Full Speaker Bios

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Below is a full list of speaker bios so that you can properly view the profile of each speaker and be able to form a connection.  Our speakers have experience from a wide variety of areas within the cyber security field.  Don’t forget to click on the Linkedin icon in order to reach out to each speaker through their Linkedin profile.

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Mustapha Kebbeh

CISO/Panelist

Mustapha has 15 years’ experience working in Information Security. As Chief Information Security Officer for a global enterprise, Mustapha heads the vision and strategy for all IT cybersecurity, enterprise risk management, and IT enterprise architecture impacting 75,000 employees around the world. Mustapha serves as CISO Executive Governing body member & co-chair for Evanta, a Gartner company. He holds a Master’s degree in Computer and Information systems security/information assurance, as well as industry certifications such as CISSP, CEH, CISM and CHFI.

Jessica Nemmers

Jessica Nemmers

CISO/Panelist

Jessica Nemmers is the Chief Security Officer of Elevate Credit, headquartered in Ft. Worth, Texas. As a CSO, Jessica focuses on building security programs that align with business objectives and compliance drivers to reduce the risk of business disruption, financial loss, or brand damage from a cyber-attack or data breach. Prior to her role as CSO in the financial industry, Jessica built a comprehensive security program for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company, focused on the protection of critical systems on business and Operational Technology (OT) networks at more than 230 sites worldwide. 

With over 25 years in the IT industry, Jessica has led IT teams in the US, India, Romania, and Mexico and held both technical and non-technical positions, which has allowed her to leverage her unique ability to translate technical solutions to non-technical audiences. Jessica has been recognized for her work as a trailblazer in the field of cybersecurity and as a top business leader in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. As a former professional ballerina, Jessica works to address the cyber talent shortage by championing opportunities to attract talent from non-traditional fields into cybersecurity careers. Jessica is a co-author of the book “The CISO Mentor” where she shares her journey from ballerina to CISO.

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Dave Belanger

CISO/Panel Moderator

Dave Belanger has over 25 years of experience in Security and Technology Leadership roles. Dave is the Chief Information Security Officer for Maxor National Pharmacy Services. In his prior role he served as Information Security Officer for a Technology Company operating in the corrections and public safety industry. He was also the Data Center Manager for a large telecom company, providing Operational and Physical Security for nearly a decade. He holds security industry certifications including CISSP, CCISO and CEH. Dave is on the Board of Directors for the North Texas chapter of ISSA serving as Treasurer. He is on several advisory boards and is actively engaged in the Cyber Security community as a volunteer, mentor and speaker for events such as FutureCon, Data Connectors, Elevate IT, CISOXC and ISSA.

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Paola Saibene

CISO/Panelist

Paola Saibene has been a technologist for 26 years, having held multiple C-suite roles (CIO, CTO, CSO) in large, global organizations, having received national awards in innovation and cybersecurity, and having led thousands of her own team members to fulfill business missions, and thrive despite constraints. She has also worked as a Data Privacy Officer and as a VP of Enterprise Risk Management. Paola blends innovation, digital transformation, strategy, growth, security, privacy, risk, compliance, and governance into an ecosystem of high resiliency and strength, especially as it pertains to data and its valuation process. 

Presently, Paola leads the Data Governance Practice at Teknion Data Solutions and teaches at Georgetown University (Information Security Master’s Program), Dallas Baptist University (Digital Risk Management Program), and the ENAE University in Spain (Master’s in Data Science ). Her curriculum across universities is built on data seen from a “Governance by Design” approach, infused with Cybersecurity, Data Privacy, Digital Ethics, Enterprise Risk Management, and Information Security Law. She is also the co-author of the “CISO Mentor”.

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Pat Benoit

CISO/Panelist

Patrick is the Global Head of Cyber Governance, Risk, and Compliance / Business Information Security Officer for CBRE. He was formerly the Deputy CISO for Cheetah Digital. He has been an Executive Business Partner at Experian; a Customer Delivery Executive and Service Delivery Leader at Dell; and owned a technology consulting company. He is a highly effective Business Leader with a mastery of Technology and Security. He is also a Writer, Speaker, and a continuous Mentor/Advisor and Learner. He has demonstrated repeated success guiding business strategy to achieve maximum positive business impacts with minimum resource expenditures. 

