Boca Raton Tribune Article: Local Girl Scouts Become Cyber Security Champions


Original article published in the Boca Raton Tribune on May 16th, 2019

Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida partnered with Champion Solutions Group, a national IT solutions firm headquartered in Boca Raton, to bring area Girl Scouts between kindergarten and twelfth grade a brand new program to learn about and earn new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) badges for cyber security. Champion Solutions Group gave $10,000 as the presenting sponsor to support the program.

Nearly 200 Girl Scouts attended Cyber Security Champions on May 4 in Deerfield Beach where they were led in activities by the cyber security experts of Champion Solutions Group and their partners. The girls gained new essential skills to help combat cyber crime and parents also had a chance to participate in a parent panel where they were shown ways to keep their children safe while using devices connected to the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From malware to phishing, participants learned different terms related to cyber security and how to avoid falling for online schemes. They also learned about the internet and how computers talk to each other, what information to share and what to keep private, how to spot and avoid online dangers, who to trust online, and what to do if they see something suspicious. Girls in grades seven through twelve also had a unique opportunity to hear from females working in the cyber security field and explore various career options in cyber security and what educational steps to take in order to find themselves in one of these lucrative careers.

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by 2021, there will be 3.5 million jobs in cyber security, but not enough people with the right expertise to fill them. With cyber crime on the rise and a shortage of a knowledgeable workforce to fill cyber security related positions, this program could very well help feed the pipeline of future female internet security officers.

Females are underrepresented in STEM fields in general, and that is especially the case for the cyber security field which is heavily dominated by males. This program directly addressed this issue and provided girls the space to build confidence in their technology skills and thus increase their interest in pursuing a cyber security career.

About Girl Scouts

For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts has built girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. More than any other organization in our community, Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida empowers girls ages 5 to 17 with vision and voice—girls who command their future, engage their communities and inspire others.

Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida is committed to meeting the needs of today’s girls by providing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience that will help her develop skills and create a strong foundation for future success. Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida serves nearly 10,000 girls in Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties. To explore opportunities to volunteer or partner with, or join Girl Scouts, call 561-427-0177 or visit www.gssef.org.

To learn more about the other ways Champion gives back, visit: https://championsg.com/about-us/champion-makes-a-difference

To learn more about Champion’s security offerings, visit: https://championsg.com/services/security

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WRITTEN BY:

Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.

 

Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.

 

Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!

 

As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.

 

He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.

 

Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.

 

Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.

 

In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.

 

Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.