Sandra Toms

Cues and Views

Cybersecurity community builder Sandra Toms, in brief.

Sandra Toms

Home: San Francisco Bay area.  Age: Older than I look.  Birthplace: California.  Profession: Marketing.  Organization: Google.  Title: Head of Experience Marketing | Google Cloud Security.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Significant other: The most handsome man on earth and my spouse, Bret Hartman.  Alma mater: UCLA (B.A.); Santa Clara University, School of Law (J.D.).

Current project: mWISE.  Recent recognition: Change agent.  Recent professional development: Recently acquired by Google.  Latest accomplishment: Created new cyber programs.  Latest contribution to others: My Digital TAT2.  Hobbies: Really bad romcom books, cooking and enjoying the view from my house.  Recent travel or adventure: Disney World, in August.  Survived the unbearable heat and humidity.  

Personality profile: Open, decisive, curious; team builder, good listener, able to put disparate ideas together to make something even better.  Love my job, GSD (gets sh!t done); nerd.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Badass.  Moral compass: Focused on fairness and doing right.  I believe in the karma claims adjuster.  How do you define a perfect friendship? Connected, committed and curious.  How do you define an ideal business relationship? A true partnership, built on trust and respect.  What is your greatest joy? My kids.  What is your greatest fear? Uncertainty; war; political strife.  What is your guilty pleasure? Tortilla chips.  What word or phrase do you use far too often? Dude.  What natural talent have you neglected? Painting and sewing.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Travel and exploration.  What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? Home redesign and redecorating.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Traveling to every national park in an RV.  Followed by traveling to every MLB park and watching a game.  How do you relieve stress? Laugh.  Enjoy a glass of wine.  What is your go-to workout? Hiking.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? My husband and doing something I've never tried.

What was your first paying job? Lifeguard.  What was your favorite college course? Constitutional Law.  What was your favorite childhood toy or game? My bike.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Hand painting from my kids when they were very young.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? Former CEO of RSA, Art Coviello.  What’s the best advice you received growing up? It is not how you connect the dots, but where you draw the lines (1st grade).  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Enjoy what you do.  Then it is never work.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? My pixel smart watch.  What is your favorite app? Amazon's photo app, which serves up photos from the past each day (e.g., (on this date in 2004).  Most pictures are of my kids, and I send them photos every day, so they always know I am thinking of them.  What is your go-to source of news and information? NPR and PBS.  And I love Rachael Maddow.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? TED.  What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? War in Ukraine, which started with cyber and then moved to kinetic warfare.  This is the new frontier of the battlefield.

What is your big idea?

Make cybersecurity better through connection and collaboration.  The problems and enemies we have are tough; by coming together, we can be tougher.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Focusing on creating content reach experiences and enabling information exchange.  What change would you like to see in the world? Less fear; creating connectivity in our world and in our professional and personal lives, so we can enjoy connecting fearlessly.  What message do you want to send out into the world? We got this!  We can do this!  It’s time to make a difference.  What mega-trend most excites you? Secure cloud computing.  What mega-trend most concerns you? AI.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Change Agent.  What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? My daughter, perhaps?  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My dad.  I miss him every single day.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A veterinarian.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? A quilt made by my mom.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? With my family, walking in Fiscalini Ranch on the rugged sea cliff in Central California.  What advice would you give your younger self? You are unstoppable if you trust your gut.  What day in your life would you choose to re-live? The birth of my kids.  Both were adopted, but I was in the room when they arrived.  Such magic!  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My first marriage.

Personal mission: Make the world better and more (cyber) secure.  Personal motto: Be the change you want to see in the world.  Desired epitaph: Mother, Wife, Daughter.

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