Talented at building and launching global technology and security programs, grooming high-performing teams across all domains, plus guiding the digital transformation, enhancing the digital customer experience, driving and enhancing revenue using technology and reducing risk to the business. A skilled executive leader, presenter, negotiator, and businessperson, able to forge solid relationships with strategic partners and build consensus across multiple organizational levels.

Eric Yancy

Eric Yancy

CISO/Panelist

Eric Yancy is the Information Security officer for the City of Denton with responsibility for the city-wide Information Security program. Prior to working at the City of Denton, Eric was the Information Security Officer for Irving, Texas. With over 20 years of experience in Information Security both in the private and public sectors, Eric has extensive knowledge in assuring the protection of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems. Eric retains multiple information security credentials including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM), Certified Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Cybersecurity Architect. Eric holds an Associate Degree with honors in Robotics and Automated Manufacturing and studied Business Management at the University of Phoenix.

Michael Melore

Michael Melore

Michael Melore, CISSP, is an IBM Executive Cyber Security Advisor, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Author, frequent National public speaker and moderator, FBI InfraGard committeeman, and recognized subject matter expert in Security and Threat Intelligence, Identity Access Governance, and Authorization. Pioneer in Identity and Access Management, Access Governance, and Authentication. Past Consulting roles include: Lead architect for many of the world’s largest authentication and authorization infrastructures. This includes two of the 1st individual Billion user authentication infrastructures.

Founder/Moderator for 14 Regional (900+ Security Executive Members) CISO/Security Leader Round Table Chapters across the US.  Champion, host and evangelist of regularly scheduled cyber range threat simulation exercises, cyber training and education.

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Scott Schindler

26+ years of IT and Security experience working with organizations of all shapes, sizes, and states around improving their security programs and providing strategic guidance.

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Cecil Pineda

SVP/CISO at R1 RCM, Former CISO at DFW Int’l Airport, Advisor to CIOs/CISOs, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Community.

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Ted Gruenloh

Experienced Chief Operating Officer with a demonstrated history of success in the network security and information technology industry. Skilled in Project Management, Web Design, Public Speaking, and Riding a Bicycle. Well-rounded professional with a BBA in Accounting and a Minor in Music from the University of Iowa.

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Douglas Brush

Douglas Brush Global Advisory CISO for Splunk and an information security executive with over 30 years of entrepreneurship and professional technology experience. He is a globally recognized expert in cybersecurity, incident response, digital forensics, and information governance. In addition to serving as a CISO and leading enterprise security assessments, he has conducted hundreds of investigations involving hacking, data breaches, trade secret theft, employee malfeasance, and various other legal and compliance issues. He also serves as a federally court-appointed Special Master and neutral expert in high-profile litigation matters involving privacy, security, and eDiscovery.

He is the founder and host of Cyber Security Interviews, a popular information security podcast. Douglas is also committed to raising awareness about mental health, self-care, neurodiversity, and diversity, equity and inclusion, in the information security industry.

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Mike Annand

Mike Annand serves as the Director of Customer Compliance at Armor. Mike has over 20 years of IT Operations and compliance related experience. He is a trusted advisor to Armor prospects and customers on PCI, HIPAA, HITRUST, ISO-27001 and SOC. Mike has spent time implementing security controls in the retail, banking and energy sectors, as well as several years as a security assessor and practice manager.

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Venkatessan Pillai

Accomplished, outcome-oriented, skilled professional with 14 years of experience in roles like Information Security, Cyber Security, IT Infra design & deployment, site build-outs, IT Operations/Projects/Transition management roles in various industry, primarily in Healthcare & Financial services.

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William Birchett

William Birchett leads Logos Systems, a managed/co-managed IT security services company delivering technical solutions to companies of all sizes. He champions Logos Systems with a vision that places the clients best interest ahead of the provider. William has stated, “IT services are broken in the sense that you can have anything you want as long as it’s what we sell. This model has always had the provider’s best interests in mind and not the client’s.”

