Meet Our Team

Our team is a group of highly talented and certified cybersecurity and compliance experts that are ready to serve you.

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Dan Nerada | General Manager IT Voice/Vala Secure | Director of Client Relations

Dan is responsible for managing all areas of Vala Secure including Operations, Administration, and all Client Services. Additionally, Dan oversees all internal staffing relations. He has a degree in Bank Management and numerous educational banking certificates. Dan has over 25 years commercial banking experience and over 12 years within the IT Audit/Security environment. Dan continues to enjoy working with all our clients to ensure they receive an exceptional level of service from our Vala Secure team.

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James Webb | Director of Cybersecurity and Technology

James is the Director of cybersecurity and technology at Vala Secure. He has been in IT for over 20 years and holds a M.S. in Cybersecurity from 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.

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Kristin Johnstone | Director of Regulatory Compliance

Kristin leads the Regulatory Compliance Team. She is responsible for performing regulatory compliance audits, including BSA. Kristin attended Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Certifications held: CBAP and CCBCO

Shefieka Pace | Regulatory Compliance Consultant

Shefieka Pace serves as a Regulatory Compliance Consultant for Vala Secure. In her role she is responsible for performing audits for regulatory compliance including BSA. Shefieka attended Virginia State University studying Management Information Systems. She began her career in banking, primarily within mortgage operations, where she has over 18 years of experience. Shefieka loves spending time with her family and traveling.

Alexander Raney | vCISO Virtual Chief Information Security Officer | vCISO Department Manager

Alex is a vital part of our Virtual Advisory Services Team. He serves as a Virtual Chief Information Security Officer or vCISO and is responsible for policy development, management, and data compliance. He attended Maryville University of St. Louis and received a B.S. in Cybersecurity and a Minor in App Development. Additionally, Alex recently finished his MBA with a concentration in Cyber while working within the IT industry. In his free time Alex enjoys working out, Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing, and spending time with friends. Certifications held: Security+

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Carendylyn Watson | Information Governance Analyst

Carendylyn Watson serves as an Information Governance Analyst for Vala Secure and manages the vendor management process for clients and supports the team by managing administrative tasks. Carendylyn holds a B.A. from Spelman College and has a background in commercial insurance and risk management. Carendylyn is married with three children and enjoys reading, running, and entertaining family and friends.

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Andrew Trainum | Cybersecurity Advisor

Andrew (Drew) Trainum, a luminary in cybersecurity and a cornerstone of Vala Secure's Tech Team. With nearly 20 years in IT, Drew sets the gold standard for expertise and innovation. He's transformed cybersecurity and engineered for numerous organizations, cementing his status as an industry leader. Away from work, Drew is a man of diverse interests—from ranching to restoring classic cars. He's also an educational speaker on IT and cybersecurity, and volunteers with Texas VIRT and the USAF Cyber Patriot program, mentoring the next generation in cyber skills. Certifications include ISC2: CC Comptia: A+ NET+ SEC+ AXIOS: ITIL and HIPAA CHPSE

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Derek Grondlin | Cybersecurity Analyst

Derek is a Cybersecurity Analyst- Level 1 and an Integral part of the Cybersecurity and Technology Team at Vala Secure. Derek is a recent graduate from UOP and a cybersecurity industry enthusiast. When not at work Derek is going to see movies, playing video games with friends and watching the Boston Celtics. Certifications currently pursuing: Security+ and CISSP.

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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

Do you think you got what it takes to become apart of our amazing team?