Spotlight on a SILA Member
Michelle Covert, CISA, SILA-F, Information Security Compliance Manager of Vertafore
As an introduction, I have wanted to spotlight this SILA member for awhile because I always admired how she could keep all the plates in her life spinning seamlessly and still have time to volunteer her time to SILA. Meet Michelle Covert
Michelle has been in the industry for 13 years and currently manages risks related to information security, privacy, vendor security assurance, and compliance, managing the key functions of information risk management, data protection compliance, IT audit, and information security assurance. Before these responsibilities, Michelle was the Data Security Manager for the Sircon line of business with Vertafore.
Getting into the insurance/securities industry was a matter of need. During her undergrad, her aspiration had been to become a Forensic Anthropologist. Then during her junior and senior year of college, her mother underwent a series of successful chemo treatments. At the time, she made the choice that she believes anyone would make, to postpone graduate school and help take care of her much younger brother and mother. This required her to find full-time employment as soon as possible after she graduated from MSU. As it turned out, insurance and securities regulation, along with technology naturally aligned with her analytical skills and desire to learn.
Michelle has two strong willed, yet wonderful children; Finch (named after Atticus Finch) is 5, and her daughter Juno (named after her Irish heritage) is almost 4. Finch is a future paleontologist and current dinosaur lover. Juno is a music and dance enthusiast, with a love of cosmetics and Doc McStuffins.
Michelle also has a small zoo of fury and scaly family members: Pickles the dog, Legolas and Orangesicle are cats, Ghirardelli the bunny, Big Red the Fire Bellied Toad, Turtle the turtle (who was not given a creative name), and a plethora of cichlids and fiddler crabs.
One of Michelle’s proudest moments was graduating from Law School in 2016. She attended part-time at nights and on the weekends for over 4 years, while continuing to grow her career with Vertafore, starting her family, and volunteering with non-profit organizations like SILA.
When asked what quote or saying inspired her, she replied with “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” Dr. Spock. While this quote was originally from a parenting book, for Michelle, it applies to every part of her life. Primarily because there will always be challenges in life or situations where you may make mistakes, but you should trust yourself and be confident in your own common sense.
Michelle is an active SILA volunteer and her ideas are implanted in the planning of the SILA National Education Conference. Look for Michelle at the next conference. She is enthusiastic and easy to talk with. Ask if she is caught up with all the TV series she missed while in law school – something that she has been trying to do since her graduation.