ISE® Success Stories

Stacey Halota
2009 ISE® Mid-Atlantic Commercial Executive Award Winner

When I received the email from T.E.N. notifying me I had been nominated by my colleague, it was an easy decision to proceed with the process. I was impressed with the quality of the T.E.N. programs and had heard a lot of positive feedback from my peers in the industry about the ISE® Awards. Getting involved with T.E.N. and the ISE® Awards Program was a great decision for me personally and professionally.

When I heard my name called, I was actually really shocked. I had assumed that the winner was notified in advance, so I was sitting there waiting to see who won! When they announced my name, I was stunned and delighted. One of the biggest benefits to winning the ISE® Award is that it has given me more credibility and visibility within our industry. I do a lot of negotiating as part of my current role and I know that having won the ISE® Award gives me more credibility. Many vendors recognize the ISE® Award and I feel that gives me a little edge.

The opportunity to expand my network within the information security industry has also been very beneficial to my career. The ISE® Awards bring you great exposure to executives and vendors that you may not have the chance to meet during the regular course of business. During the Executive Forum you hear presentations from innovative CISOs and other InfoSec professionals. These presentations are so valuable because you are not only hearing their experiences, but they also validate what you are going through and that is motivating. I get asked by my boss and the Board “what are other people doing?” It’s nice to be able to say that I know what other companies are doing and present their experiences to our Board.

The best part about the T.E.N. and ISE® experience is the professionalism and high quality of all the T.E.N. events. The high caliber of executive attendee that the T.E.N. team attracts is second to none. I think that Marci McCarthy has tremendous vision for the industry, so I value hearing what her plans are. I think the T.E.N. team does a tremendous service by coordinating these great events. They facilitate information sharing, which is really a necessity within this industry. I am really grateful for T.E.N. for continuing to operate at such a high level and putting on such valuable events. The connections I have made are unparalleled.

For instance, I had the opportunity to meet Veda Woods at the last ISE® Private Dinner that I attended. She is involved with the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals, a cause that I am very interested in. I feel that women and minorities are really underrepresented in the information security field and I am an advocate for ensuring education and opportunities for them in cybersecurity. As a result of meeting Veda at the ISE® Private Dinner, I have now joined the Strategic Board of Advisors, alongside Marci McCarthy, for the ICMCP.

Since I won the ISE® Award, I have continued to participate in T.E.N. and ISE® Programs. I have been honored to be judge and serve as an ISE® Alumni Host at many ISE® Private Dinners. Being a judge was terrific experience. I really enjoyed interacting with the other judges and hearing their perspectives. Seeing the creativity of the people that submitted the nominations really impressed me. Being able to participate as a judge has allowed me to continue to learn and also expand my creativity when implementing new thing at my own company.

If you are thinking about submitting a nomination, I would say make sure you provide as much detail as you can to describe the value that you or your projects have brought to the organization and, if you can, quantify the value. The more detail you include about how you effect change within your organization the more you will stand out. I can tell you two things for certain: participating in T.E.N. events and the ISE® Awards Program will increase your visibility within the information security community and within your company, and it will be a tremendous benefit to your career! It has been to mine.