Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Milwaukee CISO Community

Ryan Wessels

Director - IT Governance Risk & Compliance

Schreiber Foods

Ryan Wessels has worked in Information Security for over 15 years. He is currently the Director of Global IT GRC for Schreiber Foods, a global leader in customer-brand dairy. Ryan has experience developing security teams and practices to protect global organizations. Away from the Information Security world Ryan can be found at home with his wife and two kids or at the Oostburg Fire Department where he has been a volunteer firefighter for the last 15 years.

Learn more about the Milwaukee CISO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I've been in security for all but a year of my career. At Schreiber, I started as the Security Architect then Security Manager, then Team Lead for Networking & Security then Director.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

My core leadership principle when it comes to my team actually originates in the fire service:

  1. Tell people what is expected
  2. Make sure they have the tools, training and resources to do their job
  3. Leave them alone
  4. Tell them how they did

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CISO role going in the next 1-2 years?

New and agile skills are permeating out from development into all facets of IT. The skills of security will be used to manage other nontraditional areas like ITSM, Vendor Governance, etc.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CISO?

Surround yourself professionally with people smarter than you.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

  1. I've been a firefighter for nearly 20 years starting on the south side of Chicago.
  2. I have a passion for whisky.
  3. I'm currently pursuing my Masters degree from the SANS Institute.

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