Lorelei Chernyshov
Director of Information Governance
Merrick Bank

Why Nominated Driven by impending changes wrought by new regulations such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Lorelei Chernyshov has focused on leading the integration of information assets with cybersecurity practices to better manage sensitive data location, accessibility and storage at Merrick Bank.

Profile: Observing a cultural mind shift within organizations away from data owners to custodians who safeguard information, providing transparency and consent, Chernyshov has driven that change at Merrick.

By advocating the importance of being a custodian of data, Chernyshov’s efforts have pushed Merrick into an efficiency transformation. She has forged a close partnership between the information governance and security teams, encouraging candid conversations with each department and collaborative team in effort to align on core decisions that affect strategy and the business.

From her first days at Merrick, Chernyshov evaluated the bank’s existing security tools and determined it needed a comprehensive program that mapped the current security infrastructure as part of the information vision. After a gap analysis assessment of what was needed and the potential tools that could get the organization into its intended state, she set about educating the business, first by stepping back to explain the purpose of the security program beyond being a line item in the budget.

One yawning gap she found was the lack of an identity governance program that could help manage employee access to applications and data, including data classification and mapping. That led her to spearhead a 2019 effort to adopt technology that would help address the compliance gap, efficiency issues and lack of data oversight. Thanks to Chernyshov’s efforts, Merrick is now thinking about data in a much broader way and the ramifications for not properly managing it.

What colleagues say: “Lorelei Chernyshov has worked for me at two different companies. I have always found her to be thoughtful, reliable, honest, detail- oriented, and hard working. She is an asset to my team because of her ability to consider different options, and to bring new ideas to the table. I can always rely on Lorelei to have researched the topic under discussion, and to bring citations in support of her position. She thinks things through, and always comes up with new ideas and solutions. Lorelei’s dedication to doing the right thing is critical to our success, and I often seek Lorelei’s opinion when critical decisions need to be made. I am impressed with her desire to continue to learn new things, and to stay current in her education. Lorelei can be counted on to consider multiple options, discuss them with others, and to bring solutions when the time comes for discussion. Lorelei has a passion for information governance, and she is a great ambassador for data and information usage within the Bank. She articulates well the importance of data classification, retention, and especially business need to the various stakeholders, and is a great asset in helping them to understand the importance of being a true data steward within the business unit. She keeps herself informed of new legislation as it is being considered, and quickly assesses its impact on our business. Others within the various business units seek out her opinion, and rely on Lorelei to provide contemporary thoughts on the subject. Lorelei is a great team player, and a wonderful asset to our organization. She is an important member of my leadership team. I am grateful to have her expertise on the team. She is very deserving of this honor.” – Ken Knapton, senior vice president and CIO, Merrick Bank

Teri Robinson