An Open Letter From MediaOps

On behalf of all of us at MediaOps, we are so deeply troubled by what is going on in the world around us. As we continue to battle a deadly pandemic and the effects of racial injustice, the idea of devolving into factions and hurting one another cuts to the core of our being. This is a time in which humanity needs to come together. The following quote from former President George W. Bush sums up my feelings about the current situation—a situation that has been evident for far too long.

“America’s greatest challenge has long been to unite people of very different backgrounds into a single nation of justice and opportunity. The doctrine and habits of racial superiority, which once nearly split our country, still threaten our Union. The answers to American problems are found by living up to American ideals — to the fundamental truth that all human beings are created equal and endowed by God with certain rights. We have often underestimated how radical that quest really is, and how our cherished principles challenge systems of intended or assumed injustice. The heroes of America — from Frederick Douglass, to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King, Jr. — are heroes of unity. Their calling has never been for the fainthearted. They often revealed the nation’s disturbing bigotry and exploitation — stains on our character sometimes difficult for the American majority to examine. We can only see the reality of America’s need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised.” ~ President George W Bush

When we initially came up with the idea of today’s TechStrong Con virtual conference, we wanted to show that the tech industry is indeed strong. What made it strong was our desire to collaborate, communicate and share our collective knowledge—that tech would be the light that leads the path forward to surviving and overcoming the terrible virus in our midst. The event also designed as a charitable event, to raise relief money for global COVID-19 charities—our way of helping by alleviating suffering and supporting frontline workers.

Now, we find ourselves with yet another challenge. In addition to the devastating impact of the novel coronavirus, we are once again sadly reminded that injustice and prejudice are very much alive and well in our country. We, like most of you, are horrified by what we are seeing on our TV screens. Even here in the tech industry, we need to do better—not just with racial issues, but with all diversity issues. I firmly believe that we can and will do better. I believe that the tech industry can be a beacon, a light illuminating a path to a better, fairer and more peaceful world for all of Earth’s children.

I pray for peace and for a time when we can venture out again—together—and focus on improving the human condition for each and every individual across the globe.

Until then, we have decided to split our charitable donations from the proceeds of the TechStrong Conference. $10,000 will be going to the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose mission is to fight hate and seek justice for the most vulnerable members of our society through litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, working toward a day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity are a reality. Another $10,000 will be donated to the World Health Organization to fight COVID-19.

With today’s TechStrong Con virtual conference and everything beyond, we move forward with the hope that we can and will do better as a nation, as a people and as one world.

With Peace,
Alan Shimel
CEO, MediaOps

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Alan Shimel

Alan Shimel

Throughout his career spanning over 25 years in the IT industry, Alan Shimel has been at the forefront of leading technology change. From hosting and infrastructure, to security and now DevOps, Shimel is an industry leader whose opinions and views are widely sought after.

Alan’s entrepreneurial ventures have seen him found or co-found several technology related companies including TriStar Web, StillSecure, The CISO Group, MediaOps, Inc., DevOps.com and the DevOps Institute. He has also helped several companies grow from startup to public entities and beyond. He has held a variety of executive roles around Business and Corporate Development, Sales, Marketing, Product and Strategy.

Alan is also the founder of the Security Bloggers Network, the Security Bloggers Meetups and awards which run at various Security conferences and Security Boulevard.

Most recently Shimel saw the impact that DevOps and related technologies were going to have on the Software Development Lifecycle and the entire IT stack. He founded DevOps.com and then the DevOps Institute. DevOps.com is the leading destination for all things DevOps, as well as the producers of multiple DevOps events called DevOps Connect. DevOps Connect produces DevSecOps and Rugged DevOps tracks and events at leading security conferences such as RSA Conference, InfoSec Europe and InfoSec World. The DevOps Institute is the leading provider of DevOps education, training and certification.

Alan has a BA in Government and Politics from St Johns University, a JD from New York Law School and a lifetime of business experience. His legal education, long experience in the field, and New York street smarts combine to form a unique personality that is always in demand to appear at conferences and events.

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