FBI and KU Cybersecurity Conference Speakers

Speakers’ info

Aaron cofounded Tenfold Security after serving thirteen years as the Chief Information Security Officer of American Century Investments and Cboe Global Markets (previously Bats Global Markets).  He joined Bats Global Markets in 2008 and built the information security program from the ground up. Following the acquisition of Bats Global Markets by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), he became the Global Chief Information Security Officer of the combined entity. In his role, he oversaw all information and physical security along with environmental, security compliance, personnel security, monitoring and policy/procedure.

Prior to Bats, Aaron aided in the development of the penetration testing and security advisory groups at Grant Thornton LLP. Prior to Grant Thornton, he founded and managed Mercury Risk Management, a Colorado- based information security consulting firm. His clients included several U.S. government departments, agencies, and bureaus, as well as private industry clients including Echostar (Dish Network), Black & Veatch and Qwest Communications.

Aaron represented Cboe as a member of the FSSCC (Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council), the FS-ISAC (Financial Services Information Sharing Advisory Council), the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) and served as the chairman of the SEC Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) Security Advisory Board.

Aaron holds an MBA and Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Saint Mary and a Bachelor’s in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University. He currently serves as a board member of the University of Saint Mary Board of Trustees and as the board president of KC Youth Rise, a Kansas City nonprofit that serves disadvantaged youth through sports and education. 

He maintains a CISSP certification and has authored several papers on security topics. He has presented at MIT, Oxford University (UK), several law enforcement/intelligence agency conferences, the Kansas House of Representatives and most recently the United Nations Financial Stability Board. He continues to provide financial industry support to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

Andrew Northern is a Senior Security Researcher at Proofpoint, where he brings over a decade of hands-on experience in the information security field. His comprehensive expertise covers a wide range of technical disciplines, including threat intelligence, digital forensics, incident response, penetration testing, and red team engagements. Andrew is recognized for his significant contributions in demystifying SocGholish and his discovery and analysis of innovative, sometimes highly targeted techniques and bespoke payloads. He remains deeply committed to identifying new malware, unmasking emerging threat actors, and uncovering the innovative techniques utilized by criminals and nation-state actors alike in the rapidly evolving landscape of information security.

Belinda Sturm is the interim Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Kansas and a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering. She is also director of the Kansas National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program. In addition to leading the KU Office of Research, she advocates for research on and off campus, implements research integrity requirements, and through the KU Center for Research (KUCR), oversees the administration of research grants and contracts primarily for the Lawrence campus. Sturm also has oversight of activities related to technology commercialization and business and industry outreach.

Sturm’s research group studies the application of biological processes in environmental engineering toward public health protection and sustainability. She served Lawrence and the surrounding region during the pandemic by monitoring COVID levels in wastewater. Sturm leads the current statewide NSF EPSCoR initiative that is advancing the resilience of infrastructures that all Kansans depend on — such as water, energy and transportation systems — by creating tools that ensure support for our most vulnerable communities in both rural and urban areas. The project is also creating a pipeline of community leaders and decision-makers who will transform how communities invest in and manage their human and physical infrastructure.

Sturm has a doctorate in civil engineering & geological sciences from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science & engineering from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California-Davis.

A KU faculty member since 2006, Sturm previously served as an Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. She is an award-winning researcher, teacher and mentor who is deeply engaged in professional service through membership in the Water Environment Federation, International Water Association, Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors, American Association for the Advancement of Science and other groups.

Chris Lamb entered on duty as a special agent with the FBI in 2004. He has been assigned to the Springfield, San Antonio, and Kansas City FBI field offices, where he worked on criminal cyber investigations and national security cyber investigations.

Lamb was promoted to supervisory special agent in 2018 and assigned to the Cyber Technical Operations Unit, Cyber Division, Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for providing sophisticated technical operational capabilities for field investigations. In 2020, he returned home to Kansas City and worked malware distribution investigations focusing on malvertising. In 2023, Lamb returned to Cyber Division, focusing on creating advanced cyber training for FBI personnel.

Prior to the FBI, Lamb was a communications officer in the U.S. Air Force and worked in private industry as a CIO for an online real estate startup. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, a master’s in psychology, and a doctorate in information technology/information assurance.

