Q. How did your career aspirations lead you to the security industry?
A. Post 9/11, I was asked by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, to lead an effort to centralize the various security functions within the organization. At the time, these disciplines were spread throughout the different divisions with several of the programs requiring a more robust application. I came into this new role with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience and I thought I knew all there was to know about security management. A presumption that was quickly brought to rest!
To increase my knowledge base, I began to engage with other members of ASIS International to learn more about the private security sector and evaluate the efficacy of security systems and processes within the ATF. My experiences led to changes at the ATF. The agency's new headquarters building was the first to incorporate the new U.S. General Services Administration's security requirements resulting from the Oklahoma City Bombing. The ATF also adopted the new Chief Security Officer (CSO) construct within the executive management team.
Q. Why did you decide to volunteer some of your personal time to assist ASIS?
A. I wish I could say that I give back to the organization more than I receive, however that has not been my experience.
ASIS International has always been at the center of my individual development, as both a security practitioner and a manager. From the training seminars where I learned valuable information and met security professionals who were willing to share their experiences and best practices, to the rigorous preparation for the board certifications, this has always been true. All have profoundly influenced my ability to contribute to all aspects of my company's operations and, most importantly, the organization's overall growth and profitability.
Q. What are a few of ASIS's current strong points as a professional society?
A. The Society's greatest strengths continue to be the technical and geographical diversity of our membership and the "can do" attitude of our vast network of volunteer leaders.
Although ASIS represents a variety of different industries and countries, we still tend to speak the same security language while nurturing and promoting the value of professional expertise. Our volunteer leaders throughout the world are second to none and represent a critical resource that has yet to be fully harnessed.
The annual seminar is also one of ASIS's great assets. Last year's event in Dallas was proof that participants will return home smarter, with a more substantial peer network and more exposure to the industry's most current product and service innovations. It will be the most important week of the security professional's year.
Q. How do you hope to see ASIS evolve in the next few years?
A. In an environment where the business topography is constantly changing, our success as an organization is directly aligned with our continuous ability to provide cutting-edge products and services that add a high value and a broad application to the membership.
As we all routinely experience in both our professional and personal lives, success is not something that just happens; it requires a plan and sound execution. Simply stated, my hope as we progress forward is that you will see a more agile and adaptable organization grounded by a strategic planning process—a process that fosters initiatives that are designed to identify the risks to our industry, assess their impact, contrast that to the cost of prevention, and then develop appropriate strategies for the future.
Fortunately, 2017 President Tom Langer, CPP, made that construct the centerpiece of his tenure on the Board. CEO Peter O'Neil, CAE, provided experience and leadership around staff implementation to support Tom's vision, so the Society is better positioned to identify and forecast the next opportunities on the horizon.
Those opportunities are already emerging, with the rebranding of our premier event, the Annual Seminar and Exhibits. For more than 60 years, ASIS has provided education, networking, and access to cutting-edge technologies through the seminar. It is gratifying to see such a respected event move to the next level. This year's event in Las Vegas, Nevada, from September 23 to 27 will embody ASIS's commitment to bringing thousands of industry leaders from across the globe together for the most comprehensive security event in the world.
Q. ASIS currently has international members, but how can it grow into a truly global organization?
A. The Board and staff recognize that our prevailing operating model is obsolete and no longer aligns with the structural changes that have taken place in the global environment. Through O'Neil's leadership, much has been accomplished this past year in the area of organizational development in an effort to enhance the alignment of ASIS functions and services to meet the challenges of current and emerging membership markets.
Additionally, the findings and recommendations of an ad hoc working group, led by board member John Petruzzi, CPP, which focused on the expansion of the Society's international presence, have been incorporated into the latest ASIS International strategic plan.
Q. Will security managers of the future primarily be risk managers, business drivers, or something else?
A. The security professional of the future will be well versed in all of the above and then some!
Hopefully by now you have started to hear the buzz around enterprise security risk management (ESRM), a philosophy and practice that leverages a comprehensive management process to effectively address security risks across the enterprise.
By leveraging the expertise of our volunteer leaders, ASIS International is now strategically positioned to be at the forefront for the promulgation of ESRM training and guidelines. I would encourage the members to take advantage of the various ESRM training deliveries during the annual seminar and exhibits.
ASIS International and the cadre of volunteers continue to provide the framework for success—now and into the future. Take advantage of this great opportunity and get involved!