ISE® Success Stories

Steven Jensen
ISE® North America Executive of the Year Nominee 2004
ISE® Midwest Executive of the Year Nominee 2005
ISE® North America Executive of the Year: Commercial Award Finalist 2013
ISE® North America Executive of the Year: Financial Award Finalist 2016

I have been involved with the ISE® Programs almost since they first began, but I believe I was first nominated by some of my associates around 2004. I was interested in nominating a few of our company projects and requested a handful of my team members to craft the nominations for each. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover they also wrote up an Executive of the Year nomination for myself. Being nominated for an ISE® Award by the people who work for and with you is extremely gratifying and humbling—it is a true honor.

I believe the ISE® Programs are the ideal setting for networking in terms of meeting peers in the industry and exchanging business cards for further contact beyond the program. I enjoy the various topics we discuss during the Executive Forum portions and benefit substantially from the shared opinions and experiences—for example, learning about the programs or strategies other executives implemented through their discussions and showcases that we could implement within our own team. I consistently walk away learning something new and beneficial at every ISE® Program.

I also believe that the vendor interactions at ISE® Programs are thoroughly enjoyable. Often at different conferences I hear organizers say they are reluctant to allow vendors into the program, as they may flood attendees with sales pitches. However, I don’t necessarily think that vendor attendance is always a negative aspect of an event—particularly at the ISE® Programs. I enjoy learning what problems they identify in current security programs and how their solutions attempt to solve these issues. The ISE® Programs also offer the chance to meet providers who are new to the scene or who do not have as much exposure, which allows executive guests to see what new solutions they can offer compared to others in the industry. It’s not easy in everyday, busy office life to find time to meet with individual solutions providers and determine what works for you. As such, at ISE® Programs, I enjoy being able to interact with multiple providers all in one convenient space.

The ISE® Awards Gala is the signature part of the entire ISE® Program experience. I thoroughly enjoy the event each time I participate, not only as a nominee receiving due recognition for my work or my team’s work, but also as an attendee applauding the hard work of those I know and respect. I give all credit to my team for our consistent project successes. Recently at the 2016 ISE® North America Leadership Summit and Awards, I brought along an associate who represented one of our nominated project teams. I had never done that before, but I have to say, that was a rewarding decision. The guests at the Awards Gala and I were all able to thank them personally for their hand in building up the success of our project and company. Changes are constant in an ever-growing company and can lead to a lot of uncertainty amongst team members, so returning from an ISE® Program with one of their prestigious awards not only boosts their morale and confidence, but also makes other companies and partners around us really recognize the hard work we do in security.

I have delivered keynotes, been involved in panels, hosted meetings and dinners, and more for T.E.N.’s ISE® Programs. Throughout the years, I have enjoyed working with Marci and I am continually impressed with what the T.E.N. team is trying to do for this industry. I value my symbiotic relationship with their team—I give my time and knowledge to the ISE® Programs, and in exchange I always walk away with a plethora of innovative ideas and information.

As a longtime participant, I sincerely recommend that anyone or any team that feels they are worthy should enter the ISE® Awards as a nominee. Participating in the ISE® Programs is one of the best ways to celebrate and develop the security industry as a whole. Information security professionals tend to get a negative reputation associated with things they “did not do” or “could have done.” But at the ISE® Programs, they are celebrated for what they have accomplished in one of the most difficult career fields in existence. There is nothing quite like experiencing that high honor and recognition, knowing you have played your part in helping information security grow into a valuable, highly successful industry.