Donna Gomez, CRISC, is the security risk and compliance analyst for the Johnson County, Kansas, Park & Recreation District. Previously, Gomez was the critical infrastructure protection senior manager and risk compliance analyst for a municipally owned utility. Gomez has been an information security professional since 1999, when she began documenting processes for IT and customer support staff, then training people to not click on suspicious attachments in emails. She was past president of the InfraGard Kansas City Members Alliance and is past president of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of ISACA. Donna serves on several of MS-ISAC working groups including the Metrics Subcommittee, Security Awareness, and Business Resiliency. She also is a member of the MARC Cybersecurity Task Force and a #SheLeadsTech volunteer for One in Tech, an ISACA foundation that mentors youth and promotes diversity and inclusion in the profession. She is the current director of membership & recruitment for the Kansas City Metroplex for Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS). Gomez was on the drafting team that developed the Security Awareness Standard published in 2020 by the ASIS Professional Standards Board.

Her passion is to continue expanding the information-sharing community and building partnerships to strengthen the security resiliency and awareness of anyone responsible for protecting the critical infrastructure.

Dylan Meadows is a Special Agent assigned to the Counterintelligence Program for the FBI’s El Paso Field office.

Special Agent Meadows joined the FBI in 2012 through the FBI Honors Internship Program. After joining the FBI, SA Meadows served several roles before being appointed as a Special Agent in 2018. As a Special Agent, SA Meadows investigated violent crimes, computer Intrusions, ransomware, and more recently counterintelligence matters.  

SA Meadows has an Undergraduate Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, a Masters in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigations, and a Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Foundations.

SA Meadows was one of the lead investigators for the Conti Ransomware Threat Team and was awarded the Medal of Excellence for his investigative contributions to the Computer Intrusion Program.

In coordination with the FBI’s Crisis Negotiations Unit, SA Meadows developed the FBI’s Ransomware Negotiations strategy and has led the initiative to train and provide best practices for FBI field negotiators handling ransomware and cyber enabled violations.

Eric Foster is president of Stairwell, a next-generation threat detection and response solution. Foster is a multi-time founder, technologist, and award-winning domain expert both in cybersecurity and in customer success. 

Prior to Stairwell, Foster co-founded Cyderes with legendary cybersecurity entrepreneur Gary Fish under the umbrella of the visionary Fishtech Group. Serving as president, Foster helped scale Cyderes before it was merged with Robert Herjavec’s cybersecurity firm Herjavec Group. Before Cyderes, Foster ran customer success at RiskIQ, was co-founder and CTO for MMAjunkie (sold to Gannett), was CISO for Netsmart Technologies, and was CISO and later chief technology architect for UMB Financial, where he was on the incubation team for eScout under Alexander “Sandy” Kemper.

Director, Burns & McDonnell

As part of the Information Technology Department, Eric Walters, CISSP, PMP, draws on his 30 years of IT experience, 20 in cyber security, to oversee the Information Security department.  The Information  Security Department includes Security Operations, Infrastructure & Design, Governance Risk and Compliance sections.   Eric is also responsible for the IT disaster recovery and business continuity program. 

Eric’s IT experience includes healthcare cross-disciplinary compliance and privacy, software development, information security program management, cyber security managed services, federal government IT cloud deployments, global transition operations, and 20 years in the military. 

Eric is heavily involved in the Cyber Security community, frequently presenting at conferences. He also co-founded of the KC Security Leaders Forum and ISC2 Kansas City Chapter.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in management from Park University and his Master’s in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School. 

Eric, his wife, Renae, have a two children and live in Overland Park, Kansas.

Grant Bourzikas joined Cloudflare as the Chief Security Officer in 2023, where he is a driving force in helping the company achieve its mission to build a better Internet. As a critical component within Cloudflare's ecosystem, Grant's primary role is to protect the company from sophisticated adversaries to stay ahead in today’s cybersecurity landscape. He oversees Cloudflare’s threat intelligence services, which successfully mitigate 170+ billion attacks daily, in addition to acting as “Customer Zero” to help foster innovation across all Cloudflare products and services.

Grant is a seven-time CSO with over 20 years experience leading global security programs that span the private sector, having worked at a Fortune 500 critical infrastructure company, an online trading organization and within the gaming space. Most notably, Grant spent several years in the financial services industry at both HSBC and Silicon Valley Bank. Grant holds a Master's in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence from Southern Methodist University, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri in St. Louis. He is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional).

Jason is the CEO of Invary, a cybersecurity company specializing in validating the Runtime Integrity of operating systems and detecting sophisticated threats that elude other solutions. Prior to joining Invary, Jason served as the Vice President of Platform at Matterport. He has also successfully launched a consumer-facing IoT platform for Lowe's and developed numerous software products for Motorola.  approaches, training, team building exercises and burnout, will also be discussed.

