Say Cheese: The Art of Tasting

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  • 1:30PM-1:45PM
  • 1:45PM-2:45PM
    Panel Discussion
  • 2:45PM-4:30PM
    Cheese Tasting Class – Pairings 101


Michelle Owczarzak
Michelle Owczarzak | Area Vice President, Named Accounts, Proofpoint, Inc.

Michelle Owczarzak is an executive leader at Proofpoint, a leading, global, Cyber Security company based in Sunnyvale, California. Proofpoint protects organizations’ greatest assets and biggest risks: their people. In 2021 Proofpoint was acquired by Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity software investing firm, in a transaction that valued Proofpoint at $12.3 billion. This is the largest go-private software deal in history. As a transformation and growth executive in the technology industry for over 30 years, Michelle leads a national team of sales professionals delivering industry leading technology with an integrated suite of cloud-based solutions, helping companies stop targeted threats, safeguard their data, and make their users more resilient against cyber-attacks. Prior to joining Proofpoint, Michelle was the Chief Transformation Officer at Aryaka in San Mateo California, SVP, Sales at Intelliquent, Chicago, Illinois and held a variety of other leadership roles. Michelle is a member of the Ph.D. Advisory Board Robert Morris University and the Greater Pittsburgh Business and Professional Women. Co-founder of the U R Found organization and named as a 2022 Top 100 Global Sales Leader by The Modern Sale. Michelle completed her undergraduate studies at Dickinson College, and received her Master’s from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Featured Panelists

Erin Mcgowan
Erin Mcgowan | Sr. Manager, QA, Proofpoint, Inc.

Erin McGowan is a Sr. Manager, QA Automation at Proofpoint in the Platform Security Awareness Training group. She is new to both Proofpoint and Cybersecurity. Erin has been working in software quality assurance for over 20 years and managing quality teams for almost 10 years. She is passionate about software quality and believes that everyone on the team owns the overall quality of products. Erin gets the most pleasure out of her work when she is actively helping to shape someone’s career. She volunteers time with the Anita B and NCWIT organizations to help review submissions for Grace Hopper presentations and aspirations scholarships. Outside of her role, Erin enjoys photography, mostly sports photography (hockey and lacrosse), and crochet.

Leigh Ann Empey
Leigh Ann Empey | Sr. Director, Program Content, Proofpoint, Inc.

Leigh Ann leads content strategy and production for Proofpoint’s Security Awareness product. She manages a diverse and talented team of writers, editors, animators, designers, and security content and learning experts. The team produces a broad range of training, awareness, assessment, and phishing simulation content in 42 languages for organizations around the globe. Accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion are all critical requirements for this content, coupled with sound learning principles and security awareness best practices that the team constantly strives to meet. Prior to Proofpoint, Leigh Ann held several senior roles in the communications, marketing, training, and change management space covering markets such as security, finance, telecommunications, and government.

Janet Roberts
Erika Carrara | Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Wabtec Corporation

Cybersecurity expert with over 20 years of experience, currently serving as the Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Wabtec, an $8.4B Fortune 300 company operating in 53 countries. Skilled at helping a business navigate cyber risks, data governance, and digital transformation. Led Wabtec through a security and compliance maturity curve to strengthen financial security, operational resiliency, and brand reputation. Expertise in security governance, compliance, privacy, and digital systemic risk. Boardroom Qualified Technology Expert (QTE) who presents at all board meetings, providing information and guidance on cyber protection and resiliency. Chair of Wabtec's Global Cyber Risk Committee, working closely with the board's enterprise risk and audit committee and C-Suite, providing status and updates regarding the materiality of cybersecurity risks and incidents. Enhances security governance by strengthening the company's governance framework, establishing effective risk management processes, conducting frequent risk assessments, and providing strategic guidance to the board and C-Suite on cyber risk matters. Maintains a pulse on the regulatory landscape, overseeing adherence to cybersecurity regulations, industry standards, and data protection laws. Experience working with regulators in multiple industries, including the Defense Industrial Base, SEC, GDPR, and EU ethics councils in the 53 countries where Wabtec operates. Passionate DEI advocate and thought leader. Executive Sponsor of Women of Wabtec, advocating for gender diversity through education, industry sharing, and career development. Mentored veterans through VetsinTech, a program providing a tech-specific network/resources for veterans. Invited speaker at professional events and volunteer judge/mentor at Future Cities, a cross-curricular educational program bringing STEM to life for students. Values-based leader demonstrating diplomacy, flexibility, and a deep commitment to life-affirming principles such as honesty, integrity, trust, and compassion for others.

Janet Roberts
Janet Roberts | Former SVP/Global Head of Security Education and Awareness, Zurich Insurance Company

Janet Roberts is a global leader in cybersecurity education with over a decade of experience. She recently retired from Zurich Insurance where, as the Global Head of Security Education & Awareness, she built, managed, and continually expanded a multinational program for over eight years. She holds a B.A./Journalism from Temple University, and M.A./Communications from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She’s a fiction writer and a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and Pennwriters. Her first two novels won 1st Place in Fiction from Pittsburgh's The Author Zone. Her poetry has been published in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and San Fedele Press’ “Art in a Time of Covid 19”. In 2024, she will launch both J M Roberts Consulting, LLC, providing select security awareness consulting, and a third novel (with a bit of cyber in the plot!) to be published by TEN 16 Press and available for purchase in May 2024. Learn more about her at or

Who Should Attend

While we are dedicated to bringing talented women together to celebrate and foster their passion and drive for cybersecurity, we welcome everyone - all genders, identities, and generations!

This event is suitable for information security decision makers, including: CXO, VP of IT, Director of IT; mid-level information security management (Senior Security Manager, IT Security Manager, IT Manager) and technical information security practitioners (Security Engineer, Messaging Architect, IT Analyst). This event is not open to channel or technology partners.

Government and public sector employees are reminded to ensure that their acceptance and participation are permitted by applicable rules and regulations.

NOTE: Registration requires a valid email address from your organization’s domain, so Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo or any other ISP are not accepted. Yahoo or any other ISP are not accepted.
EIG Logo At Proofpoint, we embrace and foster the diversity of our team members, customers, and stakeholders. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are a journey, and we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive company and society for our employees, customers, and partners. Women@Proofpoint is one of nine Proofpoint Employee Inclusion Groups (EIGs) and the group is focused on bringing opportunities in cyber to the forefront, encouraging women to pursue a career in the industry, and fostering a safe and respectful working environment where women feel empowered.