LOOM Member Spotlight – Jason Gillam

We are proud of our members and how much they have grown personally and professionally.  Meet Jason Gillam, CIO at Secure Ideas LLC.

Unlike many coworking facilities, we consider ourselves a community and love getting to know our members, their goals and their passions ….. we think you will too!

Tell us about your background, family, education: I am originally from Canada, and have a bachelor of Computer Engineering from Royal Military College.  After college I moved to the United States to pursue a career in technology.  I don’t play sports, but I enjoy running. I have a beautiful wife Susan, and two wonderful kids.

  • What is your business and who are your customers?  I am the CIO and one of the owners of Secure Ideas, LLC; a cyber security testing and consulting company.  Our customer range from 12-person start up companies to fortune 50 enterprises.  We work across most vertical markets but the majority of our customers are in Financial Services, Healthcare, Technology, and Retail.
  • How did this venture start?  Secure Ideas was founded by accident in 2010 by a small group of hackers who were just taking on some extra work as a side gig. The company has remained self-funded and has gradually grown to nearly 20 people over the past decade. I joined about 6 years ago.

  • What do you actually do on a daily basis and why? This is a difficult question to answer because in such a small company we all wear so many hats.  As a security consultant, our time is spent hacking into networks and applications (with permission) and reporting to our clients on their vulnerabilities and how to fix them.  We also spend a lot of our time training our clients to become more skilled security professionals themselves.  I do this job because I enjoy the dynamic nature of the work and the challenges it presents.  But most importantly, I do it because we help companies do better at protecting the information that is important to people, so I get a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment out of my work.
  • What’s your past life? How did skills and background that got you here to where you are? Before getting into information security I spent many years in software development and enterprise architecture, and for most of it I was also a technical lead.  The programming is a constant test of problem-solving skills, and so is hacking into things.  And my years of being a direct manager have helped prepare me for my current leadership role in the company.
  • New customers are you targeting? New services being offered? One of the biggest challenges our industry faces is a massive shortage of skills and expertise. The cost of training in information security has sky-rocketed such that a one-week class can cost over $7000.  And, the technology is growing at such a fast pace that nobody can keep up with all of it.  To help companies deal with these shortfalls, Secure Ideas is proposing a strategic training program that is more like an apprenticeship and less like a bootcamp.  Our goal with this program is to turn our clients’ technology teams into cyber-security superstars with a combination of training, expert advice, and a helping hand when needed.
  • What are your personal and/or professional goals?  Other than the obvious goal of one day being able to retire in comfort, I really want to continue to build Secure Ideas into a company that makes a difference.  To me this starts with our employees.  Secure Ideas is very much a family-oriented company.  So, when I state that I want the company to do well, that’s because it is my genuine hope to share its success with all its employees.  I truly think of us as one big family of technology nerds.  To that end, I want to help many careers flourish, and make sure we all feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
  • Other than your work, what are you most passionate about?  I know it sounds cliché but at this moment I am most passionate about my “kids”.  I have a son who is a young autistic adult, which comes with its own challenges. My wife and I are constantly discussing and trying to figure out what is going to work for his life plan since his is obviously going to be a non-traditional route. My daughter is currently a sophomore in college and trying to figure out where she wants to go in life. She is going through more typical trials and tribulations than her older brother. I try to help where I can without getting in the way, which is itself a challenge when dealing with any stressed-out teenage college student.
  • Why did you initially come to LOOM?  Secure Ideas is headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, but has been growing in the Charlotte area.  When I came on board six years ago, I was the only Charlotte-based employee and I worked from home.  As we continued to grow, we eventually reached three employees in the south Charlotte area, and we needed a place to collaborate as a group.  LOOM was well located, and once we had a chance to meet Jen Belk and get the grand tour, it was settled!
  • How do you feel you have benefited or grown? Any anecdotes? Secure Ideas has grown to six Charlotte-based employees who now work out of LOOM once or twice a week.
  • Where can we find out more about you on social media and online?   Twitter  and  LinkedIn
  • What is the best way to contact you? jason@secureideas.com or call me: 803-619-9886

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