Getting to Know Megan Kommers at the INL
EastIdahoNews.com is highlighting hardworking people who make our local businesses a success. Every Sunday, we’re Getting to Know YOU!
1. Name, job title and company: Megan Kommers, department manager, Cybercore Integration Center at Idaho National Laboratory
2. What does your company do and what are your responsibilities? The Cybercore Integration Center at INL focuses on developing cybersecurity solutions to protect U.S. critical infrastructure systems, like the power grid. Our team of engineers, analysts and cyber researchers collaborate with federal agencies, industry and universities to secure control systems from cyberthreats. In addition to the cutting-edge research we conduct at INL, we also support a variety of training and workforce development efforts to build the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
3. Where were you born and when is your birthday (don’t need to include year)? I have an October birthday and grew up in Pennsylvania.
4. How long have you lived in eastern Idaho and what city do you live in now? My family relocated to Idaho Falls nearly five years ago.
5. Tell us about your first job after high school/college. After receiving my Bachelor of Science degree, I worked for an environmental consulting firm. We supported voluntary partnership programs aimed at helping companies decrease their environmental footprint through waste reduction strategies.
6. What is the best business decision you’ve ever made? This is more advice learned throughout my career: Don’t be afraid to seek and accept new opportunities. Be confident in the skills you bring to the table and remain open-minded to new ideas. It’s never too late to acquire new capabilities and identify new interest areas.
7. Tell us about your family. My husband and I have two daughters, ages 7 and 9. We enjoy the outdoor activities Idaho has to offer – from proximity to national parks to camping, hiking and skiing. It’s a wonderful environment in which to raise a family.
8. Tell us about a movie or book that has inspired you the most in life. For professional books, Brene Brown is a great author on leadership and collaboration and offers advice for topics related to organizational management. When I want something lighter, I like anything by Bill Bryson. Originally a travel writer, he’s penned books on his adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail to more encompassing works on the history of the world. All are filled with wit and humor, making them very enjoyable reads.
9. Tell us about a lesson you learned from a mistake you made in your career/business. Don’t stress about things out of your control; focus on what you can change and put your energy into being a positive influence.
10. What is a goal you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months? Learn a new hobby or craft.
11. What is one piece of advice you have for someone who wants to do what you’re doing? Cybersecurity is expansive and continues to evolve – and Idaho offers a variety of resources to not only gain skills, but also pursue careers in this growing field. Idaho universities and community colleges offer a wide variety of cybersecurity and control system-focused certificate and degree programs for anyone interested in exploring opportunities.
12. If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? Take more risks when I was younger.
13. Where is your favorite place to eat in eastern Idaho? When we’re able to enjoy a night out, we usually head to D’Railed.
14. Tell us something surprising about yourself. I was raised in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the famous groundhog.
15. How do you like your potatoes? Au gratin.
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