Lots of New Faces at BARR! Get to Know 3 More Associates

September 21, 2021 |

BARR Advisory’s cyber risk advisory team continues to grow with the addition of Barbara Donatien, senior consultant, Kristin Strand, associate consultant, and Bronwyn Wilson, associate consultant.

Let’s take a minute to get to know a bit about each of them.

Barbara Donatien enjoying a beach holiday.

Barbara at one of her favorite places—the beach.

Barbara Donatien, Senior Consultant, Cyber Risk Advisory

As a senior consultant in BARR’s cyber risk advisory practice, Donatien is responsible for planning, executing, and delivering various audits and risk assessments for clients in highly regulated industries. Prior to joining BARR, Barbara worked as a senior associate in KPMG’s Audit and Assurance Practice. She has a Bachelor of Science in accounting and information systems from Duquesne University.

What excites you about where the industry is going? 

The world of cybercrime and cybersecurity is constantly evolving so there’s unlimited growth potential for anyone in the industry. You’re always learning something new and learning how to look at things from a different perspective. I also love how the work is collaborative. You can learn from the most experienced person in the room and you can also learn from someone brand new to the field bringing in a new perspective.

What’s your favorite quote? 

“C’est la vie”—Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you can either complain about it or learn from it and grow. Take it for what it is and never give up.

Favorite food?

Mac and cheese (with yams and greens on the side).

What is the most important personal attribute you bring to your job? 

My drive. I am always determined and open to learning new things. I also just love meeting new people and learning from them.

What are you most excited about for BARR’s future? 

Growth, not only with gaining new clients, but also with expanding the team. With growth comes the ambition to pursue new things and BARR is ahead of the curve in every aspect. I am excited to be a part of this team! 

Kristin with her family.

Kristin with her family.

Kristin Strand, Associate Consultant, Cyber Risk Advisory

Strand supports seniors and associates with all client engagements, including information technology audits and assessments. She has six years experience in teaching and has served in the United States Army for 12 years. Strand has three CompTIA certifications and holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Virginia State University. And in just three months as an apprentice consultant through Apprenti Kansas City, she has secured a full-time associate consultant position at BARR. 

What gets you up in the morning or keeps you up at night?

Definitely my children! And my personal to-do lists daily. I can’t rest until I know I have taken care of certain tasks for that day.

What is the most important personal attribute you bring to your job? 

Determination. I have accomplished so much thus far just by being determined to finish and finish strong. I believe in setting goals and accomplishing goals. Quitting is not an option. There’s always a way when you’re determined. 

What is your favorite outdoor activity? 

I love to do so many outdoor activities. My favorites would be walking/running and going to the beach. I love the beach.

Favorite food?

I love pizza! I will literally try it from anywhere. Supreme is my favorite but I order pepperoni the most. I like to get light sauce so I can really taste the cheese and the crust.

Why do you think clients should choose BARR?

From my first week here, I would say that clients should choose BARR because there is such a high expectation around professionalism while also being cognizant of the importance of diversity and inclusiveness. A company that appreciates the value that people’s differences bring to a team can absolutely be expected to do great work while taking into account the individualities and uniqueness of each client.

Bronwyn hiking in Glacier National Park.

Bronwyn hiking in Glacier National Park.

Bronwyn Wilson, Associate Consultant, Cyber Risk Advisory

As an associate consultant, Wilson helps clients navigate security and compliance issues and supports the planning and execution of information technology audits for SaaS clients. Prior to joining BARR, Bronwyn worked with orca whales as a senior specialist at SeaWorld San Diego. She holds a certificate in cybersecurity from Evolve Security Academy, a Bachelor of Arts in communications, and a Bachelor of Science in biology, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the cybersecurity industry?

Network as much as possible because this industry is ever changing. Breaking into this industry can be very difficult unless you can connect yourself with as many people as possible that can lead to amazing opportunities.

What are industry trends we should watch for? 

New challenges from ransomware is an industry trend to watch out for. Ransomware is one of the most common threats to any organization’s data security, and this threat will continue to increase and evolve as a top cybersecurity trend in upcoming years. The recent ransomware attack to the Colonial Pipeline crippled gas production here in the U.S. It was reported they paid as much as $4.5 million dollars in cryptocurrency to cyber criminal group Darkside.

Any pets?

Yes! My adorable white lab Zaya (Tibetan name, means ‘a victorious woman’).  After being hit by a car in the streets of Mexico, she was rescued and sent to a San Diego shelter.

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? 

As a part of the SeaWorld/Anheuser Busch Conservation Team, I was selected to go on a safari in Tanzania, Africa. I assisted with sight visits to an elephant refuge to assess donation distribution from the fund.

What is your biggest accomplishment? 

Transitioning into a new/different career after many years as a marine mammal trainer. Pivoting into cybersecurity was very challenging considering how dissimilar the two fields are.

Interested in joining the BARR team? Explore our open positions. Learn more about BARR’s partnership with Apprenti KC here.

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