An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in IT, he is a trusted partner in the industry and in the community. His career has moved him through the Telecommunication, Banking, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Education, and Government industries. He has served on the advisory boards of several industry groups, community groups, and non-profits. William currently serves as Vice President for the Fort Worth (ISC)2 Chapter, and is an active member of the local ISSA, IIA, and Infragard chapters.  William holds a Masters of Science in Information Security & Assurance, a Bachelors of Information Technology, a Certificate in Cybersecurity Technology Application and Policy from MIT, and numerous industry certifications.

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Jamy Casteel

Jamy Casteel is a Senior Penetration Tester with ScienceLogic. He has worked in IT and Information Security for over 17 years and holds the following certifications: CISSP, OSCP, GWAPT, GCIH, eWPT, etc.

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Kraig Faulkner

Kraig Faulkner is responsible for helping clients reduce critical risk and enabling successful technology-driven outcomes for Cybereason. As a leader with expertise in threat defense across an array of industries, he brings a devout passion for assessing business risk and protecting enterprises from advanced attacks. Kraig understands the consequences associated with leaving data unprotected in an ever-evolving technology-driven world and constantly evangelizes alignment between cross-functional teams to protect sensitive assets – from endpoints to everywhere.

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Kyle McGowan

Industry veteran with a passion for Information Technology. My professional mindset is to lead by example, to be resilient, to be as prepared as possible, and dedicate all of my efforts to gain steady improvement. Combining experience, teamwork, technology, and automation at a tactical level will strengthen organizations, support business growth, and build productivity.

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Chuka Okonkwo

Chuka Okonkwo is a Senior Security Engineer and Consultant. He has worked in IT and Information Security for over 20 years and has significant experience in the Manage, Detect, and Respond umbrella.  As an avid user of consumer electronics and IoT enthusiast he also has insight on the various devices under the Internet of Things segment.  He has a degree in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Arlington and endorsed with CISSP, CCNP, and CCNA certifications.

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Bill White

Bill is an Information Security professional with 30 years’ experience in IT, Fraud investigation, Information Security, and Risk Assessment processes. He is a member of the team responsible for Information Security architectural at a Fortune 50 company. He has worked in the Information Technology space for 30 years, starting as a bench technician and working and learning his way up to Information Security Management. Bill is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified in Risk and Information Systems Controls (CRISC) and a GIAC Certified Python Coder. (GPYC).

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Bryson Bort

Bryson is the Founder of SCYTHE, a start-up building a next generation attack emulation platform, and GRIMM, a cybersecurity consultancy, and Co-Founder of the ICS Village, a non-profit advancing awareness of industrial control system security. He is a Senior Fellow for Cybersecurity and National Security at R Street and the National Security Institute and an Advisor to the Army Cyber Institute. 

As a U.S. Army Officer, he served as a Battle Captain and Brigade Engineering Officer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before leaving the Army as a Captain. He was recognized as one of the Top 50 in Cyber in 2020 by Business Insider.

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Paul Berryman

Dr. Berryman has a passion for security, education, and bad puns, bringing them together whenever possible. After 2 decades of protecting people from the usual suspects of hackers, criminals, and bored teenagers, he is now the Information Security Education and Awareness Program Manager at New Relic, Inc. He’s a big fan of colleges, having attended 7 different ones. He most recently earned a doctorate in education and teaches programming and security management to aspiring security leaders.

Prior to working in security, Dr. Berryman had 6 years of swashbuckling adventures with the US Navy. He’s figured out that strong security starts with teaching how to behave online. It isn’t rocket science, but just in case he has a degree in that, too.

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Andy Thompson

Andy Thompson is part of the Research Labs Division at CyberArk. This is the team within CyberArk that does ongoing research into offensive technology and information security trends.

Before joining CyberArk 5 years ago, Andy spent his time in the trenches as a Senior Systems Admin and Security Engineer. He’s worked IT and Security with large hospitals, movie theater chains, bars and restaurants, other service industries, as well as global retail organizations. Andy is CISSP certified by ISC-squared, and a GIAC certified pen-tester. Andy is also an active member of the Dallas Hacking scene where he’s known as the “Travel-Hacker”. He and his family love to travel all over the world on a shoe-string budget.

