ISE® Success Stories

Selim Aissi
ISE® West Executive Award Finalist 2015
ISE® North America Executive Award Finalist 2015 - Commercial Category

The first time I heard about the ISE® Awards programs was when I received an email about the ISE® West Executive Forum and Awards from T.E.N.’s CEO and President, Marci McCarthy, telling me about the event and how it recognizes notable information security professionals and teams while providing a platform to connect, collaborate, and celebrate with peers in the industry. Not long after this first encounter, my company nominated me for an Executive Award in 2015. Being an ISE® Nominee was a thrilling experience for me. The ISE® Awards is considered one of the most prestigious events and awards series in the information security space, so to be nominated for one was a true honor—and to make it into the final round as a finalist was even more exciting.

The first half of an ISE® Program is the Executive Forum, and the discussions held there were exceptional and enlightening—which I attribute that successful dialogue to the high caliber of security executives and professionals who attend these ISE® Programs. But most importantly, I found the networking that the events provide to be significantly beneficial. Whether we are deep in discussion during a roundtable or the CISO Deep Dive panel, or just chatting with one another during the breaks between activities, the interactions we had and connections we could make with one another as security professionals were professional, successful, and useful.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ISE® Awards Gala, held at the end of the program. The nominees were all outstanding individuals and teams from an array of organizations, and being a part of that crowd of respected professionals was humbling and exhilarating. I could sense from everyone in the room how excited everyone was to be a part of the program and find out who would receive the awards. I believe that overall the events are always well-prepared and executed, and overall the experience was rewarding, exciting, and highly beneficial to everyone involved.

After being a part of the ISE® Programs and coming back twice as an ISE® Finalist, I received recognition for my efforts not only from within my organization but from peers in my network as well. I was congratulated and honored for my work. We as CISOs and security professionals do a lot of work for our companies and help advise others in this field; but at the end of the day, being recognized and celebrated by our peers for that hard work in a place like an ISE® Program is extremely important to our growth as executives, team members, and leaders.

I would certainly recommend that deserving professionals and teams should nominate themselves for the ISE® Awards and attend ISE® Programs. The selection process; qualified and impartial judges; and the Awards Gala were all top-notch aspects of the nominations experience and made it all a very positive experience. The recognition and connections with peers in your network are phenomenal, and the events can provide you with so much information, guidance, connections, acknowledgement, and more that every professional would benefit from significantly.

One of the best parts about my relationship with T.E.N. is that it feels feels like we are a family. I have attended these events as a nominee, judge, panel moderator, and speaker; and I frequently talk with Marci. The relationship is mutually beneficial, and in the long-term I really believe we can help one another grow and succeed. I see myself as one of T.E.N.’s greatest supporters, and I look forward to the continued growth and success in the ISE® Programs.