Member Impact Stories

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Paving Paths for Success

For more than 60 years, ASIS International has helped advance the careers of thousands of security professionals across all industry sectors. The stories below illustrate the value of ASIS membership and how it can help you reach new heights in your professional development. Read their stories and share your own.​



Bonnie Michelman, CPP
Executive Director of Police, Security, and Outside Services
Massachusetts General Hospital

In the early afternoon of April 15, 2013, terrorists bombed the Boston Marathon. Bonnie Michelman, CPP, the executive director of police, security and outside services at Massachusetts General Hospital, was walking near the hospital and, upon hearing the news, immediately l​aunched into crisis mode. Her first thoughts were, How bad will this be? Do we have enough resources? Is this the start of more explosions all over the city or even within the hospital?

As thousands of people, some severely injured, poured into the hospital, Bonnie and her team went on high alert. She had to decide whether to lock down the hospital, which would have had major ramifications for many patients and visitors. She was surrounded by terrified employees, visitors, and patients and an overwhelmed staff trying to triage in the emergency department. She was worried the bombers may have been hurt and brought to Mass General—which would have incurred difficulty and risk in figuring out who they were. She also had to deal with the relentless media onslaught that followed the terrorist act.

This horrific situation would test the mettle, education, and experience of even the most seasoned security professional. When asked how she kept calm and provided leadership, Bonnie attributed her performance to years of experience, preparation, and education gleaned from many sources, including ASIS International.

Bonnie calls ASIS the “most helpful influence in my entire career,” and never was that more evident than on that April afternoon when everything she knew was required to do her job well. Her mind immediately went to her Certified Protection Professional (CPP) certification, her ASIS disaster education, and knowledge from ASIS colleagues who had dealt with major disasters and had previously shared their best-practices responses.

Massachusetts General Hospital is more secure today than ever. Bonnie says security is visible, and diverse training includes drills and risk assessments to keep everyone abreast of new issues. She remains confident that, no matter what happens, her membership and involvement in ASIS International will keep her at the forefront of the security industry and will be the silent, powerful partner that helps keep her employees and patients safe.

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Louis Malin
Regional Security Officer, Dubai
Zurich Insurance

I couldn’t do my job without ASIS.
Louis Malin
Zurich Insurance

As the Dubai-based Regional Security Officer for Zurich Insurance, Louis Malin is responsible for the safety of his employees as they travel the world. He often finds himself in the position of supporting risk engineers in areas fraught with tension and terrorism. Nigeria, for example, is home to many oil and gas companies that want Zurich Insurance to underwrite their rigs or other vulnerable sites. The only way the company can accept that risk is through conducting site assessments.

Recently, Louis had to support a risk engineer in a part of the world where Boko Haram, a notorious terrorist organization, was very active. Kidnappings, requests for ransom and explosions were part of the daily news. Louis needed to know whether or not his employees would be safe. While he followed several news sources, he knew the situation on the ground could change instantly. He needed firsthand information on where the threat was, and how relevant it was to his engineers.

Louis—who quips that most conversations with colleagues begin with, “Are you a member of ASIS?”—knew just who to call. His membership in the CSO Center gives him global reach, connecting him to C-level security professionals who are meeting challenges just like his in every corner of the globe. Louis’ ASIS contacts in Nigeria told him that the threats making the headlines were originating in another part of the region, and his risk engineers would be safe. To​ Louis, membership in the ASIS CSO Center is essential. “It’s my bread and butter. When you’re responsible for security, you have to make sure your guys are safe… you can’t take your eyes off of it. I couldn’t do my job without ASIS.”

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Robert Johnson
Training and Development Manager
Securitas Security Services

When you’re a member of ASIS, you’re a member of an international family. There’s nothing we won’t do to help our fellow members.
Robert Johnson
Securitas Security Services

Meet Robert Johnson, a training and development manager for Securitas Security Services. His first job in the security industry in 1979 was as a uniformed security officer. He realized then that he had found his true calling, and decided to make security his lifetime work.

Robert didn’t realize, though, that the security industry closely rides the tide of economics. He was stunned the first time a large corporate downsizing affected him personally. Quickly, he tried to find another job. Equally quickly, he was disheartened to realize he didn’t know where to turn. He eventually found a job, but over the next several years, downsizing hit him again. It was difficult being solo on his journey. But he is convinced his ASIS involvement was the sole reason he was right back to work in less than a month

In 1999, Robert joined ASIS. He served as a chapter chair for a few years, and this position enabled him to reach out to many companies in the association. His broad smile and infectious laugh earned him a huge network of friends, and soon he was known as “the ASIS guy of Rhode Island.”

