From our President, Elizabeth Stevens:
On Monday, September 8, Special Agent Lizabeth Lehrkamp received the 2014 InfraGard Coordinator of the Year award from FBI Director James Comey at the InfraGard Annual Congress, held in Leesburg, Virginia. The nomination was submitted by InfraGard Minnesota board member Vickie Miller, with input from the North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota chapter presidents, and chosen by an independent selection committee composed of current and former InfraGard board members and volunteers from across the country. Fifteen Special Agent coordinators were nominated, far exceeding the number of nominations received for the honor in years past.
The Coordinator of the Year award, one of seven national awards and the only one reserved for an FBI employee, was created at the request of InfraGard members to recognize the outstanding coordinators whose dedication and efforts have contributed to the advancement of the InfraGard program. Serving as awards emcee was David Pekoske, Chairman of the Board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, who shared “Liz is known for her outstanding presentations, and her cyber threat updates are the highlight of chapter meetings. She is committed to the success of the program, is a very strong motivator, and always recognizes the volunteer efforts.”
SA Liz Lehrkamp began her FBI career in 2005 as a Special Agent in Newark, New Jersey. She was a recent addition to the FBI Minneapolis Division human intelligence squad, working cyber matters, when she presented The Current Threat to Our Cyber Infrastructure to the InfraGard Minnesota chapter in 2010. A few months later, in May 2011, she assumed full coordinator responsibilities for the Minnesota, North and South Dakota InfraGard chapters.
On Monday I attended the annual InfraGard congress to serve as chapter delegate. FBI Director Comey addressed the group and shared a strong message that outlined his focus for the Bureau. He is 6’8” and projects the strength of the Washington Monument and the commitment of J. Edgar Hoover. Hearing him speak was the highlight of the day. He was more eloquent with his remarks on this partnership program, but I’d say in some ways, it’s like a marriage, in that “it takes two”. As members, we’re the collective first half, and today InfraGard Minnesota is 800+ members strong. The Director’s comments about private-sector collaboration have me excited about the future of InfraGard, but at the chapter level, the FBI half of the marriage is really represented by the SA Coordinator. Despite our 800:1 ratio, I suspect my fellow board and committee member volunteers would agree that Liz has contributed at least 50% of the efforts that have made this chapter successful for more than three years now. She’s driven, she’s smart, and she’s fearless. The program has improved because of her many efforts, and this is well-deserved recognition. Please take a moment to congratulate her at our meeting next Tuesday.