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This was the 2nd Annual Cybersecurity Woman of the Year Awards gala, the first being held last August (2019) at the Luxor in Las Vegas, coinciding with “Black Hat” 2019.

Due to the pandemic, the event, originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas this August, was converted to a virtual gala, with the production taking place here in Roseville, CA.

The event was hosted by Up Capital Mgmt in downtown Roseville and was attended by a small production crew made up of the MC, Inteligenca leadership, presenters and technical support staff.

The Keynote Speaker was Kirsten Davies, SVP and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

During the awards portion of the evening, the runners-up were called out and the winner announced.  The winners then gave an acceptance speech (some pre-recorded).

This year I volunteered many hours of my time over the past year in support of this event: providing administrative support and program direction throughout the candidate selection and screening, and overall event planning. I set up and directed the selection committee screening process where I and 5 other committee members screened and scored over 200 candidates submitted for nomination.  The top scoring candidates were then passed to a panel of judges (IT and cybersecurity professionals and leaders) for the final selections.

This year I was asked to present the Cybersecurity Woman Influencer of the Year award along with a colleague and new business friend, Jason Elrod, Executive Director of Cybersecurity & Investigations at Sutter Health.


CSWY was founded in 2018 to recognize the significant contributions of women leading the cybersecurity industry – bringing innovation, inspiration, and talent development ideas into organizations worldwide. There are 7 award categories where online nominations are accepted earlier in the year.

CSWY’s Founder, Carmen Marsh, CEO of Inteligenca, and I have known one another for over 10 years. We previously worked together at Trimble as well as the California Earthquake Authority.  We’ve collaborated on many projects/programs over the years.

In the last two years, KFA sponsored – several cybersecurity events organized by Inteligenca, including Ally of the Year Awards in February this year, CSWY Gala 2019 in Las Vegas, NV and a few networking events with other cybersecurity professionals.

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