Global Reach, Local Connections

This past month I was fortunate to be able to preside over the 5th Middle East Security Conference and Exhibition in
Dubai. As you can see from the photos, there was incredible energy at this event, which combined with great educational sessions, leading edge exhibitors, and a beautiful venue, resulted in both record attendance and high attendee satisfaction. Abdulrahman F. Al-Wuhaib’s keynote did a masterful job of defining the challenges and opportunities for the security profession and I encourage you to take a moment to read his speech and reflect on his prescient insights.

Kudos to conference chairman John Cowling, and the program committee including Khalid Buali, CPP, Jeff Lee, CPP, Albadr Jannah, Jean Perois, CPP, PCI, PSP, and Turki Al-Turki, for putting on such an outstanding event. And special thanks to Andy Smith, CPP, assistant director, security at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, for taking time to show me some of the intricate security measures that protect the visitors, employees, and residents of this magnificent building.

While in Dubai I met with members of the Riyadh chapter, a group whose numbers have swelled in recent years, as well as attended an ASIS Middle East Advisory Council meeting. We have a phenomenal leadership team in place and I believe we are poised to see significant growth in this region within the next few years.

During these meetings, the exchange of business cards amidst discussions about security management challenges, crystalized the ASIS membership value proposition for me. While local chapters bring our mission to life in communities around the globe, there are universal core values and a common body of knowledge that unite all members. It's because of these shared values, outlined in our Code of Ethics, we know, if faced with a security-related concern, we can turn to the member directory and find a colleague willing to assist.

I can attest to this firsthand. Early in my career, I needed to quickly get up to speed on supply chain security issues. I called Lou Tyska, CPP, chair of the supply chain security council, and his advice and guidance proved instrumental. In fact, it was his enthusiasm and personal interest in my success that led me to join the council and started me on the path to volunteer leadership in ASIS. The combination of global reach and local connections exemplifies the true value of membership. Whether it’s around the corner or across the continent, members consistently reach out to help other members. These are the kind of relationships that cannot be replicated online or through a casual meeting at an industry event. It’s the power of the ASIS network.

I will be in New York City March 13-14 for the 24th ASIS NYC Security Conference & Expo and then on to The Hague in early April for our 13th European Security Conference & Exhibition. These programs focus on issues specific to their regions, as well as common challenges—cyber security, loss prevention, emergency management— faced by practitioners worldwide. In New York, we’ll discuss the findings from the joint ASIS/IOFM U.S. Security Industry: Size and Scope, Insights, Trends, and Data study and the implications for security practitioners, providers, and manufacturers. It’s just one part of a stellar program, which includes two full days of education, exhibits, and free career coaching and resume reviews.

If you plan to be at either event, please take a moment to find me and say hello.