Neba Ambe, Director of Information Systems, Department of Assets, Infomation and Services, City of Chicago
Neba Ambe heads the Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), in the City of Chicago’s Information Security Office. He is responsible for the strategic development, implementation, and maintenance of the department’s GRC program. Over 22 years of work history focused on security review and analysis of applications/systems in development and production, the establishment of a governance framework for information security, operationalizing compliance, and policy management. He has a passion, taking a systems approach, for aligning data flow maps and processes with business goals, applicable regulations, and standards.
He has packaged a tool set for risk identification, assessment, and analysis that includes a data flow diagram as the fundamental to building secured systems and the speedy security review of applications. Most recently, he designed an internal virtual bi-monthly series for promoting a comprehensive awareness of the risk and compliance activities of data protection and security in the city workforce aimed at strengthening the personal accountability of users.
Neba holds a doctorate degree in Technology and Systems Management from Michigan State University.
Brad Bilotta, Division IT Manager, Magnaflux
I’m a dedicated and knowledgeable Division IT Manager and Eagle Scout who’s delivered creative solutions to achieve organizational goals. I do this using solid technical solutions and team building across multi-departmental divides.
Therefore, I am a results-oriented IT professional driving business process development dedicated to exceeding customer expectations.
*Some technologies to mention are Salesforce (Sales Cloud, B2B Commerce, CPQ, Pardot), Zendesk, PowerBI, Power Automate, UI Path, etc. to name a few.
I also enjoy spending my time volunteering through a variety of organizations.
Mitch Christian, CISO, Synergy Global Housing
I was born and raised on a small farm in Wisconsin. I owned my own business at the age of 19. In the early 90’s I went to work for Kimberly Clark as an Electrical Engineering Tech building out Diaper Machines and switched profession into IT starting out as a PC maintenance tech at Kimberly Clark working my way to overseeing the NOC for the corporation. I moved to a position with Grant Thornton starting out as a local IT manager and worked my way to National Director of IT.
In 2008 I started my own company doing Cyber Security Consulting for small businesses and landed John Deere and Jimmy Johns as major clients doing compliance work and hardening systems. In 2016 I started for American Hotel Register as Global IT Security Lead and built out a global security program from scratch. In 2019 I went to work for Kivu Consulting as Director of Cyber Investigations leading more than 100 investigations and remediations of Ransomware incidents and litigation cases.
Currently I am Global IT Security Director for Synergy Global Housing and CISO for Alpha Recon (a startup company making an app for Risk Management). I have a degree in Automated Manufacturing and one in Business Technical Management. I currently hold a CISSP and CISM. My family and I reside in Colorado and I am an active member of Infragard.
Harry Holmes, Solutions Engineer, Acronis
Harry Holmes is a Solutions Engineer at Acronis with 2 years of experience assisting MSPs with their integration needs. He spent 3 years with an MSP in Pittsburgh as a Network Operations Engineer working closely with partners to secure their environments and resolve any issues relating to Backup, Antivirus/Antimalware, Data Loss Prevention, and Email security to name a few. He uses his skills, experience, and a willingness to learn to adapt current needs to available SaaS based solutions. When not saving the world from Ransomware you can find him spending time with his family or training his puppy Peanut.
Tom Kaczmarek, Director Graduate Studies and Director for Center for CyberSecurity Awareness and Cyber Defense, Marquette University
Thomas Kaczmarek, PhD. is the founding Director of the Center for Cyber Security Awareness and Cyber Defense at Marquette University. The University and the center have been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence (NCAE) in Cyber Defense Education by NSA and DHS. In addition to his duties directing the center, Dr. Kaczmarek is the Director of Graduate Studies for the M.S. in Computing program that was ranked as the 6th best online master’s program in computing and information technology by US News in 2021. He also serves as the founding co-Director of the Northwestern Mutual Data Sciences Institute which is a cooperative research and development effort between the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Northwestern Mutual, and Marquette University. Prior to joining Marquette University, Dr. Kaczmarek served as thought leader and executive in General Motors manufacturing engineering and information technology services. Dr. Kaczmarek was a recipient of the Chairman’s Honors for his work on the digital transformation of manufacturing engineering.
John Kellerhals, vCISO, DOT Security; Former Security Operations Manager, CF Industries
John Kellerhals, vCISO at DOT Security, has more than 20 years of experience in information security, incident response, governance and risk management, business continuity, disaster recovery, security operations, and auditing. He currently holds the CISSP, CISA, CISM, and CRISC certifications. John is a governing body member of the CISO Executive Summit and the Chairman of the board for the Chicago Chapter of Infragard. John previously served as the Finance Commission Chairman for the Village of Mount Prospect.
Kellerhals holds a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from Northwestern University.
Michael Neuman, Chief Information Security Officer, Backstop Solutions Group
As an accomplished professional and dynamic leader with hands-on experience defining and implementing security programs for financial services, e-commerce, banking, retail, and software organizations, I excel in regulated environments with my ability to navigate ever-changing needs, improve operations, and continuously drive compliance.
I cultivate partnerships and build trusted relationships across global business sectors, including executive-level communications within industry-leading organizations.
During my career, I have led onshore and offshore teams, maintaining a high level of performance standards, while simultaneously enhancing operations focused on business solutions and client engagement.
Subject Matter Expertise: Security Program Infrastructure, Compliance, Risk Mitigation, Threat Analysis, Enterprise Security, P&L, Team Leadership, SOX, HIPAA, and Technical Problem Solving.
Julian Wayte, Solutions Engineering Manager, Uptycs
Julian Wayte is a Security Solutions Engineer for Uptycs. In this role, he helps organizations architect security solutions – based on endpoint telemetry and automated workflows – in order to solve a variety of security use cases. Julian loves working with and teaching osquery. He has worked for 20 years in various customer facing, technical, and IT roles helping organizations manage and secure their data.