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2023 CISO of the Year Awards - Press Realease



10 OCTOBER 2023


The Chicago-area Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of the Year Program, in association with the Chicago chapters of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP), ChicagoFIRST, ISACA, FBI-InfraGard, Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), the Society for Information Management SIM) and Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) is proud to announce Mr. Darin Hurd as the 2023 Chicago-area Enterprise CISO of the Year winner, and Mr. Neil Witek as the 2023 Chicago-area Mid-Cap CISO of the Year winner.

Darin Hurd is EVP and Chief Information Security Officer at Guaranteed Rate where he works with incredible colleagues to deliver the best mortgage experience on the planet. With over twenty-five years experience in information technology, consulting, and financial services, he has a unique combination of breadth and depth; designed, built, or operated every technology function to align, integrate, and enable business capabilities and operations at all organizational levels. Cybersecurity, privacy, risk, business resilience, and vendor management leader with extensive experience engaging board of directors, executive teams, and internal and external stakeholders to support safe and sound business operations. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management and a CISO Executive Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

Neil Witek is the CISO and HIPAA Security Officer at Oak Street Health, now part of CVS Health. He is accountable for the enterprise information security program including vendor risk, incident response, and eDiscovery for the 185+ clinics across 21 states serving 200k+ patients. His responsibilities encompass cybersecurity requirements from HIPAA, PCI, SOX, CMS/Medicare, and various state mandates. Over his 20+ year infosec career, Neil has worked as a change agent providing guidance on security and risk issues. Prior to OSH, as VP of Security Governance and HIPAA Officer at Anthem subsidiary AIM Specialty Health (a subsidiary of Elevance Health), he implemented and oversaw ISO 27001, HITRUST CSF and NIST
Cybersecurity Framework certified programing that safeguarded data for over 56 million members across all fifty states. Neil holds a Masters in Information Security Assurance and has earned certifications including CISSP, CISA, CIPP, PMP, GLEG, QTE and is a HITRUST CCSFP

The winners were determined over a three-phased process that began with an extensive written submission by the nominees detailing their leadership approach and achievements over the prior year. Over a three-month period, the nominees were then interviewed and scored by a panel of their peers. Two finalists in each category were then submitted to program judges Mr. Rushil Desai (CEO, Aetna Better Health of Illinois), Mr. Bob McGonigle (CEO, Martin-Brower), Mr. Stu Hanson (CEO, Avaneer Health), and Mr. Matt Coughlin (CEO, XSELL
Technologies) for final consideration.

Mr. Hurd and Mr. Witek were announced the winners during a breakfast ceremony at the Union League Club of Chicago on October 10 th , 2023.

In the current business climate, the importance of maintaining a strong cyber security and privacy program has become increasingly clear. The Chicago-area CISO of the Year Program recognizes the contributions of Security and Privacy leaders to their organizations, to their profession, and to the local community.

For additional information, please write or visit

Wayne Johnson
Arlan McMillan
Sally Martin

Co-Chair and Founder
Co-Chair, 2014 CISO of the Year winner
Co-Chair, Operations


About the Program Partners

Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)

It is the mission of AITP Chicago to provide superior leadership and education in Information Technology. AITP is dedicated to using synergy of Information Technology partnerships to provide education and benefits to our members and to working with the industry to assist in overall promotion and direction of Information Technology.


ChicagoFIRST is a nonprofit association that provides Chicago’s critical infrastructure firms with a collaborative forum to address and coordinate private sector resilience and emergency management planning and response with relevant local, regional, and national public sector agencies.

Information Systems Security Association (ISSA)

The Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) is a not-for-profit, international organization of information security professionals and practitioners. It provides educational forums, publications, and peer interaction opportunities that enhance the knowledge, skill, and professional growth of its members.


InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and members of the private sector. The InfraGard program provides a vehicle for seamless public-private collaboration with government that expedites the timely exchange of information and promotes mutual learning opportunities relevant to the protection of critical infrastructure. With thousands of vetted members nationally, InfraGard's membership includes business executives, entrepreneurs, military and government officials, computer professionals, academia and state and local law enforcement; each dedicated to contributing industry specific insight and advancing national security.


ISACA is a professional membership organization committed to the advancement of digital trust by empowering IS/IT professionals to grow their skills and knowledge in audit, cybersecurity, emerging tech and more.

Society of Information Managers (SIM)

SIM brings together IT leaders to share, network and give back to their communities through the collaboration of
local chapters.

Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS)

WiCyS is a global community of women, allies and advocates dedicated to the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in cybersecurity.We unite local communities of aspiring and thriving women cybersecurity professionals across the world to collaborate, share their knowledge, network and mentor. We create opportunities through professional development programs, conferences, career fairs and more.   

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