Cheers to the RH-ISAC 2020 Peer Choice Award Winners

RH-ISAC members have made their selection for the 2020 Peer Choice Awards!

For the past four years, RH-ISAC members have voted on the member companies and individuals who have made significant cybersecurity efforts and contributions within our community. As in the past, the results were close, as there were so many deserving companies and individuals to choose from.

As a membership organization, we rely on the continued support and engagement of our membership to further the cause to #ProtectasOne. The Peer Choice Awards provides the opportunity to recognize those whom their peers have determined when above and beyond in sharing intelligence on incidents, threats, vulnerabilities, and threat remediation, and collaborating to share best practices that help to strengthen security operations.

The Peer Choice Award winners were recognized at the RH-ISAC Member Meeting on October 5, which also kicked off the 2020 RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit. We are proud to announce to the full community our 2020 Peer Choice Award winners.

CISO of the Year: Diane Brown, Senior Director, IT Risk Management & CISO, ULTA Beauty

The CISO of the year award honors exceptional leadership of a chief information security officer or equivalent from the RH-ISAC Core Member community. This individual empowers their team to innovate, adapt, and evolve their processes to fit the needs of the evolving threat landscape. They champion, nurture, support, and encourage their team which results in high performance and outcomes.

Diane Brown is well-known within the RH-ISAC community. Her team is extremely active within RH-ISAC and a big driver of their continuous contributions is Diane’s leadership. She is always supporting and encouraging her team and as a leader at Ulta Beauty, she’s completely transformed the retailers’ security program. Through newly implemented processes and cultural changes, the business now sees cybersecurity as advocates and educators, and its execution and results are felt across the entire organization.

As Elliott Rodgers, CIO at Ulta Beauty, explained, “We put our guests and associates at the center of all we do and Diane lives into that value every day with her team as they continually innovate the ways we can keep our guests and associates secure.” He added, “Diane is passionate about being highly engaged in several CISO networks, taking every opportunity to learn as well as sharing her wealth of knowledge. Her ability to inspire and develop top talent in the security field is exceptional, and Nick Leicht’s recognition as Working Group Warrior in the RH-ISAC Peer Choice Awards is evidence of that.”


Outstanding Cybersecurity Team (Enterprise): Target

This peer nominated award is for exceptional achievement as a cybersecurity team. The organization at the enterprise level uses information sharing as a means to advance the collective defense of the retail and hospitality industry.

Outstanding Cybersecurity Team: Target

Congratulations to Target for winning this award four years in a row! The Target team is invaluable to the RH-ISAC community in not only information sharing but also their analysis. They played a major role with COVID-19 impacts to our community, helping to educate and inform the entire membership base. They are truly an exemplary team and are constantly pushing the community to increase activity and sharing. We are honored for them to have this award for the fourth year in a row and are excited to see how they impact the community in 2021!

“At Target, collaboration among industry partners is at the heart of how we operate, and our new virtual environment during this pandemic has served to amplify the importance of cooperation in the cybersecurity community.” Rich Agostino, chief information security officer at Target, said. “I’m proud of our team’s efforts to consistently and openly share their knowledge with the industry, while continuing to develop their own technical skills and learn from our peers in the RH-ISAC.”

Outstanding Cybersecurity Team (Emerging): Crutchfield Corporation

Crutchfield Corporation is a top influencer here at RH-ISAC. The team’s members demonstrate a strong spirit of collaboration as they tackle the toughest industry problems and address the newest cyber security risks. They are constantly working with other RH-ISAC members to share information and to deep dive into detailed analysis of content shared. We are proud to honor Crutchfield as an outstanding cybersecurity team within our community!

 “We are extremely proud of our security team at Crutchfield and applaud the RH-ISAC for recognizing contributions from organizations of all sizes,” Paul Fitzsimmons, director of IT systems at Crutchfield Corporation said. “We value the diversity of ideas that emerge across the group’s members and remain committed to surfacing any and all information that can help improve our collective cybersecurity efforts. We are truly honored to be publicly recognized by our peers.”

Outstanding Cybersecurity team: Emerging: Crutchfield

Cybersecurity Practitioner of the Year: Kyle Davis, Principal Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst, Target

The recipient of this award will be a retail or hospitality cyber intelligence practitioner who has demonstrated significant time, energy and involvement to add value to the RH-ISAC organization by sharing threat intelligence, contributing content to webinars, events, or working groups. This individual is a dedicated champion for cyber intelligence sharing.

Kyle is constantly providing actionable and novel threat intelligence information to the RH-ISAC community. His continuous engagement with the ISAC drives other organizations to increase their engagement. Kyle’s willingness to collaborate and provide valuable insights puts him as one of the leaders in the IT space. His efforts have provided a foundation for others to follow.

“Even during the current environment, Kyle Davis remained dedicated to partnering with the RH-ISAC community across both cyber and pandemic specific resources,” Jodie Kautt, vice president of cyber security at Target, said. “Kyle’s passion for collaborating with the cyber security community, learning from each other and helping each other excel embodies our cybersecurity approach at Target. We’re so proud of the impact Kyle has had across the community and appreciate the continued partnership from our RH-ISAC peers.”

Working Group Warrior: Nick Leicht, IT Risk Management Engineer, ULTA Beauty

This award honors an RH-ISAC member who has demonstrated significant selflessness in providing expertise to and participating in the activities of one or more working groups within the last 12 months.

A big component off the RH-ISAC community is our active working groups that focus on the unique needs of our members, various channels, and/or particular issues. Nick Leicht is a major player in these working groups, providing expertise and leadership to several.

I am honored to lead an organization that has developed a candidate for Working Group Warrior award. Nick has become one of the rock stars on our team,” said Diane Brown, senior director, IT risk mgmt., CISO at Ulta Beauty. “He was willing to take any position to get his foot into the door with the goal of joining the Cyber Threat Intelligence team. It did not take him long to prove he was a warrior. He is never satisfied in looking at the surface of an issue; he digs in until he finds the root cause and comes to the table with solutions. I am very proud of his contributions and dedication to RH-ISAC.”

Working Group Warrior: Nick Leicht, Ulta Beauty

Associate Company of the Year: Flashpoint

This peer nominated award is for exceptional support as an Associate member to the RH-ISAC organization and retailer member companies. They have displayed valuable support to RH-ISAC members by way of their offerings of thought leadership on agendas, webinars, blogs, newsletters, free or reduced rate of service, etc


As the RH-ISAC Associate Member of the Year for 2017, 2019, and 2020, Flashpoint has been recognized for its commitment to leading the way in providing value to all RH-ISAC Core Members — and to strengthening our partnership during these uncertain times. They support the RH-ISAC community by turning various data feeds into actionable intelligence within an entity. In addition, Flashpoint offers RH-ISAC members free 90-day access to the Flashpoint Intelligence Platform and all associated finished intelligence, data, analytic dashboards and collections. 

“Flashpoint has for years supported the RH-ISAC Intel Team and the community through granting access to their data, expertise, and valuable reports,” explained Muktar Kelati, director of intel operations at RH-ISAC. “Through a keen understanding of what intelligence matters the most to the retail, hospitality, and travel sectors, the Flashpoint team has provided invaluable and consistent services to our community. We are excited to honor Flashpoint for the third time and look forward to continuing working with them to support the RH-ISAC community.”

The RH-ISAC Peer Choice Awards is in its fourth year. To see a list of last year’s recipients, click here. Be sure to save the date for next year’s RH-ISAC Summit in the foothills of the Blueridge Mountains in Leesburg, Virginia on September 28-29, 2021.

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