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From the President


ISSA International President Keyaan Williams

The Season of Seasons

The December President's Letter provides an opportunity to comment on and celebrate the major seasons facing the ISSA and our membership during this last month of 2017: holidays, elections, and the ISSA transition.

The holiday season

According to Internet Retailer, "The holiday season begins in conjunction with the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated in the US (2017)." This year, it seems that the holiday season began well before November 23rd. Yet, as we move toward the end of the year, this is a time to reconnect with friends and family, take time away from work, and enjoy the holidays and traditions celebrated around the world. Listing this season first is intentional. After a year filled with record-breaking data breaches, ransomware, and vulnerabilities with catchy names, a season to relax and focus on celebrations is necessary to help our members in the profession relax, recover, and prepare for what 2018 will offer.

Election season

Election season is an important part of the ISSA. Many of our global chapters are in the process of selecting the volunteer leaders who will continue the education, training, and development programs that support our members. To those who are leaving office, thank you for your service! Thank you for the countless hours you have dedicated to keeping our chapters alive, helping them grow, and serving our members. To those who have been elected, thank you for your willingness to carry the traditions and mission of the ISSA forward into 2018 and beyond!

The season of transition

At the International level, our transition to a new operating model continues. This will not be a quick transition. We have already seen some bumps, and I expect a few more along the way. At the end of this transition, the ISSA will be in a position to provide more transparency, inclusiveness, and value to all of our members. This applies to every aspect of the association: members, chapters, the International Board, and all staff, contractors, and vendors who support the ISSA. Much of what we seek to accomplish during this transition will make it easier for our volunteer leaders at the chapter level to serve their communities. We also intend to help all members understand clearly what value we offer and how we are using the money from membership dues and sponsorships to provide a meaningful return on investment to our members and the profession.

During this season of transition, clear and timely communication to our member communities are crucial. Candy Alexander is leading our efforts to improve member communications as the director of the Communications Committee on the ISSA International Board of Directors. In this role, she is working to ensure members are aware of important ISSA news, events, and reminders that highlight the benefits of membership in the association. Through the Communications Committee, we will leverage existing communication solutions like email, social media, the ISSA website, and the ISSA Journal to deliver timely and relevant messages. Members have the power to identify how and when you receive communications and news from the association by logging into the member portal and updating your communications preferences.

Communication has primarily been a push of information to our members. Formal and information tools exist for two-way communication, but these tools are rarely used. As we move into 2018, we plan to focus on creating opportunities for all our members to help shape the direction and priorities of the association. On behalf of the board, we want members to provide input and feedback, good or bad, using any channel you feel comfortable with to deliver the message. The entire board is committed to reviewing your input and taking action within our power to address your concerns.

The future for the ISSA is exciting. We continue to serve as the voice of the profession. The changes we are making now will allow our voice and our influence to be even stronger as we invest in our mission of developing and connecting cybersecurity leaders globally.

H/T to Candy Alexander for her contributions to the December President's Letter!

~Keyaan Williams

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