Meet Our Team
Our team is a group of highly talented and certified cybersecurity and compliance experts that are ready to serve you.
Brad Garland | CEO, Owner
Brad is responsible for defining vision, culture, business execution and development for Vala Secure. Brad built this business on the premise that information security is foundational to every organization’s well being and helps to demystify and guide our clients through the rough cybersecurity waters. He brings 20 years of experience on security and compliance across multiple industries. He graduated from The University of North Texas with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Computer Science. Brad is married with three daughters and loves soccer, golf and travel experiences.
Laura Varner | Director of Virtual Compliance Services
Laura serves as a Virtual Compliance Officer (VCO) for our clients, supervises and performs regulatory compliance audits for many of our clients and serves as exam liaison. Laura has 20+ years in bank compliance including compliance management, regulatory compliance auditing, training, board reporting and working with regulatory examiners. She is considered a subject matter expert in all areas of regulatory compliance and shares her knowledge at conferences and webinars. Laura graduated from East Texas State University (now Texas A & M Commerce) with a BA in Political Science. Laura received her CRCM certification in 1997, her CRP (charter member) certification in 2003, and her CAMS certification in 2015. Certifications held: CRCM, CRP, CAMS
Dan Nerada | Director of Client Success
Dan is responsible for managing all Operations for Vala Secure including scheduling, reporting, logistics, limited accounting and HR. He has a degree in Bank Management and numerous AIB and BAI certifications along with over 25 years of commercial banking experience. He also serves on the Vala Secure leadership team helping develop strategies to deliver outstanding results to clients and prospects.
James Webb | Cybersecurity Officer
James is responsible for cybersecurity at Vala Secure. He has been in IT for over 20 years and holds a M.S. in Cybersecurity form the University of South Florida with a concentration in information assurance. James is retired Army (20 Years). Certificates maintained: PMP, CEH, CND, CASP+, CySA+, ITILv4, Security+, Network+, and Thycotic Secret Server.
Kristin Johnstone | Compliance Advisor
Kristin is responsible for performing regulatory compliance audits, including BSA. She enjoys assisting our VCO clients. Kristin attended Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Certifications held: CBAP
Gerardo Guerrero | Cybersecurity Advisor
Gerardo has been with Vala Secure since 2019. As an adept cybersecurity advisor, he performs IT audits, internal vulnerability assessments, external and wireless penetration testing as well as social engineering testing. Gerardo is part of the Cybersecurity Auditing and Security Professional (CASP) team. He is a subject matter expert in cybersecurity that clients rely on to help achieve their goals. Certifications held: CISSP, CASP+, CySA+, Security+
Lance Bishop | Data Governance Analyst
Lance is the newest member of Vala Secure. His responsibilities include helping out with our Virtual Information Security Officer clients with Vendor Management and Data Compliance!
Marnie Scutchfield | Controller
Marnie serves as the Controller for Vala Secure and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She brings 20+ years of accounting experience across a variety of industries. Marnie serves on our Leadership team with a focus to inform and educate on our financial data so we can best achieve our goals. She also supports our C-level executives as well as HR, Sales & Marketing. Marnie is married with 2 kids and loves to travel. Currently studying for certifications in: QBO ProAdvisor and MOS:Excel Expert
Connor White | Security Analyst
Connor holds a Mathematics and Computer Science degrees from UTPB. As a trained cybersecurity advisor, he performs IT audits, internal vulnerability assessments, external and wireless penetration testing as well as social engineering testing. Connor is a valuable asset on the CyberSecurity Auditing and Security Professional team as well as the primary Vulnerability Management as a service practitioner. You'll most likely find him on a Twitch stream when not at work. Connor holds a Security+, but is actively working on Network+ and CEH.
Dr David Jones | Cybersecurity Advisor
David is a Virtual Information Security Officer at Vala Secure. He has been in IT for over 20 years and holds a Doctoral Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in computers and information security. David previously worked for the Department of Defense (DoD) as a Network Engineer and is Retired Army (21 years). Certifications held: CASP+, Security+, Network+, A+
Michelle Terry | Marketing Manager
Michelle serves as Marketing Manager for Vala Secure and graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a B.A. in Marketing. She has extensive sales and marketing experience in technology, banking, healthcare and multiple other industries. Michelle lives in the DFW area with her husband, two school age kids and golden doodle puppy.