Rodney McLeod, CEO/CO-Founder
Rodney is a 20-year Air Force veteran. He has worked as a civil service employee for two and half years, as a contractor for the US government for twelve and half years and a business owner for McLeod Information Systems (MIS) for the past 5 years. He has had numerous roles throughout the IT industry.
Rodney’s education includes Military leadership training, The NCO academy and the Senior NCO Academy, Community College of the Air Force with an AAS in Information Systems Technology and certifications: Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation certified and a CMMC-AB Registered Practitioner.
Rodney is a member of (ISC)2 and founded the (ISC)2 Charleston Chapter. He currently serves on the state SCTech Educational committee, and the Cooper River Center for Advanced Studies Technical committee.
Debbie McLeod, President/Co-Founder
Debbie McLeod is the President and Apprenticeship Director for McLeod Information Systems. Debbie spent several years as an Elementary Educator in multiple Title 1 schools in the states of Florida and Alabama. In 2016, she and her husband, Rodney McLeod, combined his cybersecurity expertise with her desire to enrich students’ lives and opened McLeod Information Systems. Debbie organized and set up the first Registered Cybersecurity Youth Apprenticeship in the state of South Carolina and is the program director. Debbie is a strong advocate for career opportunities for the underserved populations. She is a member of the State Employer’s Council for Apprenticeship Carolina and a Co-chair for the NICE Apprenticeship in Cybersecurity Community of Interest group.
In 2016 we began the company with a single division, Government contracting while working for another technology company. The initial work was some small consulting opportunities to support the local Navy Base. Then in September 2017 we were awarded a lucrative sub-contract to support to a major federal agency in cybersecurity services with three full time employees. We also achieved Service-Disabled Veteran Small Business certification (SDVOSB). To support our efforts in perusing government contracting opportunities we decided to become a HUBZone certified company. The requirements are to have the main office in a HUBZone and 35% of your staff live in a HUBZone. December 1, 2018, we rented an office in North Charleston which is in the HUBZone. The location of the office selection was chosen because of the close proximity to the North Charleston High School. This will allow the students to walk to the office after school solving transportation issues for the students. To support the HUBZone employee requirement we decided to bring on interns from the local high schools. This is aligned with our vision of helping young disadvantaged students and Debbie McLeod, having experience in teaching in Title one schools, knows firsthand that there are students who need to be met with opportunity. We set out speaking at the schools and working with teachers to find the students that will fit within the program. We launched the internship program in January 2019. The company provided work for the students to have hands on learning opportunities and an income to help support themselves.
In July 2019 a partnership, born from collaboration between Apprenticeship Carolina, Charleston County School District (CCSD) and Trident Technical College, began. Local high school students that are interested in cybersecurity can begin an internship in their sophomore/junior year to introduce them to the cybersecurity work environment. If they choose to continue, they can begin their pursuit in the apprenticeship program. Through Apprenticeship Carolina grants, their education at Trident Technical College is mostly paid for. They also are paid their work hours at MIS. The goal is to have them graduate from TTC with a degree in cybersecurity, multiple certifications in cybersecurity, with at least 3 years of OJT. This makes them highly marketable in a job market that has large potential for growth.
In January 2020 we were awarded the HUBZone certification. This allows us to market our services to the government with perforation treatment on cost and the ability for direct awards.
We currently taking steps to separate the divisions and let each division stand on their own. The Government contract Division brings in enough revenue to sustain the team, cover benefits and rent of the building. The small business and apprenticeship program has been difficult to launch during the pandemic.