Awards and Accolades

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Innovator of The Year

The Executives’ Club Chicago / Feburary, 2017

Ray Hicks nominated for Innovator of The Year award by the The Executives’ Club Chicago

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Contributing to the Chicago tech boom

Built in Chicago / March, 2017

Named by Built in Chicago as 1 of 7 companies contributing to the Chicago tech boom

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Advanced Security Architecture Specialization

Cisco Systems / November 2016

By achieving the Advanced Security Architecture Specialization, 5thColumn LLC has proven they have the ability to provide sophisticated, value-added Cisco solutions through their in-depth sales capabilities, technology skills and service offerings.

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Cisco Champion

Cisco Systems / 2015

Cisco Champions are seasoned IT technical experts and influencers who enjoy sharing their knowledge, expertise, and thoughts across the social web and with Cisco. The Cisco Champions program encompasses different areas of interest, such as Data Center, Internet of Things, Enterprise Networks, Collaboration and Security. Cisco Champions are located all over the world.

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Cisco Security Advisory Board

Cisco Elected / October 2013

Elected by internal sponsorship to provide input and partner feedback to product development and enhanced roadmap capabilities specifically for security related architectures, products, and convergence of Information Assurance and the "internet of everything".

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Information Security Technical Visionary Award 2010

GCN / February 2011

Recognized as thought leader and visionary for research and publications related to the evolution of information security and the challenges ahead as we move towards an organic infrastructure incorporating real time awareness.

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Honorary Speaker Department of Justice Security Summit

Federal CIO council / October 2004

Federal conference regarding IT security and Information assurance I was presented with an award honoring my forward thinking and execution regarding my design and implementation of the Homeland Security Day One Network and Security Architectures and Operations Centers.

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Excellence in Leadership and Service Delivery

Department of Homeland Security / May 2003

As the chief architect and technical director for the design and implementation of Dept. of Homeland Security network and security architecture. Special Advisory services to Executive Office of the White House and GAO as only civilian participant in strategic vision working groups.

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SAIC / December 2003

STARS award is given to individual who is nominated by their peers within each business unit at SAIC. It is often given to a thought leader or visionary who drove the business into new areas, increased business unit performance and who increased value and contract size. Selected winner out of 20 submitted candidates for the year.



Simply the most impressive group of experienced, highly creative thinkers I have ever consulted with from any vendor on any project; PERIOD!
Scott Drodek, Director IT Operations, Easynews Inc.
5thColumn applied their security expertise and delivered a highly secure / high performance data access and storage solution with almost no cost increase or schedule drift. Thank you.
Richard Wesley, Executive In Charge, Network Operations Advanced Research Technologies
Ray possesses an incredible ability to assess your current situation and accurately provide innovative and cutting edge solutions that meet your budgetary requirements. Straight talk, sound advice, and always willing to go the extra mile to meet your company's needs. I HIGHLY recommend Ray and 5thColumn for ALL of your IT needs.
IT Operations Manager, Contractor at Charles Industries, Ltd.
The team at 5thColumn came in with very short notice, analyzed our situation and quickly worked through our challenges with a high level of technical and professional knowledge. They brought the right resources to the table and worked diligently to identify and resolve our issues quickly.
Tim Walter, Chief Information Officer, Akoo International Inc.
It is infrequent that you find a brilliant IT engineer with the capacity to communicate a complex scenario in an easy to understand format. Ray Hicks is such and engineer. Very few people in the Network/Security industry possess the knowledge and expertise that Ray brings to the table. It is a delight to know that he works for me and not against me.
William Connolly, Sr Enterprise Account Executive at LANStatus.

Additional Awards

Additional Recognitions

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2017 Industry First

Announcement of first industry-backed cyber warranty with Cyence and Schinnerer

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2017 Major Milestone

Launch of new data center in partnership with TierPoint, Panduit and Cisco

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2017 Featured Exhibitor

Cisco Live - Featured exhibitor in Security Partner Village at Cisco Live, Las Vegas

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2017 Tech Press Conference

Rahm Emmanuel credits 5thColumn as part of 1000+ new Chicago jobs during Tech Press Conference

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2017 INC. 5000 List

One of the fastest growing companies in the country

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2017 Chicago Inno's

Nominated for Chicago Inno’s Coolest Companies Award

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2016, July – Featured

Cisco Live in Las Vegas

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2016, July – Nominated

Chicago Inno’s Coolest Companies Award

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2016, August – Finalist

Chicago Innovation Award for Hottest Technologies

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2013 Cisco Security Advisory Board

Cisco Internal Invitational Program

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2012 Strategic Visionary

CyberSecurity / Enterprise Division (Gartner)

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2012 CIO

Innovator of the year nominee

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2011 OSVDB

Advancement In Exploit Code Development

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2011 Mobile Device Security National Thought Leader


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Thought Leader Common Exploit Database Framework

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2009 IETF "Strategic Visionary"


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2009 Contributer of the year

Instrument of Success" Award DARPA

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2006 Congressional award for Small Business Industry Leaders


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2006 National Leadership Award - State of Colorado

by National Business Advisory Council

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2006 National Business Advisory Council

Honorary Chariman for the National Business Advisory Council

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2003 SAIC STARS Award

Top 10 performing employees year 2003


Additional Accolades

Ray Hicks is a progressive leader, who brings enthusiasm, excellence, and a true entrepreneurial spirit to every life endeavor. He demonstrates a unique diversity of both business and technology skill and experience that enables him to push the envelope; to succeed where others have failed to progress or simply been beaten by the process. Ray is not afraid of potential failure, learns from every setback, never gives up, and always remembers his friends and associates. His accomplishments speak for themselves.
David McDougall, President & CEO, In8ive Enterprises, Inc.
5thColumn was brought into Amita for the sole purpose of ensuring maximum protection and effective planning and operation of our cyber strategy. We have had minimal issues since engaging them which is high contrast to life before 5thColumn and BOSS.”
Nidhi Luthra – CISO
As an IT consulting firm it is important we chose partners carefully. 5thColumn was recommended to us by Cisco and was assessed alongside 11 other competing market leaders. It took less than 24 hours for 5thColumn to deploy BOSS and eliminate 10 competitors. 48 hours later 5th Column was our chosen partner. Excited to have just renewed our contract for 3 more years.
Todd Camm - CISO
IJIS Institute (US Department of Justice Integrated Information System) chose 5th Column’s NIST based solution to support government agencies and enterprises at all levels to contain incidents and protect valuable sensitive information from ending up in the wrong hands all
Jim Emmerson – Director of White Collar Crime Center Department of Homeland Security delivered as a service in a single pane of glass.

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