ProfNet Experts Available on Heartbleed Bug, Cloud Computing, Marijuana Tax, More

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NEW YORK, April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive these updates by email, send a note to with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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  • Why Heartbleed Breach Could Have Been Prevented
  • NSA Denial Regarding Heartbleed Bug Lacks Credibility 
  • The State of American Agriculture
  • Tax Transactions on Legal State Marijuana Sales
  • Construction Industry Trends for 2014
  • Cloud Computing Creating New Careers for IT Pros
  • Monetizing Content as an Interactive Marketer
  • Innovative Business Software
  • Using Social Media for Recruiting New Hires


  • Managing Editor - Women's Health (NY)
  • Breaking News Writer - The Boston Globe (MA)
  • City Hall Reporter - Houston Chronicle (TX)


  • The Evolution of Media: The Changing Role of the Journalist
  • The Q&A Team: Your Next Social Media Obsession
  • The Recipe for a Career in Food Blogging



Why Heartbleed Breach Could Have Been Prevented
Steve Kirsch
Founder and CEO
"The reason we keep having password breaches is not because we lack the technology to solve the problem. The technology to permanently end password breaches has been commercially available for years. No, the real reason we keep having password breaches will surprise you. Websites believe that the tools and technology they have in place are secure enough already. They do care about security, but simply believe their current practices are meeting the needs out there. Or they simply do not care.  I disagree – as proven by Heartbleed. Some might say Heartbleed was simply a bug in OpenSSL that some engineers found and it has no connection whatsoever to identity technology. I don't believe this to be true. I believe it has a significant connection. The real reason we keep having password breaches is because Internet companies don't care enough about consumer's security. They continue to use old practices that are continually being breached. I remain optimistic that one day large sites will deploy technology options to consumers to at least give them options around secure authentication."
Kirsch, online identity and security expert and founder and CEO of oneID, says Heartbleed breach could have been prevented. He is available for comment on Heartbleed, online identity, and online security. Over his technology career, he has started seven companies: Mouse Systems, Frame Technology Corp., Infoseek, Propel, Abaca, oneID and CoinTrust. He has a bachelor of science and a master of science in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is passionate about security and privacy on the internet and beyond.
Media Contacts: Wendy Porter,; Elissa Everett,; Leah Wilkinson,

NSA Denial Regarding Heartbleed Bug Lacks Credibility
Fred Cate
C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law
Director, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
"Normally such an absolute denial by a federal agency would be taken seriously, but the number of apparently unambiguous denials by the intelligence community that over the past year have been proven false or seriously misleading has caused serious credibility issues for the NSA and the DNI. For example, recent testimony by both DNI Director James Clapper and former NSA Director General Keith Alexander turned out to be at best partially true, and at worst completely false. After a succession of such statements -- and no action in response by Congress or the president -- it is not surprising that many people doubt the NSA's denial of any knowledge of the Heartbleed bug."
Cate, an internationally recognized expert in on cybersecurity law and policy and personal privacy, is available to discuss the recent disclosure and denial over whether the NSA discovered, hid and exploited the Heartbleed vulnerability for the past two years. According to Cate, these latest allegations highlight both the damage that the agency's credibility has suffered and the urgent need to separate that agency's twin responsibilities for information assurance and surveillance into two agencies. He is a member of the inaugural U.S. Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Committee Cybersecurity Subcommittee and one of the founding editors of the Oxford University Press journal International Data Privacy Law. He is available to discuss the NSA, cybersecurity, data privacy and other related issues.
Media Contact: Brianne O'Donnell, 

The State of American Agriculture
Kent Shoemaker
Chief Executive Officer
"American agriculture is continuing to go through a consolidation phase. The family farm is the backbone of our country and core to who we are, but the image of the small farmer with one tractor and a few rows of crops is becoming outdated. It is actually larger farms that drive productivity and give careful consideration to the environment while producing the best yields that feed America."
Shoemaker is CEO of Lipman, North America's largest field tomato grower. He is a leader in the fresh produce industry and he can discuss the state of American agriculture; major issues facing the industry including GMOs, water and pesticides. Lipman has farms throughout the country and supplies some of the biggest names in the restaurant and grocery industry.  The company's diverse operations include farming, repacking, procurement solutions, processing and research and development. Based in Immokalee, Fla., the company's highest volume crop is tomatoes, but also grows and markets peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, watermelon and potatoes.
Media Contact: Jenni Izzo,

Tax Transactions on Legal State Marijuana Sales
Carol Kokinis-Graves, JD
Senior State Tax Analyst
Wolters Kluwer, CCH
"With marijuana economies only a few months old in several states, many questions are being raised about tax rates for buyers and compliance measures for approved sellers. Each state's tax treatment of legal medical and/or recreational marijuana sales is different and very interesting when you compare different tax laws in place."
Kokinis-Graves is an attorney and senior state tax analyst who specialize in tracking, analyzing and reporting issues regarding state and local sales and use taxes. She also specializes in analyzing taxes related to the new marijuana economy in states with legal medical and recreational sales. She researches and covers current state legislation, court cases, administrative rulings and regulations. She has written articles that have appeared in The Journal of State Taxation, State Tax Review and Practitioner Perspectives and she has been a speaker at a number of industry conferences. She has also developed and authored several interactive research aids, which are available online through CCH IntelliConnect. She has also authored a continuing professional education course for accountants regarding use of the cost, income and sales-comparison approaches in the valuation of real estate. She possesses a thorough knowledge of state and local sales and use taxes.
Media Contact: Laura Gingiss,

