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Meet Celerium: Getting to Know Chris Gundel

Jun 1, 2021 3:43:36 PM

Chris Gundel is Celerium's COO. In addition to running our development and technical operations team, he leads our CMMC work including our CMMC Accreditation Body affiliations and creation of our CMMC Insights courses

Share a little bit about your background. 

I previously served as GM of products & services at NC4, a leading global provider of threat intelligence solutions that empower businesses, government organizations, and communities to assess and disseminate risk data and information to manage and mitigate the impact of critical events. (Celerium was previously an NC4 company; NC4 was acquired by Everbridge in 2019). 

Before that, I served as the worldwide customer training and certification leader for IBM Tivoli. I'm experienced in software development life cycle, courseware development, training delivery, and certification testing. My formal education includes a PhD, MS and MBA. 

As COO, what does your average day look like?

As COO, I run the development and technical operations teams to ensure our solutions meet all quality gates and compliance standards. 

I also lead the CMMC work. Celerium launched the CMMC Academy in January 2020 as a free initiative to help defense suppliers and government contractors navigate and understand the CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) requirements.  The Academy provides free resources, including an online reference guide and free self-assessment tool, in addition to informational videos and webinars.  

Celerium and the CMMC Academy also have several CMMC Accreditation Body (CMMC AB) affiliations. We were one of the first companies approved to be both a Licensed Training Provider (LTP) and a Licensed Partner Publisher (LPP). 

  • As a Licensed Partner Publisher (LPP), Celerium is authorized to develop content to train CMMC Assessors who will be assessing DoD defense suppliers.
  • As a Licensed Training Provider (LTP), Celerium also will be able to deliver training courses to CMMC assessors.
  • We also are a Registered Provider Organization (RPO). 

We're using the insights we get from our CMMC AB experience to build CMMC Insights courses for organizations seeking CMMC certification. 

You're leading the development of Celerium/CMMC Academy's new CMMC Insights courses for U.S. government contractors. Why are these courses important? 

Now is the time for companies to get ready for CMMC assessments. It's not widely known that CMMC assessors will be looking for companies to show habitual and persistent implementation of CMMC practices. That means that companies can't wait until right before an assessment to implement practices. 

And, it can take several months for companies at various CMMC levels to implement CMMC practices and prepare objective evidence that assessors will be looking for. 

Our CMMC Insights courses can help companies prepare for CMMC assessments through comprehensive instructional material as well as valuable tools including an advanced self-assessment tool and advanced reference guide. 

The courses also provides updates on CMMC as the program evolves and as there is more clarity on gray areas like reciprocity. Subscribers to the course have access for 12 months so they will benefit from these updates. 

Our CMMC Insights courses are for companies seeking Level 1 or 3 certification, but it’s also important for prime contractors, who may certify at Level 4 or 5, to ensure their subs are also compliant. The Level 1 course is available now, and the Level 3 course is coming in July. 

 

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

I like to spend time with family. I also enjoy engaging in high-intensity functional workouts that combine principles of applied kinesiology with practices from historical fencing.

What’s the last book or movie you recommended to someone?

NON-FICTION: “This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race” by Nicole Perlroth

FICTION: “Gates of Fire “ by Steven Pressfield, a historical fiction novel that recounts the Battle of Thermopylae where 300 Spartans defend the mountain pass of Thermopylae against thousands of invading Persians.

 

Looking for information on CMMC or NIST compliance programs? Explore our free resources here. Want more information on the CMMC Insights course for government contractors? Contact us today to learn more!