Hello everyone, I’m Matt.
Despite not being a coder or programmer, I’ve found myself navigating through various corners of the internet, emerging on the other side with an unexpected grasp of computers and networks. While blindly exploring the darker realms of the interwebs, I’ve been astounded by the abundance of personal information in the public domain – details people would never want shared. Whether from data breaches, lapses in personal electronic hygiene, or simple oversharing, fragments of our digital identities float out there in the wild. It’s high time we secure them.
My main focus in life revolves around being a husband and a father. My family is my world. Whenever time permits however, I love delving deep into my only real hobby: understanding how to keep personal information private and what can be done when that veil of privacy is breached.
Professionally, I’ve dedicated over 20 years to emergency communications. Currently, I have the privilege of serving as an operations supervisor at one of the busiest 911 centers on the West Coast. You might find me sorting out some of the weirdest situations that prompt people to call 911.
My professional journey has allowed me to peek behind the curtains of some of the coolest and most interesting aspects of the world. Specializing in the emergency management space, I contemplate, create, and hope we never have to implement plans for scenarios like Mt. Rainier erupting, a mega earthquake shaking the western seaboard, or more mundane events like prolonged power outages in the dead of winter.
The emergency management facet of public safety communication has been truly eye-opening and inspired me to begin my first post-secondary professional education. Seeking courses and knowledge beneficial to me and my staff in the face of major events, I ultimately earned the Professional Development Series (PDS) certificate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Applying core strategies of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery not just to emergencies but also as a framework for other life projects has proven quite successful.
I hold an associate’s degree in business management from Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC), where I delved into the academic aspects of managing both people and businesses. (Those people management classes are proving handy these days!) While primarily focusing on business, I also minored in an emphasis in information and cybersecurity – locking things down while keeping them user-friendly!
Post-EGCC, my quest for learning led me to the NSA, where I enrolled in the CyberSkills2Work program. Securing a spot at the OSINT Academy, an online collaboration between Dakota State University, the National Centers for Academic Excellence, and Hetherington Group, proved to be a valuable experience. Hosted and taught by the estimable Cynthia Herrington and Will Mechler, attendees of these classes systematically delve into the history and backgrounds of people using open-source information – like being a cyber-stalker but for honest and legal purposes.
Following graduation from the OSINT Academy, I promptly enrolled in the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate program, further refining my skills and knowledge on protecting and defending against unwanted electronic visitors.
Currently, I’m enrolled in the Cybersecurity Workforce Certification Training (CWCT) program through Purdue Northwest University and Ivy Tech Community College. Enlisting in the SysAdmin program, I aim to obtain A+, Security+, Cisco CyberOps, and CEH certificates upon completion.
A professional communicator and emergency manager by day and an amateur information security researcher by night.