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Vantage Point: A New Monthly Blog Series from the InfraGardNCR Board

As our InfraGard Chapter strives to fulfill our mission “to improve and enhance information sharing to protect the national capital region's critical infrastructure,” our Board, under the leadership of our Chapter’s President, Kristina Tanasichuk, continues to try and develop effective ways to support and engage with Chapter members. Many of those are detailed in the weekly newsletter and captured on the Chapter’s calendar.

One of our new initiatives this year is to start a monthly series written by Board members to share ideas and perspective that may be of interest and of value to our community addressing notable events and issues that align with our Chapter mission and those of InfraGardNCR members. This first installment is simply intended to introduce the series - but there are some great topics ahead! From focusing on important national campaigns such as National Preparedness Month (NPM) and National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month (NCISRM), to addressing some of our critical infrastructure sectorsand organizations, to salient topics such as building resilience and insider threats, our diverse group of Board Members look forward to sharing ideas and perspective with our community and in support of our Chapter’s mission and activities.

We’ve named this series, “Vantage Point” as we hope that our distinct backgrounds and experiences have provided us with a good view and complimentary perspectives on many of the issues, challenges, and needed efforts to help inform our Chapter’s efforts and our members’ day-to-day responsibilities within their organizations.

As noted on our Chapter’s website, the “Board of Directors of the National Capital Region is comprised of a diverse group of professionals who have devoted their careers to the security of the Nation in both the public and private sector. Board members serve in a voluntary capacity and are committed to making our Nation safer against attacks on its critical infrastructure by improving the opportunities, avenues, and venues in which our members establish trusted relationships and share threat, prevention, and mitigation information.”

Get to know the Board! Below are excerpts from our Board member bios from the Chapter website. Go to the Board of Directors page and you can read more complete backgrounds on each member.

· Kristina Tanasichuk, President. Kristina Tanasichuk is CEO and founder of the Government & Services Technology Coalition, a non-profit organization that represents small and midsized companies in homeland and national security and the Owner & Executive Editor, Homeland Security Today Magazine & Media platform.

· Steve Bieber, Executive Vice President. Steve Bieber is the Chief of Urban Watershed Programs and Homeland Security, Department of Environmental Programs, at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

· Brandon Ahrens, Chief Administrative Officer. Brandon Ahrens is a Senior Manager in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP. He leads Threat Management within EY’s U.S. Government & Public Sector market segment.

· Robert Walker, Chief Financial Officer. Robert Walker is a Management Consultant with HWC working in the realm of systems engineering, disaster response / recovery and emergency preparedness planning.

· Tonya Coultas, Vice President. Ms. Tonya D. Coultas serves as the Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Safety, Security & Emergency Management for Georgetown University.

· Bill Fanelli, Vice President. Bill Fanelli is the Chief Security Officer for the Council of Better Business Bureaus. He leverages his thirty years of proven leadership experience in security and enterprise management to bring clarity and focus to the complex issues surrounding cybersecurity.

· Jenifer Fritz, Vice President. Jenifer Fritz has a proven track record with 20+ years of high-tech industry successful sales, engineering and business development experience, including over nine years specializing in identity management, biometrics and security solutions to commercial and government customers.

· Kathy Mills, Vice President. Kathy Mills joined CENTRA Technology in November 2008 as the Corporate Security Officer/Security Director.

· Andy Jabbour, Vice President. Andy is co-founder and Managing Director of The Gate 15 Company, where he oversees team projects providing Gate 15’s threat-informed and risk based approach to analysis, preparedness and operations in support of private sector and government partners across the critical infrastructure environment.

Important to note (!), none of our Board nor Chapter activities would be possible without our trusted partners and colleagues, our FBI Private Sector Coordinators, Special Agent Kara D. Sidener and Special Agent Amylynn Errera, assigned to the Washington Field Office.

We hope that you find this series worth reading and hope that you’ll continue to engage with us and each other at events, via email, on theInfraGardNCR group page on LinkedIn, via our Chapter’s Twitter feed (@InfraGardNCR), and any way you are comfortable. We want to be an active and engaged Board and part of an active and collaborative Chapter! All of us are different but I know I’m always happy to talk and share ideas, and LinkedIn is a great way to get a hold me. Check out the website! Learn about programs such as the Sector Chiefs Programand the Chapter’s Special Interest Groups. Reach out! Connect!! Volunteer!!!

Let’s continue to develop and improve the Chapter, our collaboration and our collective effort to “to improve and enhance information sharing to protect the national capital region's critical infrastructure!”

Next month, in the next installment of this series, Board Executive Vice President, Steve Bieber, will be writing about one of our nation’s most important resources and critical lifelines, as he addresses the importance of water infrastructure.

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