ISE® Success Stories

John Walp
ISE® Northeast Executive Award Winner 2009

When they named the finalists for the 2009 ISE® Northeast Information Security Executive of the Year, and knew I was in the company of strong competition. I was completely surprised to hear my name called because I truly didn’t expect to win. It was a great feeling to be recognized by my peers, but what gave me the most joy was the chance to shine the light on my team. Because the event was just a quick plane ride away, I had brought my entire team. In addition to being recognized amongst their peers for their efforts, the day’s events were equally beneficial because they gave us a window into what other organizations are doing.

Participating in the T.E.N. events has delivered many benefits. To begin with, the programs provide the perfect forum to meet with technology solution providers in a more casual setting. I was able to engage with several vendors that we were interested in and have good discussions about how we might potentially use their products. The programs also introduced us to companies that we didn’t know about, and it was helpful to learn about new technology coming onto the market.

Receiving the ISE® Award increased my visibility within the industry. I’ve received more invitations to speak at industry events, including RSA and other conferences. The greatest benefit to receiving an ISE® Award, however, is the opportunity to expand your network and collaborate with ISE® Alumni. You can count on meeting people from different industries and types of organizations. When faced with a challenge, it’s always helpful to be able to talk with someone from outside your industry. They usually have a completely different viewpoint. I’ve met a number of folks through the ISE® events who I now correspond with routinely. And they won't hesitate to pick up the phone and call me if they have a question. That kind of network is invaluable. You can't put a price tag on it.

The T.E.N. ISE® Experience is an experience unlike any other. The programs focus on the real-world issues that we are all trying to solve and bring the discipline of information security center stage. Timely, relevant topics. Real-world content. Industry experts and peer presenters. All these things that make the ISE® programs special, combined with the regional nature of the award program, encouraged me to submit a nomination.

I encourage anyone involved in information security to participate in the ISE® programs. Between the opportunities for recognition, the chance to expand your personal and professional network, and the educational opportunities, there is a tremendous value in participating. When I won the award, I wasn’t with the largest, most well-known bank in the world. Don’t hesitate to toot your own horn, even if you’re with a smaller organization. It’s your ticket to long-term personal and professional benefits.