Your New & Improved WMCSC!
Each year, the WMCSC Steering Committee polls our members to make sure we’re delivering value back to our community. Not only do we want to make sure we’ve met our members’ expectations and understand their personal and professional needs for the upcoming year, but our annual survey also allows members to provide direct feedback to the Steering Committee.
You all had lots to say last October, and we’ve listened:
- Providing remote access to our events made it easier for more people to participate (especially for those who couldn’t join our quarterly meetings in Grand Rapids)
- However, not meeting in person made it difficult to connect with peers, network, and maintain relationships
- Members prefer to meet more frequently for shorter periods (e.g. 2-3 event per quarter for 1-2 hours each) rather than one bigger event once per quarter
- In addition to our regular content, many members desire more “technical” content and events (e.g. product demos, lab-based training, CTFs, etc.)
- As a community-based organization, we should continue to focus on and highlight local thought leaders, organizations, and providers.
With all of that in mind, the WMCSC has undergone some internal changes to help us build additional capacity and deliver the types of engagements you all want! The highlights are below:
- New Steering Committee structure: we’ve added a few new faces to help us plan and coordinate more (and more types) of events! (Check out your new Steering Committee at https://www.wmcsc.org/about/)
- No more quarterly meetings: we’re preparing for more frequent and “virtual first” opportunities to connect and learn together, especially in partnership with other local IT/cyber organizations.
- Virtual by default: As we begin to safely return to in-person events, we’ll continue to offer a virtual option (“hybrid”) to allow individuals to participate in whichever way works best for them.
- A new training partner: the WMCSC and WMCAT have partnered with Secure Ideas to provide various trainings and course offerings free of charge to our WMCSC members and other individuals in our community.
What’s not going away?
- Annual Purple Event: we’ll continue to plan and deliver our annual Purple Event in the summer
- Major conferences: we’ll continue to provide a presence and support local conferences like GrrCON, the Michigan Cybersecurity Conference, and the Grand Rapids IT Symposium, as well as increase our involvement during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October
- Cyber Hub at WMCAT: the WMCSC and the Cyber Hub at WMCAT are two sides of the same coin; we both work to support our mutual InfoSec community and each other
This new structure is already in place and has guided how the WMCSC has delivered its events since the start of 2021. You may recall our Increasing the Talent Pool in West Michigan dual-panel event on February 4 in partnership with WomSA, or the recent Emerging Threats with CISA + Secure Ideas presentation on May 19. Both of those events were designed and delivered under the WMCSC’s new structure and with the help of some new members on the Steering Committee.
So what’s next? In addition to planning the next Purple Event and preparing for a National Cybersecurity Awareness Month broadcast in October, the WMCSC is also planning additional opportunities for us to network and learn together. While you wait for more details from us, checkout and sign-up for Merit’s FREE state-wide CTF competition from 9:00am-4:00pm on Thursday, June 17.
Thanks for allowing us to continue to serve you, and we’ll see you at the next event!