Leadership Team

Karen Mahan


Karen Mahan is a Sr. InfoSec Analyst at Blue KC with more than 12 years of experience in the Security industry. Karen has been a member of WiS-KC since 2016 as well as served on the Outreach Committee. She was instrumental in WiS-KC's partnership with the Girl Scouts in teh creation of the first ever Cybersecurity badges.

Karen is enthusiastic about inspiring and supporting women in the security industry and passionate about giving back to the community. Her results-driven outlook allows her to overcome any obstacles that may come along.

Melissa Spicer

Vice President

(See Responsibilities)

Melissa Spicer is a Sr. Manager for Evergy, leading the Information Security Operations and Identity and Access Management teams. Melissa has managed various teams for 20 years. Melissa started her career in Finance and began her security journey in 2006. Melissa has since managed all domains within Information Security, along with a Physical Security Operations Center. Melissa holds the CISM certification. Melissa is a dynamic leader with a passion for security and developing people.

Melissa is a founding board member of Women in Security – KC, where she held the Treasurer position from inception through 2018. Melissa set up the initial requirements to obtain the Articles of Incorporation and the 501c3 - Nonprofit status for the organization. Melissa then started the fundraising committee to obtain funds and create processes to award scholarships.

Encouraging women to grow their knowledge and skills in the Information Security industry is what drove Melissa to help develop this organization. Melissa is proud of all of the successes that WiS-KC has celebrated in such a short time. Melissa is excited to have the opportunity to obtain a board position again and further develop the services that WiS-KC provides our community.

Lisa Chiles

Lisa comes to Women in Security Kansas City with 8 years of Information Security experience from within the healthcare sector.  She thrives on communicating with others from within the security industry as it feeds knowledge and growth.

She shares her security skills and strengths through her workspace and mentorship. She holds a Health Information Systems Implementation and Support Specialist Certificate from Johnson County Community College.

She is a designated CPhT, Certified Pharmacy Technician and holds the CompTIA Security + certification.

Beth Strobel

Beth Strobel has spent her entire career in compliance and risk. After graduating from the University of Iowa, she moved to Kansas City and entered the InfoSec software solution field. She has spent the last six years as an account manager in KS and MO.

Beth joined WiS-KC in 2017 and was a part of the founding Fundraising Committee, helping to establish the Scholarships policy and program.

Kristin Russell


(See Responsibilities)

Kristin is an information security sales professional with six years' experience in the industry. Coming from an academic and communications background, research and reciprocity are key to her professional philosophy and leadership approach. Kristin holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and communication, Master of Science in mass communication, and PhD coursework credentials in mass communication.

Kristin loves the ever-evolving climate of InfoSec and strives to learn more each day. She's served on the WiS-KC Communications and Fundraising committees and aims to continue the growth and success of the organization.

Leys Curley

Leys Curley is a proven leader with over 15 years of experience at Cerner as the Manager of the Identity and Access Operations team within the Enterprise Security Organization. Leys leads a large scale Identity and Access Management program at Cerner that covers 35,000 associates, contingent workers and partners in both commercial and federal spaces in 26 countries.

Leys’ specialties include IAM, PAM, Role-based access controls(RBAC), Operation and Program Management. Leys has a caring, energetic style as a leader and truly believes in building and developing skills in others while sharing her passion for security. Leys is a founding board member of Women in Security – KC, where she held the Event coordinator position from inception until 2017.

Leys serves on the Outreach committee, where she initiated and lead the initial partnership with the Boys and Girls Club-KC. Leys also serves and supports other groups within WiS-KC. Encouraging and supporting women as they begin and/or continue their journey in the Information Security industry has been important to Leys, which is why she helped develop and organize our chapter of WiS-KC. Leys is excited to have the opportunity to obtain a board position again as we continue our journey as Women in Security – KC.

Cheryl Cooper

Cheryl Cooper is a Security Risk Manager for Sprint Corporation, where she has been employed for 20 years. Cheryl is an Adjunct Professor with Webster University and the Executive Chair of Women in Security Mentors Organization (WINS). She is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Not only is Cheryl extremely passionate about her career field of security risk management, but she’s also passionate about helping others. She works to encourage youth organizations and women to pursue careers in STEMM as well as cybersecurity. “We have to mentor them and grab their hand and say, ‘I got you,’” she says. “And I’m going to help you through this career path.”

Cheryl is a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), and she holds a PhD in Computer Science with an emphasis in Information Assurance.

PO Box 47013, Kansas City, MO 64118