What does this award mean to you?
Receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Western Governors University Alumni Recognition Program is an extraordinary honor. It represents the culmination of my hard work, dedication, and expertise in the cybersecurity field. This award serves as a validation of my commitment to continuous learning and professional growth and reinforces my commitment to lead from the front and make a positive impact on the industry and the community.
What has been your greatest professional accomplishment?
While I have achieved numerous professional milestones, my greatest accomplishment has been the opportunity to be a part of Dragos as a Senior Solution Architect. Dragos is an industrial cybersecurity company on a mission to safeguard civilization from those seeking to disrupt the critical infrastructure we rely on daily. Being part of Dragos means contributing to the protection of industrial organizations that provide us with the foundations of modern civilization: functioning electricity, running water, and safe working environments. My role at Dragos allows me to contribute to a greater cause, protecting the backbone of modern civilization. It is deeply fulfilling to know that my efforts help defend against potential disruptions that could have far-reaching consequences. This professional accomplishment at Dragos reinforces my purpose and drives me to continue pushing the boundaries of industrial cybersecurity, making a positive impact on society and ensuring the resilience and security of critical infrastructure for generations to come.
What does success look like to you?
To me, success is not only measured by personal achievements but also by the ability to create a lasting impact. It means leveraging my expertise and passion for technology and analytical problem-solving to drive superior market expansion, strategic leadership, and revenue optimization across diverse industries. Success is forging collaborative relationships with stakeholders, delivering value, and contributing to the betterment of society. To me, success means consistently surpassing expectations, delivering value to clients and stakeholders, and constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Success is not just about personal achievements, but also about uplifting others and contributing to the betterment of society.
What challenges have you overcome to get here today?
Throughout my journey, I have faced and overcome numerous challenges to reach where I am today. One significant challenge has been balancing the responsibilities of raising a family, pursuing my education, and excelling in my career. Juggling the demands of parenthood, work, and coursework required careful time management, sacrifice, and unwavering determination. My journey has been filled with challenges, such as navigating complex technical landscapes, staying ahead of evolving cybersecurity threats, and balancing technical expertise with business acumen. Overcoming these challenges has required continuous learning, adaptability, and perseverance. The journey has been challenging, but it has also been immensely rewarding. Each obstacle I faced has strengthened my resolve, expanded my skill set, and deepened my passion for cybersecurity. I am proud of how far I have come and am grateful for the lessons learned along the way. These challenges have shaped me into a resilient professional capable of addressing complex cybersecurity issues and making a positive impact in my field.
What does earning your degree from WGU mean to you?
Earning my master's degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance from Western Governors University signifies a significant milestone in my career. It demonstrates my commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry. The degree has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity principles and represents a pivotal achievement in my career, solidifying my expertise in the field of cybersecurity and positioning me as a credible and knowledgeable professional. It signifies my dedication to continuous learning and professional development, showcasing my commitment to staying ahead of the evolving cybersecurity landscape. Earning this degree from WGU has bolstered my credibility and marketability as a cybersecurity professional. It demonstrates my commitment to excellence and my ability to navigate complex cybersecurity challenges. It has provided me with a solid foundation to address the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape and has further fueled my passion for protecting critical infrastructure and defending against cyber threats. The knowledge and insights gained from the program have greatly enhanced my problem-solving capabilities and decision-making skills, enabling me to make informed and effective contributions in my role as a Senior Solutions Architect at Dragos.
How has education empowered your life and the work that you do?
Education has been instrumental in empowering me both personally and professionally. It has equipped me with the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and technical expertise required to tackle complex cybersecurity challenges. My education from Western Governors University has enhanced my ability to communicate complex technical concepts effectively to diverse audiences, ensuring a deep understanding of the content I present. Education has provided me with the necessary tools, critical thinking abilities, and technical expertise to tackle complex cybersecurity challenges. Education has opened doors, expanded my horizons, and enabled me to make a meaningful impact in the field by staying abreast of the latest advancements and best practices.
What advice do you have for your fellow Night Owls?
For my fellow Night Owls, I encourage you to embrace the flexibility that WGU offers. Utilize your time efficiently, stay disciplined, and leverage the available resources to maximize your educational journey. Remember that your dedication and hard work will lead to success. Stay focused on your goals, remain passionate about your field, and never stop learning. Take heart in the tales of individuals who, like us, have embraced the night as their ally in pursuit of knowledge. They have demonstrated that success knows no time constraints and that true dedication can overcome any obstacle. Believe in your ability to achieve your goals, stay disciplined in your studies, and leverage the ample resources and mentors that WGU provides to make the most of your time.
Who is your inspiration?
My greatest inspiration comes from my family. They have been my constant support system, motivating me to pursue my passions and excel in my career. Their unwavering belief in my abilities and their sacrifices have fueled my determination to make a difference in the cybersecurity field. I strive to create a better future not only for myself but also for my loved ones, ensuring their safety and security in an increasingly interconnected world. My wife and children serve as a constant reminder of the impact my work has on their lives and the responsibility I have to protect and secure the future for generations to come. Their presence fuels my drive to make a difference in the cybersecurity field, ensuring a safer digital environment for them and future generations. My family have supported me throughout my journey and pushed me to overcome challenges and achieve my goals. I am truly grateful for their love, encouragement, and the values they have instilled in me, which continue to shape my career and drive my pursuit of excellence in the cybersecurity field.
What does the future look like for you?
The future is filled with exciting possibilities for me. I envision myself continuing to drive innovation and advancements in the cybersecurity domain, particularly within critical infrastructure and industrial control systems. I aspire to contribute to the development of robust security solutions, leveraging threat intelligence, vulnerability research, and expert professional services. My goal is to make a lasting impact on the industry and society as a whole.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
As a Senior Solutions Architect at Dragos, Inc., I am honored to work on safeguarding industrial organizations and critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Dragos' mission to protect the industrial infrastructure we depend on every day resonates deeply with me. I am committed to leveraging my expertise and experience to help our clients and partners navigate the complex landscape of industrial cybersecurity, ensuring the resilience and security of our critical systems.
In addition to my professional endeavors, I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors and an investor at Buckeye Shooting Center. Through this role, I contribute to shaping company policies and provide oversight to ensure the success and growth of the organization. Furthermore, my involvement in the Ohio Cyber Reserve allows me to make a difference by assisting local municipalities in reducing cyber threats, developing the cyber talent of the future, and supporting STEM education initiatives.
I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. The field of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, and I am committed to staying at the forefront of industry trends and advancements. I see myself continuing to make significant contributions in the realm of industrial cybersecurity, working closely with clients, partners, and industry leaders to drive innovation, enhance security postures, and ensure the reliability and safety of critical infrastructure.
I would like to express my gratitude for the recognition bestowed upon me by the Western Governors University Alumni Recognition Program. This award serves as a testament to my dedication, expertise, and contributions to the cybersecurity field. I am honored to be a part of the WGU alumni community and will continue to strive for excellence in my professional endeavors, making a positive impact wherever I go.