Joseph Lawlor is a supervisory special agent within the Cyber Division of the New York Field office of the FBI. In this role, Lawlor manages a team of computer scientists, intelligence analysts, special agents, and task force officers on complex investigations involving foreign nation-state adversaries targeting U.S. critical infrastructure. Lawlor has also served as a supervisory special agent of the Global Operations and Targeting Unit, where he led several FBI Cyber Division initiatives and programs including data collection and analysis and partnerships with foreign law enforcement.

Before taking on these supervisory roles, he was assigned to the Cyber Branch in the New York Division, where he was a lead incident responder, trainer, and investigator of computer intrusions perpetrated by the world’s most sophisticated adversaries. His casework specifically focused on threats to critical infrastructure, including intrusions at some of the largest finance, energy, and transportation institutions. Lawlor has applied his strategic vision and tactical expertise as one of the authors of the New York office’s cyber incident response plan. Before joining the FBI, Lawlor was the managing director of a proactive cyber defense practice for an international consulting firm, where he led a team that provided services including compliance audits, risk assessments, penetration tests.

“Kyle Neuberger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Utah State University, graduating in 2014. Preceding his appointment to Special Agent, SA Neuberger served as an investigative specialist for the FBI. In that time, SA Neuberger received his Master of Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University. This year, SA Neuberger will receive his Masters in Cybersecurity Law from Maryland University’s School of Law.

After his appointment to Special Agent, SA Neuberger was assigned to the Kansas City Field Office. SA Neuberger is currently assign to complex criminal cyber investigations. SA Neuberger helps lead an multi agency international team for many of his cases. SA Neuberger also serves as a member of Kansas City’s Crisis Response Team.”

Melissa Spicer is the director of cybersecurity for Evergy, leading the security risk management, cyber operations, and identity and access management teams. Spicer started her career in finance at Cerner Corporation and began her security journey in 2006. She has since managed all domains within security including physical systems and physical operations center. She holds the CISM certification.

Spicer has a passion for mentoring and encouraging others to grow in knowledge and skills in the information security industry, which drove Spicer to develop Women in Security–KC. She currently holds a position on the Founding Director Board and has also held president and treasurer positions. She championed the development of their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to create the organization’s fundraising and scholarship initiatives.

Perry Alexander is the AT&T Foundation Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Science and director of the Institute for Information Sciences at the University of Kansas. His research and teaching interests include formal verification and synthesis, trusted systems, and programming language semantics. 

Alexander was the lead advisor on KU’s Science of Security Lablet, one of six security lablets established by the National Security Agency across the nation. He currently works with DARPA, NSA, NSF, and KCNSC, looking at advanced techniques for remotely establishing trust. Alexander has four degrees from the University of Kansas, including bachelor’s degrees in computer science and electrical engineering, and a master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical and computer engineering.

Stevan founded Bernard Global, LLC in July 2018, and he currently serves as their Chief Executive.

Prior to this he held the position of Executive Vice President for global protection services at Sony Pictures Entertainment. During his 16 years with Sony Steve initiated numerous programs in support of Sony worldwide.  His staff covered over 50 countries and 150 offices.  Services also extended to contracted production personnel operating in the far corners of the globe.  Critical responsibilities included: global threat management; investigations; forensics (with 3 labs); information security and data privacy; content protection; threat management; major event security; environment; health and safety; production safety and security; sustainability; medical and clinical services; BCP/CM and incident management (including cyber); resilience; physical security; law-enforcement and government liaison; fire and life safety.

In addition to the entertainment field Stevan has also held key leadership roles in energy, food, human resources, and technology.  His public service included 12 years in municipal police and 3 years in the US Army.  He resided overseas for 8 years of his life and traveled in over 50 countries.

Today, Mr. Bernard is very engaged with the law-enforcement community, the U.S. Department of State, Academia, the International Security Management Association (ISMA), the FBI’s Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), InfraGard with the FBI, ASIS International and HSIN. He has been recognized by the CIA, the FBI, AT&F NRT, the US Army, and the U.S. Department of State for his service to country.

Stevan is a sought-after speaker, advisor, and confidant on topics such as corporate security, crisis preparedness, cyber security, resilience, leadership, Polycrisis, duty of care and risk mitigation.

Wayne started pulling network cables over 25 years ago and has worked his way up in the Technology field with a knack for cybersecurity. He has been focused on security for the last 15 years leading several blue teams over the years. His current role is a dream job, where he created an information security department from the ground up. This challenge has been rewarding with opportunities to mentor and make a difference. When not defending the cyberspace, Wayne enjoys family and the outdoors - fishing, tending his homestead, gardening, and working his bees.