TechConneXt Backstage: Bevel Prioritizes Tech Skin Care


TechConneXt ’16 in Silicon Valley was truly an exciting way to kick-off my official introduction as a new team member of Black Enterprise. During TECHNXT, I was fortunate enough to chat with Tristan Walker (Walker & Co. Brands), Stewart Butterfield (Slack), Michael Seibel (Y Combinator), Michael Green (Intel), Lo Toney (GV), Renee Forney (Department of Energy), Julian Watts (International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals), and Everette Taylor (Skurt).  

From left to right: Renee Forney (Dept. of Energy), Nathaniel J., Tristan Walker (Walker & Co. Brands)

In the video below, Black Enterprise captured three #digitalGrace moments of Tristan Walker that include Walker & Co. Brands men’s skincare line Bevel, family priorities, and the evolution of tech + skin care.

Check the video and the “Major Key” DJ Khaled shout out.


Three weeks ago Tristan Walker shared on Instagram that Walker & Co. Brands received its official U.S. federal trademark registration for BEVEL. This is not a swift process (trust me, I know. Presently, I am registering a few trademarks) to navigate.  

Walker & Co. Brands’ trademark of BEVEL is under Class (008) – Hand tools and implements (hand-operated); cutlery; side arms; razors. This trademark was filed 12/22/2015.

Congrats Tristan & Walker & Co. Brands! In the words of Nas please help us all to continue a “… signature fade with the BEVEL blade … that’s a major key.”

Next up … Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack.

The Road to TechConneXt: Renee Forney, Cybersecurity Specialist


Renee Forney is a seasoned cybersecurity expert. SC Magazine, the leading journal for IT security professional named her “a woman of influence” in the cybersecurity industry.

Her reputation and skills have also earned her the trust of our nation. Currently the acting Deputy Chief Information Officer of Cybersecurity at the Department of Energy, Forney was also an executive director at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

tcs-logoIn her current role at the DOE, she advises senior officials on integrating cybersecurity, risk management, and implementing enterprise information resources management.

She is also an advisor for the White House’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, the Defense Industrial Base Sector, which focuses on information safeguarding and critical infrastructure protection, and the Mission Executive Council.

Forney also has experience in the private sector. As Division Program Manager at Unisys, she collaborated with the Unisys Director of Enterprise Security Initiatives for the U.K., and she has assisted in developing a security framework model for Unisys Federal.

In an interview with SC Magazine, Forney noted that, with a shortage of qualified personnel, it’s a vibrant time for cyber professionals, and that she would like to see more enter government service. “Recruitment efforts are increasing at every level and assembling the most efficient job description is key,” she said.

Entry into the cybersecurity industry is particularly opportune for people of color. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), while speaking at an event hosted by the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMP) said, “There is currently a shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals in the United States, which is predicted to grow to 1.5M by 2019. There exists an opportunity to address both the cybersecurity workforce shortage and the underrepresentation of minority groups in the technology industry.”

Forney holds a Bachelor of Science from DeVry University, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from George Washington University, as well as Certification Information System Security Professional (CISSP) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications.

She will be part of a riveting panel of other cybersecurity professionals who will speak about combating the latest threats in both public and private sectors, as well as pathways for people of color to careers in cybersecurity at Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt Tech Summit.