US Foods executive to keynote Davenport University Cybersecurity Month summit

In recognition of October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Davenport University is hosting a presentation from Sara Schmidt, senior vice president and chief information security officer (CISO) for US Foods. Schmidt will talk about her journey within the IT industry and share stories and insights with the crowd.

The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. in Davenport University’s W.A. Lettinga Campus auditorium.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is the perfect time to learn more about the growing cybersecurity field and demand for cybersecurity and IT professionals. Cybersecurity is among the most lucrative and fastest-growing segments of the IT workforce. This summit is appropriate for those considering a career in cybersecurity or those who are seasoned tech professionals.

Schmidt began her career as a cryptography analyst with the National Security Agency (NSA), learning best practices and tactics to be an effective hacker and defender. She served with the NSA for eight years before transitioning to the private sector.

“Sara has a nearly 20-year career in Information Security, with an outstanding reputation in the field,” said Dr. Richard Pappas, Davenport University president. “We’re thrilled to host her on our campus for this important public event. Davenport’s nationally-recognized cybersecurity program is designed to address the talent needs in this sector. Our students and our community benefit from speakers of this caliber.”

Davenport is one of only a select number of schools in Michigan designated by the NationalSecurity Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

Schmidt has established a reputation as an inclusive, proactive leader focused on delivering the highest-value security outcomes for business partners. In her current role, Schmidt leads the US Food’s cyber defense strategy, responsible for ensuring the information and cybersecurity of the organization’s systems, processes and people.

In addition to the summit, Davenport is hosting “Tech Talk Tuesday: Learn about DU’s cybersecurity program!” an online seminar to share information on the university’s cybersecurity program, scholarship availability and the admissions process. The seminar is at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Participants should register in advance at

Davenport University is one of only a select number of colleges designated as a U.S. Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAD-CDE) by the NSA and DHS. It is also one of only 16 schools to be recognized as the Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center. To learn more about Davenport’s College of Technology programs, visit .


No Responses