ISE® Success Stories

Jason Witty
ISE® Central People's Choice Award Winner 2014
ISE® North America People's Choice Award Winner 2014
ISE® Central Project Award Winner 2016
ISE® North America Project: Financial Award Winner 2016

I first learned of T.E.N.’s ISE® Programs seven years ago. A colleague of mine had won one of the ISE® Awards, and upon learning of their accomplishments I investigated the programs myself. However, it wasn’t until ISE® Central in 2014 that I was first nominated by a fellow security executive from another organization. After first attending, I could tell that ISE® Programs were unique. Other security programs I have attended are often vendor-driven, pushing solutions on the attendees; or are conference-driven, focusing on presentations and lectures. But the ISE® Programs and Awards are practitioner-driven, centered on the executives themselves and their experiences, advice, and questions surrounding the security industry.

At ISE® Programs, the level of sophistication, scrutiny, and overall integrity of the Awards Gala definitely commands more respect than other events. In this industry, positive recognition for one’s work is beneficial in any form. Receiving an award is always pleasant, but receiving those awards and being properly recognized before a crowd of your peers is a whole new level of a positive experience. It is an incredible morale boost, especially when you win as a team.

I have won past ISE® Awards as an executive myself, but this year my team won the 2016 ISE® Central Project Award and the ISE® North America Project: Financial Award for our “U.S. Bank Enterprise Tokenization Integration Project.” That was an especially high honor, because my team and other teams in the business at U.S. Bank worked extremely hard on the project—long hours, in-depth study, complicated structuring… It was a tough project that we were highly dedicated to. U.S. Bank internally appreciated our efforts, of course, but once we won both awards for this project, each team member truly felt appreciation for their diligence and tireless efforts from our industry peers as well.

The power of the ISE® Programs comes from the high caliber and seniority of the executives that attend these events. In the Executive Forum portion, the ability to network and discuss changes and events in the industry with the upper echelon of security executives is extremely valuable to developing your own organization’s strategy. I truly think these programs are an excellent blend of executive content, industry content, and vendor content. Each portion of the program is well balanced—vendor interactions feel warm and friendly rather than sales-driven; the presentations and discussions are informative but encourage collaborative dialogue; and the awards are peer-driven and well-deserved.

The ISE® Programs can only get better when there is more participation from high-caliber executives and security teams, and as such, I highly recommend that you nominate yourself, your team, or a fellow deserving security executive/project team to help these programs develop even further. As a nominee, you will gain the same benefits that I have mentioned—extended networking, peer recognition, relevant education, morale boost—and much, much more. Even if you do not win the award in the end, the experience of the Executive Forum and Awards Gala is highly beneficial and entirely irreplaceable. The ISE® Programs are a remarkable learning and celebratory environment—you would be remiss in not attending at least once!