MI High School Cyber Summit Speakers 2023


General Session Sponsors

Lanyard Sponsor

Bag Sponsor

Beverage Sponsor

College, University and Table Displays

Central Michigan University
Grand Valley State University
Eastern Michigan University
Michigan Air National Guard
Michigan Technological University
Northwood University
University of Michigan


Check back often for speaker additions.


Laura Clark
Chief Information Officer
State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget

Laura Clark serves as the chief information officer (CIO) for the State of Michigan, directing the state’s technology and security efforts. As deputy director for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB), she also oversees operations for the department, which provides information technology, business, and administrative services to state employees and stakeholders, as well as Michigan residents, visitors, and businesses.

During her 20-year career in public service, Clark has embraced a hands-on, adaptable approach to leadership. Since being appointed as CIO by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, she has helped the State of Michigan achieve success through many initiatives, such as the launch of the award-winning Michigan Secure mobile app and successfully securing $20 million in critical cybersecurity funding from the Michigan Legislature for statewide security enhancements.

In her day-to-day work, Clark values the contributions of every person on DTMB’s 5,000 member team and has the unique ability to connect her sense of purpose and service with the overall work and mission of directing the State of Michigan’s technology and security efforts. She leads by example, seeking out opportunities that will allow those around her to succeed. Throughout these efforts, Clark’s compassion, patience, experience, and skills as are helping DTMB and the entire state forge a successful path into the digital future.

Jayson Cavendish
Chief Security Officer
State of Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget

Jayson Cavendish is the Chief Security Officer for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget's (DTMB) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection.

Cavendish brings a unique blend of strengths to the role, including leadership, vision, and strategic planning, along with the ability to promote collaboration at all levels to support critical, high-level statewide projects to successful completion. As part of DTMB's leadership team, Cavendish has helped to formulate and implement policies, strategic plans, directives, and organizational structure. He also leads several cybersecurity and infrastructure protection committees, as well as programs at the local and state levels.

In his five years with the State of Michigan, Cavendish has steadily grown his IT and security architecture knowledge while serving in various leadership positions in his career including information security management roles, director of technical services, and data warehouse manager architect. In addition, he has numerous certifications including CISSP, CISA, PMP, and is a Licensed Professional Investigator in Michigan.

Cavendish is a graduate of Northwood University and Campbell University and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and an associate degree in accounting.

Robert Cheripka
Advisory Specialist Leader

Bob is a Specialist Leader in Deloitte Advisory’s Cyber Risk Services & has been with the firm for over 13 years.  He also has over 13 years of experience in Computer Network Defense Operations & over 5 years of Intelligence Operations while working for the United States Army. Bob’s area of expertise is highly diversified and includes both technical & operational experience across the following areas:

  • Attack and Penetration Testing (Including Network, Application, Wireless, Social Engineering, Red Teaming, & Physical Security)
  • Information Security & Assurance Planning/Implementation
  • Security Maturity Assessments
  • Security Architecture & Engineering
  • Public Key Infrastructure Program Implementation
  • Cyber Watch Center Operations, Design, & Implementation
  • Log Management and Security Information Event Monitoring (SIEM) Implementation & Management
  • Crisis Action Team Design, Planning, Implementation, & Execution
  • Cyber Threat Intelligence & Defense Program Development/Implementation.

Betsy Freeman
CEO & Founder
Radius Advisory Group, LLC

Betsy Freeman is the CEO and Founder of Radius Advisory Group, LLC, a Management Consultancy focused on helping organizations build business, operational and technology resilience. The firm advises senior leadership on strategic risk and business strategy, technology and cyber security matters, all with the goal of strengthening performance, maximizing efficiencies, and identifying opportunities to capture competitive advantage.

Betsy is a solution focused, delivery-oriented business leader. She has been a trusted advisor to senior leadership from the Department of Defense to industry C-Suite’s and Corporate Boards. Her reputation as a strategist and operational implementor has made her the “go-to” leader when decision makers need to get things done. She was an early adopter in the use of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to derive information from large, complex data sets, speeding critical insights to inform senior leader decision making.

Considered a cross functional problem-solver with critical thinking skills, she is a believer in the power of “silo-busting” inside organizations to deliver results. She advocates for less time in meetings (in person or on-line) and more time achieving measurable progress in business and operations. She is relentless in challenging organizations to better understand how to secure and govern their critical data by building a foundation where everyone, from the Boardroom to the Operations floor, understands where the data is and what normal data looks like.

Betsy was previously the Department of Defense (DoD) Deputy, CIO for Business Process and Systems Review, where she initiated the creation of a data analytics function to provide non-traditional transparency on Information Technology (IT) and business process costs and potential efficiencies across the DoD. She also served in the Executive Office of the Secretary of Defense where she was a member of the Defense Efficiencies Task Force (EFT) under Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and was appointed to lead the implementation team to reduce manpower across the DoD Legislative Affairs function worldwide, following her time on the task force. Betsy also served as the Director of Operations for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s internal Budget Sequestration Working Group, which faced a potential $500 Billion in budget reductions from the DoD and other national security and domestic agencies, impacting civilian workforce, military readiness, training, and weapons maintenance.

Freeman’s industry experience includes PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she held concurrent positions as Chief of Staff to the Chairman, the Americas Utility Industry Practice and Senior Director for Marketing and Business Development. She provided strategic business advice to utility industry partners on a global basis and was credited with an industry best practice for her development of a new Business Development model that powered financial growth across the global practice.

