Cyber Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAMI)
If you ask entrepreneurs what makes a start-up successful, the answer most commonly given is: never take “no” for an answer. For Stacey Smith, Executive Director of the Cyber Association of Maryland, Inc. (CAMI), the state’s only organization solely dedicated to the growth of Maryland’s cybersecurity industry, the word “no” just fueled her mission.
In just three years, with minimal funding and a highly competitive landscape, Smith is responsible for growing the organization from unknown to credible, boasting more than 400 members. She is also credited with championing passage of the BuyMaryland cyber legislation, a bill that provides a financial incentive for Maryland’s small businesses to hire local cybersecurity companies. The bill is the first of its kind in the nation.
“Ms. Smith refused to yield and overcame significant obstacles to create a high-value new Maryland institution that is helping facilitate new job creation in Maryland that will last for generations to come,” said J. Thomas Sadowski, Vice Chancellor of Economic Development for the University System of Maryland.
For Smith, failure was not an option, so she asked for help when she needed it, collaborated when and where she could, stepped out of her comfort zone and always stayed true to her beliefs. That attitude and her bootstrap efforts have positioned CAMI as the voice of Maryland’s cybersecurity industry.
“I love the challenge of something new. If I believe in the mission, I will give my all to overcome the challenges presented to me,” said Smith.
This is a winner profile from The Daily Record’s 2018 Maryland’s Most Admired CEOs awards. Some information for this profile was sourced from the honoree’s application for the award.