Scott Price is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Tampa-headquartered cybersecurity and compliance firm, A-Lign. His numerous industry awards and nominations include Accounting Today’s 2016 Managing Partner Elite and Ernst & Young’s 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year Florida Award (finalist). Price is also a 2022 Florida State University Hall of Fame Inductee.
I grew up in Pinellas County in Clearwater when McMullen Booth Road was two lanes, I used to ride horses up and down the road. It was pretty rural during that time and I grew up on an acre.
I went to Countryside high school and then Florida State. I only applied to one college because it was the only one my parents said I could go to. I knew it’s where I wanted to go.
I started at Arthur Andersen. When the Enron debacle happened in 2002, I started my first company with a colleague. At 33, I started over on my own and created the company that would become A-Lign.
Over the past few years, I’ve seen firsthand how technology is adapting for our needs. With the pandemic, we saw the rise of programs like Zoom and Microsoft Teams which met the needs of teleconferencing and connectivity for a remote workforce. Now we’re seeing AI meet the needs of a smaller workforce trying to accomplish more objectives. I’ve also learned that this adaptation looks different on a country-by-country basis but, wherever I’m going, the technology is evolving to meet our needs and with that comes the rise of new threats.
A common misconception about cybersecurity is that if you do the controls once, everything’s good. It’s like saying, “I installed locks on my doors so no one can break in.” You may change your password or install a firewall, but the bad guys are always trying. They have to be right once, we have to be right all the time.
One of the great things about being in Tampa is that I’ve gotten a lot of people who ask me to mentor their son or daughter, and I love doing it. Everyone can be competent and punch their ticket by working hard in school, but I tell my mentees to become involved in student, industry and alumni organizations. Involvement leads to relationships which lead to opportunities. The gentleman that hired me in 1997 at Arthur Andersen, I still have a relationship with, over 25 years later.
I love being out on my boat. Even though I had to get out there at 7 a.m. this morning to move it to St. Pete because of an impending storm, I love it. One of my bucket list items is to spend a summer taking the boat south through the Caribbean islands.
I don’t have a magic formula but for hiring, I look for people that care, and people that want to learn. We’re all gonna make mistakes and it hurts. If you want to learn, be better and master your craft, you won’t make the same mistake twice. If you care about others, you’ll want them to succeed too.
When you travel for your professional life, I think it just gets into your blood. When I retire, I’m looking forward to a lot more travel and not having to cut a trip short to rush back to the office. That, and not having to constantly check my phone. I want to be more present, spending more time traveling and spending time in my favorite places – New York, Italy, and Ireland, where I’m from.
I think authenticity is a big deal. It shows whether or not you truly care about people and allows you to show how much you care. It’s so important, especially in a digital world where things can feel so transactional. I think my staff likes that I’m authentic, I laugh, I cry, I get in there with them and I don’t watch from the press box. The people in my life know that when I say they can call me at 2 a.mThat’s the truth.
It may be a little corny, but that special song for me is Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. I remember as a kid, I’d go to Florida State University football games and it would be playing as I was sitting in the stands, always with my dad.
Starting my day on the treadmill and finishing it on the boat with a sunset is the perfect day. As an entrepreneur, I think a lot of us are the same, we don’t sleep much, cause you’re constantly thinking about work. When I’m doing those two activities, I find that I’m able to disconnect and think about work less.