Meet the 2024 Leadership Board of WiSKC
As President of Women in Security, Madi hopes to encourage and facilitate efforts aimed at increasing accessibility in Kansas City’s technology and security organizations. With stewardship as a driving factor, her involvement with a variety of local groups is primarily focused on assisting those that face barriers to entry and ensuring opportunities for continued growth are not missed.
Madi has helped with Girls Who Code and participated in panels focused on encouraging young women in STEM, including the SWE’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day & NCWIT’s Aspirations in Computing Awards. She currently sits on academic advisory boards at the University of Kansas, Donnelly College and Summit Technology Academy. Her continued volunteer efforts include involvement with BSidesKC and SecKC.
Lakorria Bates currently works at Oracle as a Security Engineer where she actively mentors new associates. She graduated from Austin Peay State University with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a Mathematics Minor. In college, Lakorria was heavily involved in multiple organizations such as Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Psi Business fraternity. She was the Vice President of her sorority and has held various managerial positions where she gained experience in leadership.
In her role as Secretary, Lakorria will continue to hone these skills while gaining knowledge about cybersecurity in order to educate others on the importance of security inside and outside the organization. Sheis a huge believer in women empowerment and why it's important that we all stick together and support one another.
Naheed Bleecker is the data privacy expert as part of Innovative Driven’s IG consulting services practice. Naheed has three decades of experience in privacy, information security, program management, and information technology across several industries. Naheed comes to Innovative Driven after establishing privacy programs for several organizations and serving as a privacy consultant to clients. She has advised organizations of all sizes with different risk profiles and levels of privacy maturity and has held the VP of IT, CISO, and other leadership positions. Naheed is a Fellow of the Ponemon Institute, a thought leadership organization dedicated to independent research and education that advances the responsible use of information and privacy management practices within business and government. Ponemon Institute Fellows have distinguished credentials in cybersecurity, data protection, privacy, and other related areas. They conduct high-quality, empirical studies on critical issues affecting the security of information assets and the IT infrastructure. Naheed holds numerous security, privacy, and technical process certifications, including CIPM, CISA, CISM, CDPSE, PMP, ISO 27001 Lead Implementer, and ITIL, and she is a Six Sigma Black Belt.
Allison McKenna is a Business Development Executive for Ascend Technologies. She has worked in Cybersecurity for the past seven years in roles ranging from operations, consulting, and leadership to coaching, human resources and more. Allison has a passion for serving and enjoys nothing more than stepping into a problem that feels confusing and overwhelming and sorting out the pieces and building a solution to alleviate other’s frustrations. As a single mother of five children for over a decade, Allison knows the challenges women face in the workplace and at home and seeks to be a giver of positivity and aide wherever possible to other working women.
She is excited to serve in the role of treasurer as it fulfills her desire to serve her community and appreciates the need for budgets and growth, discipline and care over the resources, others entrust to such fantastic organizations like WIS-KC.
Jennifer Harmon is a technologist at heart with a passion for improving diversity in the field of technology. She was previously a leader for Geek Squad Summer Academy in 2010, hosting a 10 week-long technology summer camp targeting teens in underserved and minority communities from across the country.
Currently, Jennifer is a GRC Analyst at Conquest Cyber.
Liz brings a wealth of experience and dedication to her role at SecurIT360, a leading national cybersecurity consulting company, where she has been an integral part of the sales team for the past two years. Her role involves ensuring the cybersecurity of several different types of organizations.
Before joining the cybersecurity sector, Liz carved out an impressive career spanning two decades in the hospitality industry, where she successfully managed and owned various restaurants. This diverse background not only showcases her adaptability but also highlights her ability to excel in dynamic environments.
Passionate about forging connections, Liz is known for her talent in building relationships. Her commitment extends beyond interpersonal connections to the crucial task of securing the digital landscape. Liz holds an associate degree in business management from Baker University.
Liz is a proud mother of two. Her eldest, a 21-year-old serving in the Air Force with a focus on cybersecurity, and a sweet 15-year-old sophomore.
Outside of work and family, Liz embraces a diverse range of interests. A fervent supporter of the Kansas City Chiefs and Sporting, she also finds joy in live music, relaxing on patios, savoring good food, and indulging in outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Currently residing in the vibrant Kansas City Metro area, Liz brings her energy and enthusiasm to both her professional and personal pursuits.
Victoria Harris is a dedicated professional at Walmart Inc., currently serving as a Staff, Risk Expert in the Information Security department, specializing in risk management. With a focus on audit engagement and project management, she drives initiatives aimed at reducing open audit issues within Walmart's technology domain.
Victoria holds the distinction of being the first African American female to graduate in Cybersecurity from the University of Central Missouri (UCM). Her commitment to academic excellence continues as she pursues a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance from her alma mater.
During her dynamic five-year tenure at Walmart, Victoria has excelled in risk management roles, initially within the Security Controls Assessment team. Leveraging her expertise in navigating risk landscapes, she has led initiatives aimed at mitigating and addressing security vulnerabilities within Walmart's technology domain. Additionally, she transitioned into a project management role. Alongside her professional responsibilities, she actively engages within Walmart's community. Victoria plays a pivotal role as a board member of the Black Technology Network (BTN) at Walmart, contributing as an assistant mentor in the Women of BTN mentorship program. Furthermore, she has been honored with the Science Spectrum Trailblazer BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year Award) accolade.
Victoria's passion lies in mentoring and empowering underprivileged women, emphasizing that the STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) are inclusive and offer opportunities for everyone. Through her dedication to service and leadership within Walmart and beyond, she continues to inspire and guide aspiring individuals to find their place and excel in these fields.