Pell Center

Newport, RI – For the fourth year in a row, the Pell Center is supporting the annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) campaign as a NCSAM Champion Organization.  This national effort aims to raise public awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and share useful resources through social media and various events across the country. The Pell Center is partnering with AnomaliTech Collective, and Tevora to offer a half-day conference on Wednesday, October 17th on the growing market for cybersecurity jobs and the need to build a culture of cybersecurity across organizations.

The event will shine a spotlight on the critical need to build a strong, cyber-secure workforce, address the cybersecurity skills gap, and encourage every workplace to create a culture of cybersecurity from the boardroom to the server room. It will highlight how a well-trained and cyber-aware workforce can become the first (and best) line of defense for organizations of all sizes and in all sectors, and help them better protect themselves, their employees, and their customers against the most common cyber threats and mitigate, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents. It will also discuss careers in cybersecurity and ways to motivate young students, veterans, and individuals who are looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce to learn more about the field and seek highly fulfilling, well-paying and rewarding cybersecurity jobs.

Pell Center Senior Fellow, and head of the Cyber Leadership Project, Francesca Spidalieri, organized and will moderate the conference. The event is part of the Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative (RICCI) – an ongoing effort designed to bring together senior leaders across various industries in order to discuss the most pressing cyber threats facing corporate and public sector leaders in the digital age and promoting best practices to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, and remediate cyber incidents.

Susan Peediyakkal, Cyber Threat Intelligence Program Lead Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, will deliver a keynote address on how the shortage of well-trained cybersecurity professionals continues to be a key risk to our economy and national security. Inspiring the next generation of interested and capable cybersecurity professionals to better safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem is a starting point to building stronger defenses. Ms. Peediyakkal’s talk will also cover best practices for hiring, educating, and retaining highly sought-after cybersecurity professionals.

The keynote will be followed by a panel discussion with renown cybersecurity experts from the engineering, legal, academic, consulting, and digital forensics fields and will focus on how to foster a culture of cybersecurity and awareness within organizations and train employees on cybersecurity best practices. Panel members will include: O’Shea Bowens, CEO and Founder of Null Hat Security; Joe Provost, Computer Scientist & Professor at Salve Regina University; Linn Freedman, Principal at Robinson & Cole; Rick Norberg, CEO at Vertikal6; and Clayton Riness, Managing Director Threat Services at Tevora.

Visit the Rhode Island Corporate Cybersecurity Initiative (RICCI) webpage for more information on  upcoming events and links to register.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.