Kellogg Magazine  |  Spring 2017




Tracking criminals, 30 seconds at a time
Steven Schiffman ’89 launched the Justice Network in 2015, using the popularity of crime television to help track criminals and keep kids safe

The former executive for companies including Kraft, NASCAR, The Weather Channel and National Geographic Channel, Steven Schiffman has turned to over-the-air broadcast television to launch the Justice Network, a crime/mystery/investigation channel that airs long-form, award-winning crime programming along with shorter most-wanted segments.

Each of the most-wanted segments runs 30 seconds and is hosted by former “America’s Most Wanted” frontman John Walsh. The network’s societal initiative aims at searching for fugitives, finding missing children and offering safety tips — all localized for each of the 83 markets the network serves.

“To my knowledge, there is no channel in the United States or in the world that dedicates that type of inventory for a societal benefit,” Schiffman says. “Through these interstitials, we have apprehended 78 fugitives and returned 63 missing kids to their families.”

Most of the network’s programming is syndicated content, although it does produce two original series: “Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer” and “Killing Spree.” Syndicated programs include “Alaska State Troopers” (which Schiffman developed while at National Geographic Channel) and “Cold Case Files.”

“Crime programming is about conflict, disagreement and scheming,” Schiffman says. “There’s just an incredible curiosity and intensity about this type of storytelling.”

The accidental politician
Charlotte Vere ’97, a current member of the UK’s House of Lords, moves from investment banking to Brexit

The news jolted the United Kingdom and the world: In June 2016, British voters chose to leave the European Union — a development known as “Brexit.”

Opposing Brexit in the referendum was Charlotte Vere, a former investment banker and lifelong Conservative whose political career came about “accidentally,” when she once ran as a candidate for a local council. But headier stuff awaited her. In January of 2016 she started Conservatives IN, a campaign to remain in the EU that received the backing of then-Prime Minister David Cameron.

“Over five months, we grew from just me to over 50 people and professional staff, had thousands of activists nationwide, spent a ton on Facebook, raised more money than we could ever have spent and secured the support of the majority of the cabinet, the majority of Conservative members of Parliament, and the majority of peers in the House of Lords,” Vere says.

But in the end, it was all for naught.

Brexit didn’t end Vere’s political career. Upon leaving office, Cameron offered her a life peerage, and last September she joined the House of Lords, the unelected upper chamber in the UK, as The Baroness Vere of Norbiton. She recently was appointed a government whip — or baroness-in-waiting — by current Prime Minister Theresa May.

“Where the UK goes from here is yet to be seen,” Vere says. “Time will tell and, quite remarkably, I will still be part of it.”

The secure company
More than two decades after serving as a tank platoon leader during the Persian Gulf War, Neal Creighton ’98 is waging a different war: upholding cybersecurity

As president and CEO of Waltham, Massachusetts-based CounterTack Inc., Neal Creighton manufactures endpoint threat detection and response technology for governments and businesses that span the globe. As routine headlines attest, there is no shortage of cyberthreats.

“What we focus on is the time between infection and detection,” says Creighton, who earned a JD-MBA at Kellogg. “All of these big data breaches you’re reading about happen over a long period of time. Criminals are in there for weeks, if not months, slowly pulling the data out. If you know they’re in there within minutes, you can stop these types of attacks.”

It was during his time at Kellogg that Creighton took a job with a secure messaging firm in Chicago. That fueled his interest “in the security space in general.” He later wrote his thesis on cryptography legislation around the world.

CounterTack is Creighton’s fourth security company — the other three have been acquired, including GeoTrust, which was purchased by VeriSign for $125 million — and he’s so far raised $70 million to support his latest venture.

“A lot of commercial companies like ours are doing a great service for our country because we’re helping develop technologies that can protect companies and corporate resources, which are very much at risk of cyberattack,” Creighton says. “Whether it’s energy or intellectual property, we’re able to help protect that.”