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John Podolanko

John is a Security Consultant and Solutions Architect with a talent for introducing network and security automation into business processes. He holds a M.S in Computer Science and the following certifications: CISSP, CEH, PCNSA, AWS-CCP.

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George Finney

George Finney is a Chief Information Security Officer that believes that people are the key to solving our cybersecurity challenges. George is the bestselling author of several cybersecurity books, including the award-winning book, Well Aware: Master the Nine Cybersecurity Habits to Protect Your Future. George was recognized in 2021 as one of the top 100 CISOs in the world by CISOs Connect and has worked in Cybersecurity for over 20 years and has helped startups, global telecommunications firms, and nonprofits improve their security posture.

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James Grisham

James D. Grisham serves as a Chief Information Security Officer for companies nationally, and before these roles served on the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors for InfoSecCareer.Org, and now serves on the Board of Directors of CyberSecurity Gamechangers. With 25+ years of experience, he brings tremendous business acumen and as a subject matter expert in business risk, cybersecurity, and privacy matters. Since 2002, he has operated a vCISO service business.

He has a wealth of experience consulting for well-known companies, globally. This list includes Pacific Coast Banker’s Bank, Greater Bay Bank, Pacific Service Credit Union, Liberty Group, Blue Shield of California, Grant Thornton, Schneider Electric, City of Oakland, Oakland Intl Airport, Carnival Cruise Lines, Stanford University, Advanced Micro Devices, Anixter, Comcast, and so on. He is an associate member of the ISSA since 2000, FBI InfraGard since 2005, ISC2, and ISACA. Speaking engagements include Dallas/Fort Worth CyberSecurity MeetUp Group, ISSA CISO Executive Forum, NAF, SecureWorld Expo, MU Con, ISCO, Trilogy Education CyberSecurity Panelist, and as a Mock Judge for PwC x ITSLC Case Competition.

He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy – Executive CISO Program, received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University. He maintains valid industry-recognized certifications CISSP-ISSMP, CISM, CTPRP, CyRP, and others.

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Phillip Wylie

Phillip has over twenty-four years of information technology and cybersecurity experience. His specialties include penetration testing and application security. When Phillip is not hacking, he is educating others. Phillip is the founder of The Pwn School Project, an education-focused cybersecurity organization. He co-authored the book, “The Pentester Blueprint: Starting a Career as an Ethical Hacker” based on his popular talk presented at numerous conferences and industry events. He is an Innocent Lives Foundation Ambassador and a ‘Hacking is NOT a Crime’ Advocate. Phillip’s uncommon journey into the field of cyber security is preceded by his colorful past as a pro wrestler, where he once wrestled a bear.

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Elena Garrett

Elena worked in cybersecurity, risk, and compliance before moving to the real estate and financial advisory fields. Being a long-time member of many local meetups and following many prominent members of that community through their professional ups and downs through the years, she
has had a chance to observe the local cybersecurity community up close. She will be sharing her first-hand observations on the rarely-discussed topic of financial realities of this career field. She will outline a few simple recommendations that could help community members to recognize the financial risks and opportunities that this career field provides.

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Dan Doggendorf

Dan Doggendorf is the Founder and Principal Advisor of Pro4Six Consulting. Doggendorf brings more than 25 years of experience in the field of information security and audit compliance. Previously he served as the CISO and Global Infrastructure & IT Operation Lead at Corteva Agriscience; CIO at the Dallas Stars; CISO at GameStop Inc., Penson Financial Services, and A.H. Belo Corporation, head of the inaugural Computer Risk Management departments for the Kansas City and Omaha Arthur Andersen offices. Preceding his extensive information security career, he served in IT audit roles with Hoechst Marion Roussel, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and Emerson Electric.

