The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named five young security professionals as the recipients of the 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship, a program offered through SIA’s RISE community, which supports the education and career development goals of young industry talent.

Through this scholarship program, open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees at SIA member companies each awardee will receive a $3,000 scholarship to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, SIA program offerings and/or other academic or education programs.

Scholarship funds can be used to expand knowledge in the areas of business, human resources (HR), information technology (IT), marketing, sales, project management, security engineering, and/or risk management.

Young security professionals

The 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship awardees are an extraordinary group of young security professionals who represent tomorrow’s industry leaders,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson.

SIA is proud to help foster the careers of these talented honourees, and I look forward to seeing their many accomplishments and successes to come.

Winners for the 2021 SIA RISE Scholarship

Nadim Hammoud, Software Developer, Feenics

As a key member of the software development at Feenics, Nadim Hammoud has contributed to multiple new features in production and bug fixes, built proofs of concept for prospective clients, and contributed new tests to the automated testing of the company’s web API. Hammoud plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship funds toward a computer and network security course and certification in AI

He has a strong interest in the latest technologies, including cloud computing and machine learning. Prior to his time at Feenics, Hammoud served as a teaching assistant at Carleton University and held engineering and software development positions at Bertrandt and Tactical Technologies Inc.

He holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and biomedical and mechanical engineering from Carleton University. Hammoud plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship funds toward a computer and network security course, a professional certification in the field of artificial intelligence, and attendance at industry events.

Olivia Peralta, Account Executive, Allegion

In her role as an account executive at Allegion, Olivia Peralta works with teams around the world to plan and sell access control projects – from teaching the company’s security software to implementing hardware installations hosted on the cloud for physical security end-users.

Prior to her time at Allegion, she served as an account executive at ISONAS Access Control and completed communications internships at Western Resource Advocates and the Oregon Natural Desert Association.

She holds bachelor’s degrees in environmental sciences and communication and environmental studies from Northern Arizona University and a continuing education certification from Colorado Water Education’s Water Educator Network and is IPVM University Access Control certified.

Peralta plans to use the scholarship funds toward earning SIA’s Certified Security Project Manager certification and pursuing an education that bridges the gap between strategy, design, and product delivery.

Matthew Rios, Regional Sales Manager, Axis Communications

Rios plans to use the scholarship funds toward completing the EC-Council MasterClass Certified Ethical Hacker certification In his role at Axis Communications, Matthew Rios promotes the use of IP video and Axis cameras to integrators, distributors, consultants, and end-users and maintains fluid and enthusiastic relationships with current and prospective customers.

Prior to his time at Axis Communications, Rios held sales management roles at Hanwha Techwin America, Honeywell, and R&D Lock and Alarm.

He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in the homeland and corporate security from St. John’s University. Rios plans to use the scholarship funds toward completing the EC-Council MasterClass Certified Ethical Hacker certification.

Mary Sharp, HRA, Stanley Access Technologies

As a key member of the HR team at Stanley Access Technologies, Mary Sharp is responsible for over 220 professional hourly, non-union service and install technicians and provides support on major change management and organization redesign efforts and issues pertaining to team cohesiveness, dynamics, and management.

Prior to her time at Stanley Access Technologies, she held HR and administrative roles at Stanley Healthcare, Infrasource Underground Construction, and Frontline Private Security.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in ethics and public policy from the University of Iowa. Sharp will use the scholarship funds toward obtaining the Society for Human Resource Management’s SHRM-CP certification.

Trevor Zuerlein, System Designer, VTI Security

Zuerlein plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue further education in IT, become a member of (ISC)², and to earn CISSP credentialTrevor Zuerlein started at VTI Security in 2017 as a security systems technician and now serves as a system engineer; Zuerlein is skilled in access control security systems, security cameras, computer repair, computer science, technical writing, and AC/DC electronics.

Before his time at VTI Security, he held IT and sales roles with Time Warner Cable, Mead Lumber, and Archer Daniels Midland Company. Zuerlein holds an associate’s degree in information technology from Central Community College.

He plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue further education in the IT field, become a member of (ISC)², and work toward his goal of earning the Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential.

Networking events

SIA RISE is a community that fosters the careers of young professionals in the security industry.

In addition to awarding the annual SIA RISE Scholarship, SIA RISE offers fun networking events for young professionals, created the RISE Microlearning Series of mini-webinars on top professional development topics, hosts career growth webinars and trade show education tracks.

Mentorship program

The recently launched the Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education (TIME) mentorship program for early and mid-career professionals in the security industry and presents the annual AcceleRISE conference, an essential experience designed to ignite new thinking, strengthen leadership and sharpen business acumen in young security talent.

RISE is available to all employees at SIA member companies who are young professionals under 40 or have been in the security industry for less than two years.

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