By Sarah Wood Martin
Executive director, Midwest Cyber Security Alliance


For more than two years, Ryan Newlon has worked on a mission to strengthen our state and our country.

This 18-year-veteran of the Missouri Army National Guard is preparing against Cyber Warfare.

He needs our help.

Ryan M. Newlon is a System and Network Administrator for Co-Mo Electric Cooperative Inc., in Tipton, Mo. He is also a Signal Chief Warrant Officer 3 for the MOCyber Unit of the Missouri Army National Guard. He is proposing an effort to build a “cooperation” between the Army National Guard and Missouri’s seven co-ops in order to make them more efficient. He wants to defend us from the daily cyber attacks that put Missouri’s businesses and government at risk.

Newlon’s “Operation Co-Op” is one of the innovative ways we can start exploring how cyber security and technology affect education, workforce development and businesses across Missouri.

That’s why the Midwest Cyber Security Alliance is bringing MOLEG Cyber Week to the Capitol on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This summit, offered by our co-hosts Bandura Cyber, Foley & Lardner LLP, Midwest Cyber Center, Missouri Community College Association, Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives and Regional Strategies, will share information with legislators and those working in government to learn about opportunities and challenges in Missouri’s cyber and technology industry.

Top experts will come to Jefferson City to talk about how cyber security and technology affect education, workforce development and businesses across Missouri.

On Tuesday at noon, members of the Midwest Cyber Center, Missouri Community College Association and Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives will focus on workforce development and education. 

Newlan will be speaking about his “Operation Co-Op.” He will be joined by Brian Millner, President and CEO of the Missouri Community College Association, and Tony Bryan, Executive Director of Midwest Cyber Center, an organization that envisions a world where people from all backgrounds pursue successful cybersecurity careers.

Bryan wants to eliminate the cybersecurity skills gap and creating a safe and secure digital environment for our government, military and businesses through the organization’s nationally recognized apprenticeship program. 

These three speakers are at the intersection of innovation. They’re working to create a new pipeline that will propel Missouri into the future in education, workforce development and technology.

Rep. Travis Fitzwater (R – Fulton) will moderate Tuesday’s talk. Fitzwater has prioritized expanding STEM education in Missouri to prepare a workforce to support Missouri’s tech industry.

On Wednesday, several experts will discuss the impact of hacking and other cyber crimes on organizations – including businesses and government. 

We must understand breaches are happening to organizations of every size, all the time. These risks are also the case for government entities, elected officials, campaigns and candidates. It’s important for Missourians and their work to be protected.

MOLEG Cyber Week is an opportunity for folks to learn how cyber and technology tools can improve so many of the sectors that drive our economy – from keeping us safe by making sure businesses can protect themselves, to building a new kind of workforce through an innovative education system that reflects our changing world.

Join us.

WHAT: MOLEG Cyber Week
WHEN:  Feb. 5-6

WHERE: Missouri State Capitol
201 West Capitol Ave

House Hearing Room 2 (Basement)

Jefferson City, Missouri 65101

TIME: noon, Feb. 5 and 8 a.m., Feb. 6

For more information, please visit

Sarah Wood Martin is the executive director of the Midwest Cyber Security Alliance. She can be reached at