Our mission is to unite upper Midwest security-related organizations in a trusted community for interdisciplinary collaboration and education.
Our vision is to establish the upper Midwest as the acknowledged leader for the development of security-related professionals, organizations and practices.
New: UMSA Foundation
New in 2018, UMSA created the Upper Midwest Security Alliance Foundation to support continuing education for security and risk professionals as a tax-exempt, organized exclusively for charitable and educational as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
As stated in our Article of Incorporation, the mission of UMSA Foundation is two-fold:
- support the research and education in matters involving security and risk-related profession, organizations and practices
- promote, develop, foster and support a scholarship for individuals pursuing a security and risk-related profession
The Upper Midwest Security Alliance Foundation’s activities will primarily consist of providing continuing education opportunities for security and risk professionals and the general public. Secondarily, the society will both seek and generate granting opportunities in support of the Upper Midwest Security Alliance Foundation’s primary mission. The Upper Midwest Security Alliance Foundation will support and fund academic scholarship for undergraduate and graduate level education. In addition, the foundation will support and encourage professional and academic research within the security and risk fields. We will also promote outreach and education to the general public, partnering with other organization to support the security and risk. Funding sources for these activities will include supporter fees, donations from sponsors, and obtaining grants.
UMSA is comprised of a Board of Directors and many volunteers who give their time to help our organization run smoothly. Learn more about UMSA Leadership:
Marie Strawser has more than 15 years experience in developing and sustaining agile, comprehensive, flexible, scalable enterprise-wide continuity programs in business continuity. Over the years, Marie’s focus has been on developing and implementing business continuity lifecycles that enhance organizations’ capabilities to provide critical services at any time, regardless of the event and impact.
Marie has a B.A. in mathematics from Saint Mary’s University, an M.S. in software engineering from the University of St. Thomas and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is on the BCPA Board of Directors, serves as the Secure360 expansion committee chair and is an UMSA founding member. Follow Marie on Twitter.
Amber has over 14 years information security and information technology experience. She holds multiple security certifications and is currently leading a threat and vulnerability management team. Amber is passionate about encouraging other women to join the information security industry.
Bio coming soon!
Mike Kelly has been an information security practitioner for over 15 years. He has built consulting companies focused on systems management and security. As well, he has working in large corporate environments, focusing on IT infrastructure security, application security and risk management. Mike’s career has spanned all aspects of Information Systems, from development, to research and design, to systems and infrastructure. Mike is an entrepreneur at heart and will take any opportunity to build partnerships through strong relationships.
In his spare you can find Mike either with his children, on his bicycle or simply outdoors.
Josh Carlyle is a Senior Analyst with UnitedHealth Group’s Enterprise Resiliency & Response office, working for the past two years with different UHG, UHC, and Optum business segments to exercise and improve business continuity plans, and he supports corporate response efforts with regular rotations on the event management team. Prior to joining UHG, he spent 10 years in local government emergency preparedness and emergency management, with a primary focus on planning for biological threats. He maintains a connection with public sector as a volunteer with Ramsey County Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Josh holds a B.A. in Political Science from Saint Olaf College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota.
Chris Veltsos, aka Dr.InfoSec, is passionate about helping organizations take stock of their cyber risks and manage those risks across the intricate landscape of technology, business, and people. Whether performing information security risk assessments, working alongside CIOs & CISOs to set and communicate strategic security priorities, or advising board members on effective governance of cyber risks, Chris enjoys working with business leaders to improve their organization’s cyber risk posture.
Charles Lamberton is a principal security architect with 20 years of experience in IT, with the last 10 in information security focusing on threat and vulnerability management. He currently resides in Minneapolis.
Rich Rhodes, CISSP
Rich Rhodes, CISSP
Rich has over 17 years of IT and Information Security experience. He currently works in information security and is responsible for all areas of information security, compliance, and privacy. Rich is also a member of (ISC)2 Twin Cities.
The Upper Midwest Security Alliance (UMSA) provides many opportunities for involvement in the community–whether through mentorship and education, serving on the UMSA board or committee, or participating as a volunteer during our many events throughout the year.
Interested in volunteering? Please contact UMSA managing director Marie Strawser for more information and current needs.