Travis Thompson, Chief Security OfficerJob description: During my time at LightEdge, I have ranged from building out the Altoona Edge BCC data center to managing the engineering team and now working on our compliance and security requirements. As more and more private information is consolidated in a public cloud setting, the security of that data becomes more and more important.
Background: I was born in Mason City but have lived most of my life in Des Moines. I have a bachelor’s degree from University of Northern Iowa. I previously worked in software development and for 10 years as a senior networking engineer for Baker Communications Inc.
Notable achievements: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert/Routing and Switching in 1997; Eagle Scout in 1983; Scouter of the Year, Raccoon River Valley District in 2011; Citywide PTA Family of the Year in 2008.
Why I do what I do: Because I can’t imagine doing anything else. The pace of technology change and helping customers overcome their IT challenges creates a job environment that is constantly challenging and rewarding.
What I do to get away from work: Bike (the human powered kind), Boy Scouts, hockey (play or watch), tinker in my workshop, and basically get involved in my kids’ lives.
How I give back to the community: Previous board member American Red Cross, BlackHawk District; assistant scoutmaster of Boy Scouts Troop 43; retired Cub Master; volunteer for Food Bank of Iowa and service projects with Heartland Presbyterian.
Words to live by: I couldn’t pick a single quote to sum it up, but the following will be recognizable to my fellow scouters: “We never fail when we try to do our duty; we always fail when we neglect to do it. The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others. Leave the world a little better than you found it.”
One thing I would change about the Des Moines area: On a personal level I’m thrilled with the communities’ commitments to increasing safe biking routes throughout the city, and I would love to see that effort expand even faster. On a business path, I think Des Moines is doing a great job of building on a great entrepreneurial spirit, and the key will be continuing to fuel the drive of locally owned and operated companies.
What Iowa can do to attract more people like me: Continue to provide an excellent place to raise a family. Focus on building schools with an advanced science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum to build for our future.
My leadership philosophy: The best leaders are those that lead without those being led realizing it is happening. The key to effective leaders is to clear out the obstacles your team is facing and let them go wild on solving the challenges presented to them.
What I would do if I could do something else: I’d be running a charter company on some island in the Caribbean.