Want to benefit needy kids and meet other leading cybersecurity professionals? Then be sure to attend the fourth annual White Hat Gala in downtown Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27.
White Hat USA – an offshoot of the original U.K.-based White Hat organization – started in 2012 to raise money for children at risk while providing networking opportunities for members of the cybersecurity community. Last year’s White Hat Gala brought together nearly 300 professionals from the cybersecurity, business and philanthropic communities, as well as friends of Children’s National Health System, for an evening that celebrated progress in children’s health care and raised awareness of continuing needs.
The event was a huge success and raised more than $400,000 for Children’s National. In just in its first three years, the White Hat Gala has brought in more than $1.2 million, thanks to generous sponsors that included both large and small firms from cybersecurity, banking and other industries.
David Trout, president and CEO of SecureIT and co-chair of the 2015 gala, called last year’s event an “overwhelming success” – and not just because of all the generous donors.
“Even though raising money for Children’s is always the primary goal, we also want everyone to have a memorable evening and have an opportunity to socialize with friends and colleagues,” he said. “Through a combination of limited stage time, excellent food and creative entertainment, I definitely think we were successful.”
Paul Innella, CEO of TDI and a member of WashingtonExec’s Cybersecurity Council, also co-chaired last year’s gala.
“The theme [was to] have fun, support Children’s, and network with peers in the cybersecurity community,” he said. “I’d say it was an unqualified success.”
Jeffrey Snyder, vice president of cyber programs at Raytheon, as well as a White Hat Gala committee member and co-chair of WashingtonExec’s Cybersecurity Council, agreed.
“I am proud of the fact that Raytheon contributes to this important cause and that my wife and I are in a position to be personal donors as well,” he said. “What a great event to contribute our time and energy to as it all materializes as an avenue to benefit children in need.”
According to Innella, Children’s National was an ideal charity for the White Hat Gala to support.
“We chose Children’s because of its undying efforts to treat children from all walks of life and from around the globe,” he said. “They truly do awesome work, providing well over $50 million in uncompensated health care per year. We met with Andrew Blair from Children’s and got his and their unfettered and optimistic support. Andrew lit the flame that propelled our concept forward.”
Looking to the future, Trout, who along with Innella has committed to co-chairing the gala for its first five years, said he wants to “make the White Hat organization an enduring entity that raises much-needed funds for Children’s National year after year.”
One important way to do that, he said, is to get as many people as possible involved with the gala and White Hat. For his part, Innella said he and the other organizers believe the gala has become the only event of its kind in the Washington, D.C., area – and they want it to stay that way.
“To make this possible in perpetuity, we need industry to accept it as both a great marketing event as well as a philanthropic endeavor,” he said. “We’re almost there, but once our sponsors are fully confident in its dual value in terms of return on investment coupled with community support, I believe the longevity of White Hat will be secured.”
So don’t wait: Sign up for the 2016 White Hat Gala today. It’s an event you don’t want to miss.
Sidebar: Details of the 2016 White Hat Gala
Date & Time:
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016
Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium
1301 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20240
Reception: 6:30-8 p.m.
Dinner and Program: 8-9:30 p.m.
After Hours Lounge and Entertainment: 9:30-11 p.m.
About 400 cybersecurity experts, leaders in the field, government heads of the industry, VIPs and federal contractor executives, as well as Children’s National friends and staff, will attend this exciting evening of food, entertainment, networking and inspiration.
Sidebar: WashingtonExec’s Cybersecurity Council
Another great networking opportunity is WashingtonExec’s Cybersecurity Council. The council’s mission is to bring together cyber thought leaders from all industry sectors across the Washington, D.C., region to share knowledge and trends associated with the growing cyber threat, human capital development, cyber threat remediation and risk reduction strategies, and STEM initiatives associated with cyber. According to co-chair Jeffrey Snyder, so far the council is meeting its objectives.
“I’m pleased to see WashingtonExec expanding its value-added mission to include cyber, and am very proud of being appointed as a co-chairman,” he said. “We are building a very impressive foundational team that will add much value to enhance Washington executives’ appreciation of the growing cyber threat environment, remediation strategies, and human capital strategies to best secure our nation’s critical infrastructures.”
Cybersecurity council member Paul Innella was equally enthusiastic.
“I see tremendous benefit to our community through this council and what WashingtonExec is trying to do,” he said. “I hope to provide opinions that help shape our sector by collaborating with folks who care to give their time to see the nature of cybersecurity improve through thought.”