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Spirion gets $20M in new funding, beefs up executive team

Margie Manning

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Jen Holtvluwer, vice president of demand marketing, and Stanley Curtis, executive vice president, development, collaborate on 2020 product roadmap initiatives.

Spirion, a St. Petersburg-based data privacy company, is adding five senior executives after receiving $20 million in fresh capital.

The follow-on investment from Riverside Company, Spirion’s private equity owner, allows Spirion to accelerate product development and to market its offerings, said Kevin Coppins, president and CEO.

Spirion, based in downtown St. Petersburg, specializes in helping its corporate customers discover and classify sensitive data, so they can operate in compliance with laws and regulations designed to protect the personal data privacy of individuals. The company, which relocated to St. Petersburg from New York a few years ago, is a good fit for the Grow Smarter economic development strategy, which is designed to bring high-skill, high-wage jobs in targeted industries to the city.

“The reason this company was put on earth was to help organizations protect the sensitive data that we as consumers trust with them every single day. In order to make that a reality, it’s building the right leadership team that also believes that,” Coppins said. “We’re backing up the investment that our private equity partners and shareholders are making in us with the talent necessary to execute on it.”

Here are the five senior data security and technology leaders that have joined Spirion.

Michael Scott, chief privacy and security officer. Scott is a former chief information security officer for The Wendy’s Corp. and was executive director of the Office of the CISO at cybersecurity firm Optiv Inc.

“He understands what it’s like to work  as a CISO in a retail environment, a fast-paced environment. He understands what it’s like to live through a data breach,” Coppins said.

He will not only serve as Spirion’s chief security officer, but also will be an outside voice, representing the company at industry gatherings.

Scott will relocate to St. Petersburg from Atlanta.

Stanley Curtis, executive vice president, development. Curtis, who lives in the St. Petersburg area, most recently was chief technology officer at Tampa software Pilgrim Quality Solutions, which was sold by Riverside in 2017 to QuintilesIMS, which has since been renamed IQVIA.

“When I talked to him, he said, ‘this is not just a chance to build something, but to build something that matters,’” Coppins said, recalling his conversation with Curtis about joining Spirion.

Curtis is a 30-year veteran of the technology industry, previously leading the development of enterprise software for healthcare companies such as MTS Medication Technologies, McKesson Provider Technologies, and Kronos.

Scott M. Giordano, vice president and senior counsel, privacy and compliance

Giordano is an attorney with more than 20 years of legal, technology, and risk management consulting experience. He’s been at Spirion for a while, “and we promoted him into a role that helps him lean into that legal background to help organizations through the myriad of regulations that are happening every day,” Coppins said.

Giordano serves as Spirion’s subject matter expert on multinational data protection and its intersection with technology, export compliance, internal investigations, information governance and risk management. Before joining Spirion, he served as director, data protection for Robert Half Legal and established the global privacy program for Esterline Technologies Corp. He holds a patent for intelligent searching of electronically stored information, and taught the first law school course on electronic evidence and e-discovery.

Jen Holtvluwer, vice president of demand marketing

Holtvluwer is well-known in demand generation, or the process by which marketers get people excited about a new brand or product to generate demand.

She most recently was senior director of marketing and inside sales for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise in Denver. Before that, she was head of marketing and business development with Cherwell Software and she has held senior marketing positions with BMC Software, Pilgrim Quality Solutions and Dover Corporation.

She will split her time between Denver and St. Petersburg, Coppins said.

Tom Palomaki, senior vice president of sales

Palomaki has more than 25 years of executive sales, services and support leadership, channel partnership and operations experience in the software industry.

Before joining Spirion, he held leadership roles with Novell, Fortinet, BDNA, Flexera and LogRhythm. “He brings not just the sales DNA, but the full customer circle with him, which is why I think he will be a really good fit,” said Coppins, who has worked with Palomaki previously.

Palomaki lives in Rochester, New York, but will spend most of his time on the road, Coppins said.

Spirion has about 110 people on staff, most of them at the headquarters site, an entire floor at 200 Central in downtown St. Petersburg. That’s up from 35 people just a couple of years ago. The company continues to hire, with another 30 or so people coming on board by the end of 2020.

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