If you are here it is safe to say you are looking to learn something about my story, my work, and who I am.
I am a cybersecurty and networking professional, I am a husband, and I am a father. I spent the first part of my adult and professional life in banking and estate planning and asset protection after I received my Bachelor's of Science in Business Management from National Louis University. I spent time early in the growth of Wintrust Financal helping to rollout many of the programs that make the company so successful today such as piloting their affiliate banking systems. After several years there I was offered an opportunity to help startup a law firm and partner consulting company working with ultra-high net worth families looking for estate planning and asset protection. Finding my passion over time tended towards all things cyber after my tenure the law offices I moved on to a logistics company looking to expand my experience and skills.
Shortly thereafter a life changing even occurred; my vision started to change. The story of this is complex but from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis lasted six months after which I was diagnosed with Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. This genetic disease left me with diminished central vision but gave me many gifts including the ability to look at sitations with a different perspective and determination to succeed.
I found myself with extensive free time and eventually assistance to go back to school to pursue a job of my choosing. During this free time my love of networking and cybersecurity grew and I promptly set my sights on a degree in Cyber Defense. Being visually impaired it took problem solving, determination, and passion to get my first degree in Cyber Defense followed by my Cisco CCNA and Security+ certifications. The journey continued on to Dakota State University where I currently pursue a Masters of Science in Cyber Defense maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Throughout this journey, I spend time with my with Heather and my son Laith enjoying car shows and anything that makes my son smile. I also dedicate time to learning and personal projects to expand my skills in my home lab that continues to evolve over the years from Raspberry Pi projects such as DNS Servers to network monitoring with Nagios on the NEMs distribution. Larger projects have evolved with my education creating sandbox environments, pen-testing tools, and enterprise environments using Windows Server and Active Directory, CentOS and other Linux flavors, embedded device integrations, VPN services, and more.
It is a goal of mine to work towards a future where I can enjoy working in the fields I am passionate about, educate others about these fields, and if I am lucky, change the world for the better.