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Mike Kiser

Mike Kiser is insecure. He has been this way since birth, despite holding a panoply of industry positions over the past 20 years—from the Office of the CTO to Security Strategist to Security Analyst to Security Architect—that might imply otherwise. In spite of this, he has designed, directed, and advised on large-scale security deployments for a global clientele. He is currently in a long-term relationship with fine haberdashery, is a chronic chronoptimist (look it up), and delights in needlessly convoluted verbiage. He speaks regularly at events such as the European Identity Conference and the RSA Conference, is a member of several standards groups, and has presented identity-related research at Black Hat and DefCon. He is currently a Senior Identity Strategist for SailPoint Technologies.

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Dr. Kyle Roberts

Kyle Roberts, Ph.D. is a data scientist and client success leader at Teknion Data Solutions. He was formerly an Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning and Fellow of the Institute for Reading Research in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU. Dr. Roberts earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University where he specialized in Quantitative Methods for Education.

Dr. Roberts was an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) before joining SMU faculty in 2007. During his tenure at BCM, he was the assistant director for research in the Center for Education Outreach and was the research coordinator on several grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and the U.S. Department of Education.

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Edwin Menor

Edwin Menor, Palo Alto Networks, Edwin Menor, IoT Security Technical Specialist, is an honor graduate with a degree in Electronics from DeVry Institute of Technology (Pomona, CA). He was instrumental in the architectural design of the secured RADIUS authentication fabric for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (NERSC) followed by being the first SE with Identity Engines (early adaptor NAC technology). His IoT security started by
being the first systems engineer at Armis followed by a tenure with Zingbox which was acquired by Palo Alto Networks. He also recently developed and led the global systems engineering group for Cylera.

In the past, Edwin also worked for Juniper, Infoblox, Brocade while specializing in 802.16 WiMAX and 802.11 WiFi design as he worked for Alvarion Inc, Ruckus Wireless, Trapeze Networks, and Meru Networks. Other accomplishments include management of the nationwide deployment of Redback Networks Optical BRAS/Edge Router SmartEdge) in 13 major markets and a First Place in Mr. San Francisco, Mr. Los Angeles, and Mr. California Bodybuilding Championships.

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Neal McCarthy

Neal McCarthy, Senior IR Consultant – Neal McCarthy has 30+ years of IT/InfoSec experience, and brings a strategic business focus to cyber incident response planning. Neal’s previous management duties for a multinational Fortune 100 retailer included: the ISOC, Privacy Committee Chair and the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program. Neal retired after 30+ years as a Marine Corps reservist, obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His last reserve assignment of five years was with the US Cyber Command. His assignments included the US Strategic Command, the Pentagon, and the National Security Agency (NSA).

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Allan Alford

With 20+ years in information security, Allan Alford has served as CISO four times in three industries. Alford parlayed an IT career into a product security career and then ultimately fused the two disciplines. Allan has worked in companies from 5 employees to 50,000 and executes a risk-based approach to security, as well as compliance with NIST CSF, CIS CSC 20, GDPR, ISO 27001, DFARS and others.

Alford gives back to the security community via The Cyber Ranch Podcast and by authoring articles and speaking at conferences. He holds a Master of Information Systems & Security, a Bachelor of Liberal Arts (with a focus on leadership) and a CISM certification.

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Doug Field

Doug is the Principal Sales Engineer at BlackBerry – powered by Cylance AI, supporting the Enterprise DFW market. Doug has over 20 years of technical experience, stemming from 10 years at the IRS where he designed, tested, piloted, and implemented a Nationwide Windows NT Based Network Architecture to support client/server and office automation applications. The network supported 77 interconnected local area networks with over 2160 workstations and 154 servers.

The last 10 years Doug’s focus has been in cybersecurity. Doug holds a BBA from Texas Tech University.

Taylor Kearney

Taylor Kearney

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Muktadir Wali

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Bart Slowik

Michael Britton

Michael Britton

Mike Britton is the CISO of Abnormal Security. Mike leads the information security and privacy programs at Abnormal Security. Prior to Abnormal Security, Mike spent the last six years as the CSO / Chief Privacy Officer for Alliance Data. He brings 25 years of information security, privacy, compliance, and IT experience from a variety of Fortune 500 global companies. He holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Information Assurance from the University of Dallas.