Blackgirlshack

BGH BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tennisha Martin

Founder, President and Executive Director

Angel Collins

Board Member BGH

Jocelyn Platt

Chief Learning Officer

Ivonna Smith

Secretary, Chief Talent Officer

Rebekah Skeete

Chief Operating Officer

Alshlon Banks

Chief Technology Officer

Aleise McGowan

Chief Information Security Officer

Tennisha Martin

Chairman of Board, Executive Director

Tennisha Martin is the founder and Executive Director of BlackGirlsHack (BGH Foundation), a national cybersecurity nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and resources to undeserved communities and increasing the diversity in cyber. BlackGirlsHack provides black women and girls with resources, mentorship, direction, and training required to enter and excel in the Cybersecurity field. Tennisha has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Science in Information Technology, Health Care Policy and Management, Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation, and Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland. She has worked in a government consulting capacity for over 15 years in Project Management, Risk Management, Audit, Information Assurance, Quality Assurance, Software Development, and Testing roles. In her spare time, Tennisha is a Cyber Instructor, mentor, and red-team leaning ethical hacking advocate for diversity in Cyber and the executive suites.

Angel Collins

Board Member

Angel works at Fastly where she is adept in a multitude of accounting management systems to improve accounting operations whilst aiding and maintain confidentiality of organized information and providing documentation for audit processes. Angel’s true passion is in the field of information security and helping young girls and women excel in the field of cybersecurity. Angel has a bachelor’s degree in Health Administration Information Systems and a Master of Science in Information Security.

Jocelyn Platt

Chief Learning Officer

I am Jocelyn Platt aka JP. I live life understanding that knowledge is power and with power comes responsibility. It is my life’s mission to share what I’ve learned with as many as possible. I was born and raised with four older sisters in Buffalo, New York where I attended the University of Buffalo and earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Business Education. I relocated to the DC metro area where I met my only younger “sister” and founder of BlackGirlsHack (BGH). I taught high school in Fairfax County for eight years, attended George Mason University and earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. I continued my education and earned an MBA and Master of Science in Project Management. I gained valuable professional experience while working as a Senior Training Specialist and Instructional Designer on government and commercial contracts. Currently, I work as a Senior Instructional Designer and look forward to providing guidance and support for BGH training programs.

Ivonna Smith

Chief Talent Officer

Ivonna Smith has been educating brown and black children for over 15 years. She works hard to teach her students that they don’t have to accept the limitations that society has placed on them. She knows the importance of making sure her students have strong computer skills and realize the value of this knowledge. She has always made sure to remind all of her girls that black women in places of power are needed now more than ever. She knows that it’s important for them to know that just because they haven’t seen women that look like them in certain positions doesn’t mean they cannot hold those positions. She is the Chief Talent Officer at BlackGirlsHack and on the Board of Directors. Ivonna holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Masters of Science in Speech and Language Pathology both received from Howard University in Washington DC.

Rebekah Skeete

Chief Operating Officer

As a Cyber Security Analyst for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Rebekah Skeete assists in the creation of policy and utilization of tools to monitor, mitigate and remediate any threats to the team’s environment. During the construction of the Rangers new state-of-the-art ballpark, Globe Life Field, Skeete assisted the Rangers IT department in creating plans to transition over 200 front office employees to their new workspaces. Outside baseball and IT, Skeete is also interested in politics and started volunteering for campaigns in 2008. From 2013-2016, she served as a Campaign Manager in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In 2015, she attended the Women’s Campaign School at Yale. Committed to diversity and inclusion, she holds the firm belief that representation enhances the culture and community of an organization and seeks to amplify underserved voices at any table she has a seat.

Alshlon Banks

Chief Technology Officer

Alshlon Banks currently works for the state of Connecticut in the child protection profession. He has an insatiable passion for cyber security and will be transitioning into the field full-time shortly. Alshlon currently has his master’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Phoenix and has recently obtained his Security + certification from CompTIA. He is currently studying for his CEH certification and AWS Solutions Architect certification. Serving the community is no stranger to Alshlon as he has held several different roles as being a member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, Excelsior Lodge # 3 Prince Hall Mason, and Location Ambassador for Blacks In Cybersecurity. Alshlon firmly believes that Information is power, and it must be respected and protected when the need for it arises.

Aleise McGowan

Chief Information Security Officer

Aleise has over 21 years of IT experience in the K-12 space. Aleise is currently working for the Simpson County School District as the Director of Technology. She has a passion for information security and loves fostering and inspiring the same love through her role as an Adjunct Instructor. Aleise has a Master of Science in Management Information Systems with a dual specialization in Information Security and IT Management. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Computing at the University of South Alabama and is looking to move full-time into the information security space. Her research areas include information security, predictive analytics, data mining, machine learning, consumer engagement, and persuasive technology Aleise is a longtime advocate for diversity and inclusivity and is dedicated to breaking barriers that challenge current and future IT professionals. This is evident in the work she’s done as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, as a co-founder of WiCyS Northern Alabama Affiliate, and a member WiCyS Global’s Neurodiversity Special Interest Group. Aleise is currently studying for her CEH certification.
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