Betsy’s early career was as a U.S. Air Force active-duty officer, where she served as Media Relations Strategist and Public Affairs Advisor to the USAF Deputy, Chief of Staff for Operations and the Air Force General Counsel during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Known for her expertise in tactical aircraft and munitions, and her ability to negotiate and defuse sensitive issues with the media, Congress and the public, she served four tours of duty at the Pentagon as a uniformed military service member, contractor and as a senior federal civilian.

Rex Menlo
Deputy Chief Security Officer
Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget

Rex Menold serves as the deputy chief security officer for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection division at the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget. A dedicated public servant, Menold has overseen the successful implementation of initiatives to keep Michigan’s digital ecosystem secure. In addition, he provides cybersecurity and IT expertise to numerous programs and committees.

In Menold’s 25 years at the State of Michigan, he has steadily built his in-depth IT and security architecture knowledge while serving in various leadership positions. As a leader, he encourages his team to think outside the box, collaborate, and pursue opportunities for professional learning and continuous growth.

Menold is a graduate of Northwood University with degrees in information management and business management. He is currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

Darryl McCartney
Director, Cross Solutions & Industry Innovation, Global Customer Success

Darryl is the Global Director for Industry Solutions in Microsoft’s Global Customer Experience & Success organization. He is responsible for Azure Cloud and Intelligent Edge Solutions with Enterprise Customers that accelerate their Cloud Computing journey. Darryl is a trusted advisor to CxOs and Line of Business executives providing technology thought leadership. He leads a global team of Cloud Solution Architects that are committed to Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Our team’s goal is to empower customers to achieve more with Microsoft technology.

Kevin Nameth
Human Performance Senior Manager

After initially helping clients, Kevin Nameth has spent the last twelve years creating an award-winning program to teach Accenture employees across the globe how to stay safe from cyber threats. This program includes cool activities like video game inspired training and VR multi player escape rooms that explain how to protect important information. Kevin has presented across the globe at conferences such as the SANS Security Awareness Summit and the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Global Connect Conference.

Justin Palacios
Advisory Specialist Leader

Justin is a Specialist Leader at Deloitte, with 20+ years of service and experience within the DoD, and Intelligence Community participating in advanced Red Team activities.

  • Dynamic Adversary Intelligence Lead, responsible for developing advanced behavioral analytics of Net-flow data records and open source intelligence to identify malware, advanced persistent threats, malicious, and anomalous activity.
  • Leading teams using and developing AI and GenAI based analytics to detect anomalous network activity, autonomously collect threat intelligence, and map adversarial infrastructure to deliver real time intelligence to security operations teams to assist with defending and hardening their attack surface.

Afia Phillips
VP of Information Security
Little Caesars

Afia Phillips is Vice President of Information Security/CISO at Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc., with additional responsibility of overseeing Information Security for all business units within the Ilitch-owned companies, from in-store systems and hardware to box office ticket sales, to network-connected screens at venues across the organization’s restaurant, foodservice, sports, and entertainment empire. Phillips has established a strategic enterprise Information Security Program that focuses on minimizing cyber risk across the organization. The Program entails strengthening cyber defenses, enhancing threat intelligence and monitoring, developing comprehensive testing regimes, raising awareness throughout the enterprise, and partnering closely with senior company leaders to ensure alignment, advocacy, and adherence across the workforce. Phillips is also a member of the Little Caesar Enterprise Strategic Planning Committee.

Bryan Smith
Security Researcher & Founder, Redline Cyber Security
Volkswagen/Redline Cybersecurity

Bryan's 15-year career foundation was built on a broad range of industry experience from large enterprise networks right here in Michigan. His journey began at the helpdesk, evolving through roles in desktop engineering, system administration, incident response, and forensics. His initial academic years in high school may not have predicted his future, but a turning point came when he discovered the cybersecurity field and its diverse, welcoming community. This sparked him to pursue the field further and obtain a bachelor’s degree in cyber security from EMU, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Now holding top certifications like OSWE, OSCP, and CEH, Bryan plays an instrumental role as the Principal Cybersecurity & Forensics Engineer for a large global automotive OEM. Outside the office, he contributes to security research, is an active member of the local infosec community such as #MISEC and #CTF313, participates in "bug bounty" programs (top 20 in US), and operates as an independent consultant specializing in penetration testing.

Kathryn Wesoloski
Human Performance Associate Manager

Kathryn Wesoloski is a change management specialist focused on information security learning. She has spent the last six years at Accenture developing a wide variety of content ranging from a catalog of in-person games to custom security 'credit scores.’ This content keeps over half a million employees around the globe up to date with the latest cyber threats and motivated to prioritize security every day.

Natasha Young
WomSA Training Coordinator & Cybersecurity Engineer

Natasha Young is a cybersecurity professional with expertise in embedded vehicle networks in the automotive sector. She is a first-generation college graduate who faced and overcame many challenges on her academic and career journey. Her background in software engineering and digital forensics has equipped her to develop practical security solutions. In addition to her technical roles, Natasha serves on the board of the Women's Security Alliance (WomSA) and has leadership roles in her company's early career development programs. As a panelist at the High School Cyber Summit, she looks forward to sharing her experiences and insights with students in Michigan.