ISE® Success Stories

Frank Aiello
ISE® Northeast People's Choice Award Winner 2016
ISE® Northeast Executive Award Finalist 2016

When I first joined the American Red Cross, I was working for a colleague who has been a longtime participant at T.E.N.’s events. She introduced me to the ISE® Programs knowing I would benefit from the networking and educational opportunities they provide—and she was right.

The networking aspects presented in the Executive Forums of the ISE® Programs are unmatched. Not only do I get to reconnect with old friends at these events, but I have also connected with many new professional acquaintances. During the Executive Forums, I also enjoy participating in the roundtable discussions. It is incredibly beneficial to hear from others in the industry about the challenges they face and share approaches to solving them. That experience has helped adjust our own strategies or reinforce that we are on the right path in how we keep our organization secure.

Another beneficial aspect to the ISE® Programs is the vendor interactions. As security executives, we are inundated daily with invitations to events that are overtly sales-focused or purely technical. However, at these programs, vendors are more inclined to focus on the business benefits of their solutions that are important to security executives. The technical aspects of their solutions can come later, after relationships and needs have been established. The ISE® Programs bring the right vendors to the table who understand their audience, which provides more productive exchanges.

I was nominated for the ISE® Awards by a close friend and mentor. At first, I was reluctant to apply because I did not consider my recent work particularly cutting edge and exciting. Filling out the nominee application really forces you to reflect upon all the accomplishments and contributions you have made in your career. Being nominated made me step back and recognize the hard work and achievements that not only I put forth in my career, but that my team puts forth in our organization every day. Though I inevitably won the ISE® People’s Choice and ISE® Executive of the Year Finalist Awards, these honors were also felt by my team. Their support and passion in our work has been critical to all that we’ve accomplished together.

Winning the 2016 ISE® Northeast People’s Choice Winner, in particular, was a truly humbling experience. It was an honor to be placed among the ranks of influential and leading executives in this industry. It showed to me the level of support my coworkers, friends, and peers had for me in my career. Even many months after the ISE® Awards were over, colleagues continued to ask about the award and share that they had voted for me.

Over the years, the T.E.N. team has provided me with numerous opportunities to elevate my profile within the cybersecurity industry. I have hosted ISE® VIP Receptions or ISE® Dinners; moderated roundtables at the ISE® Programs; spoke at the ISE® Awards Galas; and so on. It is rewarding to be able to participate in these events and meet dozens of other professionals in the industry. All of the T.E.N. events draw in well-known, high caliber industry leaders or professionals. I truly believe the networking opportunities the T.E.N. events provide are invaluable.