Construction Industry Trends for 2014
Mike Bolen
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
"The construction industry is poised for a rebound at any moment. It is starting to happen regionally in Texas and California, where the number of builds have already started to outpace the local talent pool."
Bolen is available to discuss 2014 construction industry trends, including construction spending, employment, skills gap, LEED certification, regional growth, etc. He has 30 years of experience in construction, leading an employee-owned community builder that is 150 years old.
ProfNet Profile:
Media Contact: Brian Hyland,

Cloud Computing Creating New Careers for IT Pros
Ed Hill
College of Engineering & Information Sciences at DeVry University
"As a professor of information technology, the emerging trend I see driving the need for new skills in the technology sector is the growth of cloud computing. The cloud is bringing dynamic, new careers for today's and tomorrow's information technology students and professionals."
Hill is a professor in the College of Engineering & Information Sciences at DeVry University. He teaches computer information systems, database management and web development and administration. He has been a professor at DeVry University for over a decade and has more than 25 years of experience in information systems management and software development, as well as a background in accounting and finance. Hill has spent the majority of his professional career as a consultant, providing services for research facilities, health care clinics and a startup industrial manufacturing company. Previously, he was group leader for the Miramar chapter of the users group, an International .NET Association (INEA) group.
Media Contact: Collin Hurrell,

Monetizing Content as an Interactive Marketer
Maria Votlucka
Online Marketing Consultant
Miles Technologies
"Businesses can drive inbound success and truly monetize their content -- if they know the right content formula for their market."
Votlucka is an accomplished, versatile interactive marketer with an eye for monetizing content. An experienced marketing professional with a background in e-commerce consumer products, she is a leader at strategic marketing campaigns, website design strategies for SEO optimization, direct marketing, social media, inbound marketing, metrics and analysis and content creation. She has driven the implementation and launch of on-site personalization campaigns that have lifted online revenues and solidified online reputations. In her role at Miles Technologies, she develops, executes and analyzes marketing tactics for clients looking to win at inbound marketing. Her strengths in developing business relationships and strategic partnerships make Maria an invaluable resource for inbound marketing power.
Media Contact: Marie Alonso,

Innovative Business Software
Pinky Panjwani
Director of Software Technologies
Miles Technologies
"Business software is about innovation -- it is about pushing a business to climb to that next level of efficiency, automation, collaboration and opportunity."
Panjwani played an instrumental role in the development of business by MILES, the company's cloud-based business management software bringing all business management operations under one robust, mobile platform. Supervising the R&D software development team at Miles Technologies, she leads the company' s charge in innovation, quality, efficiency and collaboration -- delivering industry leading business software solutions for competitive businesses in today's mobile world. She holds a master's in computer science from the University of Southern California. She is an expert in core business technologies and a project champion in areas of software design and database architecture.
Media Contact: Marie Alonso,

Using Social Media for Recruiting New Hires
Luke Trovato
Talent Scout
Miles Technologies
"Social media plays an increasingly significant role in how hiring managers view prospective employees. Social media is very much a tool in recruiting, which is a new reality job seekers must accept."
Trovato develops and implements company recruiting strategies at Miles Technologies -- the 2013 first place winner in the Philadelphia Business Journal's Best Places to Work ranking. He coordinates college recruiting campaigns and events, as well as manages and executes marketing and branding initiatives related to expanding the recruiting message of Miles Technologies. He utilizes social media and a host of professional networking platforms and tools to consistently build and optimize a pool of well-qualified candidates. His fantastic people skills and team spirit make him an invaluable member of the Miles Technologies team. Additionally, he is a welcomed contributor to, blog of Staffing Industry Review, providing businesses with important expertise, insights, trends and tips for recruiting and staffing. He is a contributor to Small Business Trends and on topics of recruitment strategies.
Media Contact: Marie Alonso,



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Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at

  • THE EVOLUTION OF MEDIA: THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE JOURNALIST. With vast amounts of information being produced every day, it's a journalist's responsibility to sort, verify, and add context so audiences have the resources to think critically. Because of this, a good journalist will explore every tool out there. Read on to see the ways newsrooms and their journalists are adapting to today's digital media environment:
  • THE Q&A TEAM: YOUR NEXT SOCIAL MEDIA OBSESSION. When discussing well-known social media platforms that are used by many, most people think of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. But, what will be the next social media platform that will get everyone talking and signing up for? We asked our knowledgeable network of experts to share their opinion on this subject, and this is what they had to say:
  • THE RECIPE FOR A CAREER IN FOOD BLOGGING. On April 1 we hosted a #ConnectChat with Stephanie Wise, a baker and blogger for Girl Versus Dough. During the chat she explained how she turned her passion for baking into a blogging career. Check out a recap of the chat here:

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