Raleigh ISSA is proud to Announce Fayetteville ISSA
Raleigh ISSA is proud to Announce Fayetteville ISSA

Written by Matt Young, Edited by Nia Luckey

We should start with Robert “Rob” Martin, who at the time was our Windows 7, Configuring instructor at Carolina Career College (formerly known as New Horizons Computer Learning Center) in Durham, NC. Robert was also the President of ISSA Raleigh at the time. Robert invited us (his students) to attend one of ISSA Raleigh’s chapter meetings. Our first meeting was in the early Fall of 2015, and the experience was interesting, engaging, and honestly, confusing. The topics were way above our level as most of us were fledgling IT students who may or may not have been able to claim an A+ or Net+ cert, leaving us struck by the professionalism and camaraderie. It was apparent that an organization such as this could assist an aspiring INFOSEC student in navigating the industry waters as well as provide a medium for experienced cyber pros to network and influence others. It was at the Raleigh meetings where we would converse at length about the avenues to gain that ever-so-important first information security job and the steps to get there. It was at one such meeting that it was determined, that if we could break into this business and if we could pass the dreaded CISSP exam, which we would one day bring this great resource to our DoD home….Fort Bragg, NC.

Rob Martin

Planning Phases

Flash forward approximately two years to March 21, 2017, and picture people sitting at Mission Barbecue in Fayetteville, NC. We had a 12-point checklist from ISSA on how to start a chapter including the locational boundary, three meetings with minutes and attendees and a president, secretary and a treasurer. We broke up the list, and each of us had a task or two to accomplish. We then scheduled our next meeting for April 20, 2017. Twelve cyber pros gathered at Logan’s Steakhouse, and we again went down the list and identified tasks that were outstanding. The April 20th meeting was fantastic and where we realized that we had the local interest and some folks willing to take active roles. Doug Cassle, from Palo Alto Networks, was our guest speaker and inspired us to continue our efforts and ensured us that support from the Charlotte and Raleigh area was plentiful. The last meeting that we needed to conduct before submitting our chapter application was at Smokey Bones Barbecue on May 16th, 2017. This time 17 supporters converged to listen to Robert Martin impart some vital guidance on moving forward with the chapter. He relayed key points to the success of a chapter and some lessons learned as well. Needless to say, we are attempting to mimic our parent chapter in both creed and deed. Mr. Martin, on behalf of his company Kaizen Training Solutions, LLC, became the first sponsor for ISSA FFB.

Submitting the Application

The next day on May 17, 2017, we submitted our chapter application. While we anxiously awaited a response from ISSA, we began planning our first official meeting. We were able to gain an outstanding sponsor in RedSeal thanks to Tony Pierce, ISSA FFB Sponsorship Director, who also worked some magic and landed our guest of honor, Doug Dexter from Cisco. Doug gave a tremendous presentation on Cyber Security considerations for the Rio Olympics. Wayne Lloyd presented the RedSeal analytics tool and spoke to its ability to increase the resiliency of a network utilizing the Embassy Suites in Fayetteville, NC as our first official venue. As members and guests continued to pour in, we realized that we did not plan for enough seating, tables, or food. From a chapter standpoint, this was an excellent problem to have, from a hungry guest’s perspective – this was bad. We spoke to the Embassy Suites event coordinator, and he quickly scaled the room and provided enough food at no additional cost. We conducted chapter business and included a brief cake-cutting ceremony. The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive and we, as always, thank all those that have contributed and assisted in this effort. Now the hard part begins…building on a great start.

Raleigh ISSA is proud to Announce Fayetteville ISSA - Matt Young Cutting Fayetteville ISSA Birthday Cake
Matt Young Cutting Fayetteville ISSA Birthday Cake


The Future

Our future plans include progressing content. Mr. Tony Pierce has outlined a logical progression of sponsors so that topics of education flow from one tool and capability to another. Our intent is to enhance each topic with highly qualified guest speakers that will provide a lead into the sponsors’ content. By coordinating topics in this fashion, we believe we can provide a greater learning experience per meeting and throughout the year. We will establish CISSP reviews begin planning and gathering sponsorships for our own INFOSEC conference here in Fayetteville. Since our chapter will be primarily made up of people with close ties to the armed services, we would like to make sincere contact with transitioning military personnel and let them know that we can help get them started in IT careers. We feel that too many service members engage in trial and error with their time, effort, and their highly valuable college benefits. We would like to help them maximize these resources by guiding them through entry level education so that they may save their GI Bill for expensive certifications and Master’s level schooling. Two of the ways we will do this is by 1. Achieving a 15 minute block time during military transition training at the Soldier Support Center on Fort Bragg. During this time we hope to impart the importance of certifications and experience through volunteer work. 2. To enhance this effort, we will be including Security+ reviews that run in conjunction with CISSP reviews.

Raleigh ISSA is proud to Announce Fayetteville ISSA - Fayetteville ISSA Meeting
Fayetteville ISSA Meeting

We hope to see you all at an ISSA Fayetteville / Fort Bragg meeting one day. We will remain ISSA Raleigh members and will continue to support our parent chapter to the North. Again…thank you to everyone for your support.

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