Disruption is not new for Larry Pfeifer, founder of Consortium Networks based in New Jersey. It is a mantra that permeates both his personal and professional endeavors. In fact, at Consortium, his chosen moniker is Chief Disruptor.
“If we can’t change the status quo – simply lay down the line and say this is not good enough – how are we going to drive real change,” said Pfeifer.
Consortium Networks is grounded upon leveraging the power of connections, and the Consortium X Solution Intelligence eXchange is a prime example of Pfeifer’s vision. The program was created to disrupt the cybersecurity industry and connect peers to share knowledge, insight, and perspective on best practices and solutions. And, the program is completely free. “CISOs want to hear, and share, the unbiased truth. Security is too critical to make decisions on the sales pitch alone – people want real-world experience.”
The endeavor to connect goes beyond just technology. Consortium Networks is also strongly committed to recognizing and helping others in both their professional and personal communities through charitable contributions and work. The company and its team members support a broad range of causes such as feeding the homeless, helping the families of fallen FBI agents, and Teen Challenge, which helps young people with addictions find a better life and become positive contributing members of society.
It takes a village to achieve any meaningful change. So today, Consortium is expanding its support at Teen Challenge by offering a mentorship program. In tandem, they are also announcing Tim Dawson, Consortium member and industry Cyber Chief Security Officer, as its first mentor, as part of this program.
“A key element of the recovery process is mentorship. These individuals need someone to turn to, someone to help them see what the future can offer,” said Pfeifer.
Dawson is an industry pioneer with 20+ years of experience in the technology and security field; however, his journey and his affable and relatable demeanor, made him a perfect fit for the role.
Dawson commented, “I view this as an incredible honor and responsibility. I have been fortunate to be surrounded and supported by many prominent mentors throughout my career. Giving back outside of a professional environment to those who need help is immeasurable.”
Pfeifer is expanding the mentorship opportunity to other Consortium members. “So many of us want to be all-in in our professional lives and all-in in our personal lives. I feel like this mentorship opportunity is a perfect example of how those worlds can interconnect.”
As the business community grapples with the challenges and changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic is also putting an untold strain on people struggling with personal issues, such as addiction. Recently, Pfeifer was able to step in and help.
“A family in my community reached out for help recently with their son, who was struggling with drug addiction and life on the streets,” said Pfeifer. As a long time supporter, Pfeifer connected the family with the leader of the New Jersey Teen Challenge Center, which boasts a 70%+ rehabilitation success rate. Entry into a rehabilitation program in the midst of a pandemic was not a simple process, but they were able to get him the help he needed.
“When it comes to altruism, I strongly believe you need to get involved and make it personal,” said Pfeifer. “Financial giving is important and crucial, but I’m always looking for ways we can go one step further. Teen Challenge alters the course of kids’ lives and gives them the tools and support they need to get healthy and build a bright future.”
Recently, Consortium Networks donated a smoker to Teen Challenge to serve as kindling for an aspiring BBQ business. Pfeifer commented, “A micro-business, like BBQ catering, can teach valuable life and business skills. The kids will be able to volunteer to learn about cooking, food prep, marketing, finance, and business management while also generating operational funding for the Teen Challenge program.”