperceptions show up in relationships, creating uncomfortable interactions that inhibit innovation, motivation and productivity in the workplace. With virtual content customized for the 2020 Cyber Security Summit, including real-life examples, this innovative event addresses unconscious bias and learning how to be comfortable with uncomfortable discussions on diversity & inclusion.

Moderator: Mercy Schroeder, Sales Director, Saviynt, Inc.

10:30–11:20 AM
Part Two – Pillsbury Theater Group “Breaking Ice” Event – Dialogue and interactive activity (Tech Session 2B)
Following the “Breaking Ice” video performance (Tech Session 1B), trained Breaking Ice facilitators guide participants through discussion and interaction to deepen awareness and cultivate accountability and action.

About Breaking Ice — Interactive Diversity Theatre performed by Pillsbury House Theatre

Breaking Ice is an award-winning program of Pillsbury House Theatre that for over 20 years has been opening up a dialogue about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. A diverse company of professional actors portrays real-life situations that explore how systemic inequities, implicit bias, and common misperceptions show up in relationships, creating friction that inhibits innovation and productivity in the workplace.

11:30–12:30 PM
Women in Cyber Networking Dialogue
Join this refreshing discussion on Closing the Inequity Gap, from pay to work life balance; Access to Career Opportunities and what Organizations are doing and Can Do to Advance the Cyber Security Mission.   Sponsored by Optum and led by the partnership with the new WiCYS Minnesota chapter.

Moderator: Allison Miller, CISO, Optum Panelists: Jill Allison, Chair Board of Directors, WiCyS Minnesota; CEO, Shuriken Cyber; Shelly Blackburn, VP-Global Cyber Security, Cisco; Gretchen Block, VP, Optum; Janell Straach, Chairman of the Board, WiCyS

12:30–1:20 PM
Leading High-Performing, Diverse Teams During a Global Pandemic

Join cyber leaders as they share proven methods and best practices for maintaining a high level of engagement, retention, collaboration, and fostering authentic connections during this time of sustained remote work.

Moderator: Tina Meeker, VP-WiCyS Minnesota; Sr. Director, Information Security, Sleep Number;  

Panelists:  Betty Elliott, CISO, Mercer; Milinda Rambel Stone, CISO, Provation Medical, Sam Grosby, Principal Enterprise Information Security Engineer; Wells Fargo

Did you Know? For the very first time, we now have a Minnesota Chapter of WiCyS (Women in CyberSecurity) regional affiliate community who will be hosting this year’s event at the Summit!

About WiCyS

WiCyS is a community of engagement, encouragement and support for women in cybersecurity.

Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) is the premier organization with national reach dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring.

Established in 2012 by Dr. Ambareen Siraj of Tennessee Tech University through a National Science Foundation grant, WiCyS is a non-profit organization offering many membership, sponsorship and collaboration benefits.

Visit the
WiCySMN website to learn more.

Thank you to our WiCyS Diversity & Inclusion in the Cyber Workforce Host and Supporters

Sponsorship Opportunities

To learn about available sponsorship opportunities, contact Jennifer Churchill at 763-548-1306 or jennifer.churchill@eventshows.com.

Committee Members

Program Chair:
Tina Meeker, Sr. Director, Information Security, Sleep Number

Jill Allison, Advisory CISO, Shuriken Cyber, Inc.
Scott Ammon, Regional Principal, Insight
Shelly Blackburn, Vice President, Global Cyber Security Systems Engineering, Cisco
Gretchen Block, Vice President, Optum Technology | UnitedHealth Group
Kris Boike, Toppan Merrill & Cloud Security Alliance
Betty Burke, Cyber Security Vulnerability Assessment at General Mills 
Jen Czaplewski, Director, Product Security, Target
Betty Elliott, Partner, CISO, Mercer
Chrysa Freeman
, Security Awareness Program Manager Security Mindedness, Code 42
Sam Grosby, Principal Enterprise Information Security Engineer, Wells Fargo
Judy Hatchett, CISO, SureScripts
Stefanie Horvath, Brigadier General, Director of Joint Staff, JFHQ-MN; Executive Director Enterprise Services, MNIT
Allison Miller, CISO, Optum Technology | UnitedHealth Group
Milinda Ramble Stone, CISO, Provation Medical
Laurie Rupe, Cyber Security Risk and Insider Threat Manager, General Mills
Mercy Schroeder, Director of Sales, Saviynt
Sherry Smith, Board of Directors, Piper Sandler, Realogy Holdings Corp., Tuesday Morning, John Deere
Lee Ann Villella
, Sr. Account Executive, FRSecure