ISE® Success Stories

Chris Ray
ISE® Southeast Executive Award Winner 2011

I’ve known Marci McCarthy and have been involved with her organization for over ten years, but it wasn’t until one of my solution providers nominated me that I participated in the ISE® Award program. Perhaps it’s the information security profession, or IT in general, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day firefighting that you forget to step back and recognize all that’s been accomplished. I’m grateful that my solution provider partner not only took that step back for me, but also took the time to nominate me.

I was quite surprised to hear my name called as the winner of the 2011 ISE® Southeast Executive of the Year Award. For a moment, I wasn’t sure I believed it. I felt both honored and humbled as I’d known the other finalists for many years and considered them to be a lot sharper than I was.

Even though I accepted the award, it wasn’t for me. It was for the team. I certainly couldn’t do it all by myself. I relied on a team of passionate people much smarter than me to accomplish all that needed to get done. They went beyond the day-to-day reactive to make a difference in the organization. To be recognized amongst their peers for their significant accomplishments was something very special.

In addition to increasing my visibility within the industry, the recognition elevated information security within my organization. The security program was promoted as competitive advantage, which made a huge difference for the sales team. Because the program was innovative in the way it supported a strong sales force, peers from other industries sought me out to learn how they could apply it within their organizations. This ability to share ideas is one of the most rewarding aspects of participating in an ISE® event. Many times we worry about revealing our secrets or avoid going into detail when we discuss programs, when a good exchange of information would help us all to avoid reinventing the wheel. The ISE® events provide the perfect forum to move beyond the basics and get really innovative ideas on how to advance one’s security efforts.

The best part about the T.E.N. ISE® experience, however, is the people and the relationships. Marci and her team bring together the top solution providers and the top companies across all industries. I’ve had the opportunity to form relationships with the top talent in the security industry. They are a fantastic group of people and I’m grateful to have them, as well as Marci and the T.E.N. team, in my life.

One thing that I’ve learned from my ISE® experience is that it’s important to take a step back. Have you and your team accomplished great things that deserve recognition? Do you need ideas on how to advance your security program? Are you looking to build your network and advance your career? There’s no better place than a T.E.N. ISE® event to connect, collaborate and celebrate. So step back. Then step forward and submit your nomination. It will open more doors than you could imagine.