BARR Expands Its Cyber Risk Advisory, Client Service Operations, Marketing, and People Operations Teams With 4 New Associates

December 29, 2021 |

BARR Advisory welcomes four new team members into a variety of roles across multiple departments including Jessica Bridge, reports specialist, client service operations, Laura Moran, senior consultant, cyber risk advisory, Candice Smith, events marketing manager, and Nick Vetere, recruiting manager, people operations. 

Spend a few minutes to get to know each of them with a brief Q&A. 

Jessica with her dog Riley

Jessica and her dog Riley

Jessica Bridge, Reports Specialist, Client Service Operations

As a reports specialist for BARR’s client service operations team, Jessica is responsible for developing and maintaining report processes that support her department and enhance the audit experience. She also provides additional support to the operations team. Prior to BARR, Jessica worked in various roles of increasing responsibility at Hudson Technologies for 15 years.

Q: What is an accomplishment you’re proud of?

A: This is a tough one since I have always set different types of goals throughout my life and worked very hard to be able to accomplish them. Ones that personally stick out for me would be achieving my third degree black belt, earning my Spartan Trifecta, purchasing a house and, most recently, changing careers.

Q: What is an important personal attribute you bring to your job? 

A: Some personal attributes I bring to the job would be I am determined, organized, patient, supportive, and detail-oriented.

Q: Do you have a pet? If so, tell us about them. 

A: Yes! I have a pitbull named Riley. He is 11 years old, but with the energy he has at times you wouldn’t know it.

Q: What quote inspires you?

A: My favorite life quote is “Do not wait for things to happen… Make them happen.” 

Q: What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been or favorite vacation spot?

A: I have not traveled much, but I would say so far my favorite spot was La Jolla, California. The views of the ocean were absolutely beautiful.

Laura's dog Koda

Laura’s dog Koda

Laura Moran, Senior Consultant, Cyber Risk Advisory

As a senior consultant in BARR’s cyber risk advisory practice, Laura is responsible for planning and executing information technology readiness engagements and audits for clients in various highly regulated industries. She has extensive experience performing SOC engagements and helping clients navigate complex security and compliance issues. Prior to joining BARR, Laura worked as a Senior SOC Consultant at A-LIGN. She has a bachelor’s degree in business and economics and a master’s degree in business administration and information systems from the University of New Hampshire.

Q: What advice do you have for someone looking to start a career in cybersecurity?

A: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions in this industry is a must, especially when just starting out. Ask questions to your friends, managers, and clients. Everyone wants to help you learn and you’ll be thankful later on that you asked.

Q: What excites you about where the industry is going? 

A: It excites me to see how much this industry has grown over the years and how it is continuing to grow. Being in this industry, we are provided with endless amounts of opportunity for growth and learning experiences. 

Q: What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?

A: I’m working to finish my MBA in business analytics and information security, I’ll be done March 2022.

Q: What technology innovation has made the most impact on your life? 

A: WiFi is the technology innovation that has made the most impact on my life. Since the pandemic, I have realized how much WiFi has impacted my life. Having WiFi almost everywhere I go has allowed me to be able to work anywhere I need to. It has also allowed me to get my MBA without having to step foot on campus! It’s a great technology innovation that has allowed for a lot of convenience in my life.

Q: We’ve got to ask—do you have any pets?

A: I have a 10-year-old golden retriever named Koda. We adopted him when he was four years old and he is the most loving dog. 

Candice and her family

Candice and her family

Candice Smith, Events Marketing Manager

As events marketing manager, Candice coordinates and promotes BARR’s in-person and virtual events. She creates impactful presentations and promotional content for BARR’s events, manages sponsorship opportunities, and assists the marketing team with all growth strategies. Candice has more than 12 years of experience in both virtual and in-person events. Prior to BARR, she worked as a sales and events manager for Sullivan’s Steakhouse, and has held a number of events marketing roles in the technology industry. Candice has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Phoenix.

Q: What wakes you up in the morning or keeps you up at night? 

A: What wakes me up is usually coffee. And what keeps me up? Often: watching nostalgic TV shows and movies; Sometimes: worrying about the world and how to parent this generation; Never: my alarm clock.

Q: What’s your favorite quote for life/business? 

A: My favorite business quote actually came during orientation my first day here at BARR: “Our culture is owned by all of us,” from Whitney Lindsey, director, people operations. And as far as a personal quote, for some years now it has been a sentence from Frederick Buechner that “the worst thing is never the last thing.”

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

A: I’ve been to a lot of really cool places but absolutely nothing has compared to Iceland. There is this rugged majesty to the landscape there that is awe-inspiring, even in the dead of winter. If it’s not on your travel bucket list, it should be. You can thank me later!

Q: What inspires you—in your career and/or personally? 

A: This is actually one in the same. I’m most inspired by those out there in the world advocating for those that cannot advocate for themselves. I’m looking at all the caregivers of people with special needs, social workers for victims of abuse or homelessness, counselors and sponsors of those fighting addiction, foster parents, the list goes on. Any time I feel like things are too hard at home or I’m struggling to grasp a concept at work, I think about those people doing the real hard, usually thankless work and it inspires me to keep pushing forward.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment? 

A: My daughter, Eisley, is my proudest accomplishment. She is about to turn six years old and is an absolute delight. She started kindergarten this year and has been ice skating since she was two and a half. Despite being super competitive and a sore loser, she is so compassionate, caring, and thoughtful and has a hunger to learn and explore. Since she was itty bitty, she makes a fan club everywhere she goes!

Nick and his family

Nick and his family

Nick Vetere, Recruiting Manager, People Operations

As recruiting manager, Nick is responsible for recruiting and retaining top tier-talent for BARR. In addition to developing and implementing innovative recruiting strategies, Nick also provides support to various people operations efforts, including diversity, equity, and inclusion. Nick has extensive experience in recruiting talent for top public accounting firms, having worked as a recruiting manager for both BDO and KPMG prior to joining BARR. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational behavior studies from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in accounting from Wayne State University.

Q: Have any book or podcast recommendations?

A: As far as books, “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind” by Vishen Lakhiani challenges you to rethink aspects of your life that might have been on autopilot for years. It is designed to disrupt the way you see the world and gives you tools to be extraordinary. I think we always have to challenge the norm and transcend the way we as humans think. Another book I recommend is “Hello, Habits: A Minimalist’s Guide to a Better Life” by Fumio Sasaki. This book helps us focus on creating the habits we want while giving us tools to quit the habits we don’t want. I also recommend the Joe Rogan Experience podcast because he’s always challenging the norm. 

Q: What excites you about the cybersecurity industry?

A: I have been recruiting in the IT Advisory/cybersecurity industry for almost 10 years now. During this time, I have seen emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, RPA, etc., shape the industry. I like how this industry never stays stagnant and is always changing.

Q: What are some industry trends to watch for?

A: Everyone is talking about the Metaverse right now! I feel the Metaverse will create a different set of problems from a security perspective and it will be interesting to see what security measures are implemented as a result.

Q: Do you have any pets? 

A: I have 4 cats (probably too many haha!) including Mario (gray and black striped), Jason (gray), Reggie (orange), and Nova (white).

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

A: I feel the most important personal attribute that I bring to my job is being relatable. Since I am the first person a candidate interacts with, their impression of BARR is a direct reflection of me and our conversation. Luckily, I have been on the audit side of the house and have been recruiting in the consulting world for the last 10 years so I have the knowledge to brand BARR in a way that comes across to most candidates.

Interested in joining the BARR team? Explore our open positions

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