Vinnie Persichetti

The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC announced Vinnie Persichetti has joined the organization as  director of cybersecurity programs.

According to a news release issued by the Chamber & EDC, “the position was developed in support of the work is performing as a sub-recipient of a Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment grant received this year by Pikes Peak Community College to create the Pikes Peak Regional Defense Assistance Program.”

Persichetti will work alongside PPCC overseeing the development of a Military Separation Skills Inventory and Analysis, which will feed into a Regional Cybersecurity Strategic Plan, the release states, adding Persichetti will also coordinate the creation of a cybersecurity strategy website to track these efforts and keep key stakeholders in the region informed of progress.

According to the Chamber & EDC, the goal of the Military Separation Skills Inventory and Analysis is to inventory cybersecurity skills and certifications represented by separating military and defense contractors from the region’s military bases.

“We will also inventory existing programs that can assist separating military members in reaching necessary cybersecurity-specific certification and qualification levels while making recommendations on gaps in existing offerings,” according to Patrice Lehermeier, communications manager for the Chamber & EDC. “By mapping these assets, we intend to demonstrate resources and opportunities for our community to better leverage the benefits of members leaving the military.”

The second focus “will be to align disparate planning objectives and create a comprehensive cybersecurity strategic plan for the region,” according to the Chamber & EDC. “This will entail economic research; an inventory of existing regional economic development strategies by public stakeholders, military installations, professional associations and others.”

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Lehermeier said the Chamber & EDC will take the existing Colorado Springs Cybersecurity asset map “and further develop it to include assets across our metropolitan area while refining the information it captures. Furthermore, this study will analyze the region’s current cybersecurity capacity, compare it to strategies and capacity of other U.S. cybersecurity hubs, and prepare an analysis including strategic recommendations culminating in a long-term strategic plan.”

The third focus will be a Cybersecurity Strategy website that will be used to capture the chamber’s cybersecurity strategy process as well as the deliverables from the first two focus areas.

“Cybersecurity is a growing industry and represents an opportunity for Colorado Springs to emerge as a leader in preparing, combating and recovering from cyber attacks and threats,” said Hannah Parsons, chief economic development officer for the Chamber & EDC, in the release. “Bringing together our community’s cyber resources through the Regional Defense Assistance Program will ensure that we leverage our collective assets into a comprehensive and collaborative strategic plan.”

Persichetti, who retired as a chief master sergeant from the Air Force, served 30 years in the military. He moved to Colorado Springs in January 2006 through an assignment to the HQ Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base. Apart from an assignment in Qatar from 2010-11, Persichetti has been assigned to various units across Peterson until his retirement in 2017.

Persichetti’s final assignment was with the 21st Space Wing, serving as the 21st Mission Support Group superintendent. That role involved being a senior advisor to the commander on installation support across communications, civil engineering, contracting, logistics, security forces and force support. Prior to his final assignment, he was the 21st Communications Squadron superintendent, charged with advising the commander on all aspects of personnel and mission execution across the spectrum of communications and cyber support.

“It is an honor to serve our local community, businesses and military installations,”  Persichetti said in the release. “We are fortunate to have leaders with the foresight and vision to position Colorado Springs as a cybersecurity powerhouse. Through our work, we will strengthen our position as a cybersecurity hub for years to come.”