About our company
Vendor Safe Technologies was founded in Houston, Texas in 1989. We have earned our clients’ trust with an unfailing ability to manage the business environment while delivering unsurpassed levels of data reliability and security. From the beginning, our philosophy has always been to look for ways to improve your business. By taking ownership of your problems, we are able to focus on what your needs are and deliver an effective security plan. We are there to support you 24 x 7 so that you can rely upon rapid and reliable issue resolution.
Christopher Melson >
Chief Executive Officer
Chris Melson has extensive experience in the high technology and computer markets, including large, medium, and start-up organizations. Chris was with Tandem Computers, a $2B fault tolerant computer manufacturer from 1989 to 1996 in expanding roles culminating as Director of Program Management where he ran all development programs for Tandem’s Unix Fault Tolerant platform. From 1997 through 1999, Chris was Texas Micro’s as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for all engineering and product marketing aspects of Texas Micro’s product line. In 1999, Texas Micro was acquired by RadiSys where Chris served as vice president and general manager for RadiSys Corporation’s Telecommunications division until 2003 when Chris founded Augmentix Corporation, a start-up company, which raised a total of $11.5 million in venture capital culminating with a successful exit through acquisition by a publicly traded company in 2007. Chris joined Vendor Safe Technologies as President and CEO in 2007.
Today, as Vendor Safe’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris has instilled a culture focused on customer satisfaction which has resulted in large design wins with multi-billion dollar customers who come back to Vendor Safe time and time again to add additional features and capabilities. Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Computing Science from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas. Additionally, he has earned multiple academic and industry awards for outstanding professional performance.
Mark Cyprus >
Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder
Mark Cyprus is the driving force behind the company’s technical direction and product offerings. Since 2004, Mark has been designing and implementing Vendor Safe’s Network Detecting Firewall Architecture. His innovative network design has expanded the capabilities of cost effective VPNs using limited network hardware. With a specialization in N+1 redundancy and extensive network architecture knowledge of firewalls, switches, load balancers, IDP, secure access, monitoring systems, and VM architecture, he creates highly redundant, cost effective hardware solutions for Vendor Safe’s PCI offerings. Mark is also responsible for working with the Patent Office to protect Vendor Safe’s unique intellectual property.
Bradley Cyprus >
Bradley K. Cyprus
Chief of Security and Compliance
Bradley K. Cyprus has more than 23 years experience in the security industry. He manages the development of in-house solutions to validate compliance, and he is a resource that Vendor Safe customers can rely upon to help interpret the PCI standard as it relates to specific, real-life examples. He is a member of the Virtualization SIG of the PCI Security Standards Council and sits on the PCI committee of the RSPA — Retail Solutions Providers Association. He is also a member of the Data Security Standards committee for PCATS — Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards as a PCI Expert.
Brad has a Systems Security Certified Practitioner certificate, an (ISC)2 SSCP, certificate as well as Juniper Networks and several other vendor specific certifications. Brad earned a Bachelor of Art degree from Emory University in Atlanta, and has had several works published.
Tracy Libertino >
Senior Vice President
Tracy Libertino brings extensive experience in IT management and consulting to Vendor Safe, most recently focusing on PCI compliance forleading retail and foodservice organizations. Her career spans more than 20years in the information technology, specialty retail, grocery, hospitality and foodservice industries. Tracy comes to Vendor Safe from Accuvia, where she served as worldwide managing director of consulting and expanded the firm’s practice to include PCI compliance, risk management, and security solutions for their retail and foodservice clients. She has advised Fortune 500 clients on high-level strategic initiatives, business process optimization, specializing in global project management, operations, quality control and large-scale software selection and implementation. Prior to joining Accuvia, her positions included vice president of Corporate Compliance and Quality for Practical Software Solutions, regional vice president of Consulting, Staffing and Infrastructure for Pomeroy Consulting Group and consulting director of Strategic Software Solutions for BCG.Currently, Tracy manages Sales, Marketing, Compliance and Vendor Safe’s rapidly growing professional services organization and oversees the Company’s national accounts and channel partner program. Tracy provides strategic company direction, industry analysis, technology trends and forecasting while identifying new market opportunities for growth and global expansion. A regular contributor and speaker at technology events; Tracy received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA in Global Business from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Russ Ferrill >
Vice President of Software Development
Russ Ferrill has more than 20 years experience in the design, implementation, management, deployment, and maintenance of custom business process software. Prior to joining Vendor Safe, Russ was founder and president of Jarfco, a custom business software solution provider. While with Jarfco, Russ designed and implemented an eCommerce website for a major personal computer utility software company. Russ also designed and programmed store and customer management software for the largest chain of health clubs in Houston at the time. This application included distributed updating of data at all locations, instant lookup of member data, real-time photo capture, and automated electronic credit-card billing.
Russ joined Vendor Safe in 1999 and is responsible for the design and management of all custom software engagements for both in-house and client projects. He has designed mission-critical business software systems for several Vendor Safe clients in Houston, including the architecture and oversight of a fully automated, real-time sales commission calculation and presentation system for The Mattress Firm, a $350 million furniture company. Russ ensures that Vendor Safe has the software and automation systems required to allow the company to grow quickly while continuing to manage its data and customer relations efficiently. Russ has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Rutgers University.
Don Tomlinson >
Chief Legal Officer
Don Tomlinson is responsible for the legal side of the many agreements in which Vendor Safe is a party, and he is responsible for corporate governance, intellectual property matters, and counseling senior management. Prior to joining Vendor Safe, he was Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center where he directed the Transactional Law Clinic and taught Transactional Law, Contract Drafting and Negotiating, and Entertainment Law. He has been practicing law since 1977, and he has been a mediator and arbitrator since the early 1990s. He is a member of the mediation and arbitration panels of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
He has been general counsel at several companies, including an international franchisor with nine brands in Houston and an entertainment company in Nashville, Tennessee. In the early 80s, Don was a Deputy Attorney General in his native state of Arkansas. He also served on the faculty at Texas A&M University for nearly 20 years. He holds an LL.M. in intellectual property law from UHLC, a J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, a master's degree from the University of North Texas, and a bachelor's degree from Arkansas State University.