The next time Robert needed a new job, he had an entire network of ASIS members wanting to help him. As he said, “When you’re a member of ASIS, you’re a member of an international family. There’s nothing we won’t do to help our fellow members.”

Robert tells prospective members that ASIS has shaped his career. As a member of ASIS, you have access to the resources you need to be successful. As Robert says, “If you’re a security professional, ASIS is the place to be. No question about it.”

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Susan Reinertson
Vice President of Emergency Management and Corporate Security
Amtrak

I count on ASIS to be my fact-checker, and it’s a one-stop shop!
Susan Reinertson
Amtrak

Susan Reinertson is the Vice President of Emergency Management and Corporate Security for Amtrak. When she began working at Amtrak, she knew it would be quite a transition from the public to the private sectors. Though she is very experienced, there were areas of the field that, in the private sector, would be new. As an annual review of her corporate responsibilities approached, she wanted affirmation that her responsibilities aligned with the industry.

Susan immediately reached out to her ASIS network through the CSO Center. The Center organized and distributed a concise, targeted survey to individuals in her same position. She asked them about their portfolios, or areas of responsibility. She was stunned when, within days, she received generous responses from her C-level peers in all corners of the globe, compiled into illuminating results.

Thanks to ASIS, Susan is confident in her ability to bring accurate and actionable information to her CEO. She’s thrilled by the access ASIS gives her: “I am connecting with actual Corporate Security Officers. When I can go straight to the top and talk to the people who make decisions, the ability to do my job is enhanced. I count on ASIS to be my fact-checker, and it’s a one-stop shop!”

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Angela Osborne, PCI
Regional Director for Security & Technology Consulting
Guidepost Solutions

Angela Osborne, PCI, had a dilemma: her fiancé lived on the other side of the world. She was working in security in Abu Dhabi; he worked in Washington, D.C., and much of her current network was based in the Middle East.

Angela had been a member of ASIS International since 2009 and, through ASIS, had found a mentor. In conversation with him, she mentioned that she was moving back to D.C. As he was telling her about his position on the Virginia governor’s cybersecurity board, a light bulb went off. He knew someone else on the board who owned a company and needed a senior analyst. Perhaps Angela was the perfect fit.

Both a Managing Director from the firm and her mentor were planning to be in Atlanta during the ASIS conference—it was the optimal place to arrange a meeting. Angela had to get there, but she had not originally budgeted to attend. She applied to the ASIS Young Professionals Seminar Experience, sponsored by Securitas, to be one of three young professionals chosen to attend the conference for free, and was thrilled when she won! It meant she could attend the meeting.

By the time Angela left the conference, she had the new job—and lots of new ideas and contacts from the conference to put immediately to work. ASIS fostered the connection and even handled the logistics so Angela could seal the deal.

When asked about the benefits of ASIS membership, Angela lists them with enthusiasm: networking; the opportunities for young professionals, like the career center she now helps run; the paths to leadership; and the education and certifications that she credits for her rapidly advancing career as a Regional Director.

It’s not every day that you find an association with the international reach and resources to help create your path to success, both personally and professionally!

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Hector Grynberg, CPP
Regional Security Director for Latin America
Time Warner

Hector Grynberg, CPP, plays a critical role for Time Warner. As the regional security director for Latin America, he knows the security industry inside and out. But this wasn’t always the case. Earlier in his career, when he was entering the security industry from the IT field, he quickly realized how much he didn’t know.

Whenever Hector has needed security industry information and education, he’s turned to ASIS. Previously, he was responsible for maintaining a secure supply chain in Brazil and Mexico, areas rife with theft and violence. On facing this challenge, he says: “You have to be clever and agile to keep the budget as low as possible while reducing the risk to money, goods and business opportunities.” He turned to Security Management magazine, which was filled with examples of ways his colleagues had solved similar supply chain security problems. His effective management of the supply chain problem raised his professional profile and helped him cultivate broad business partnerships.

Today, as he focuses on delivering security services in international markets, Hector depends on his CSO Center and ASIS memberships. Recommendations from colleagues with boots on the ground are critical. He searches the ASIS member directory before he makes contact, because “it reassures me to know that this person follows the same code of ethics, is good at their job, and is a trusted source of information.”

He is eagerly looking forward to continuing his important ASIS collaborations, including his participation in a team currently working towards developing a Security Awareness Standard for ANSI, a joint ASIS/ISC²/ISACA project.

There’s no doubt about the impact ASIS has had on Hector’s career. While his employer supports his ASIS membership, he believes the resources and support are so critical that he “wouldn’t hesitate to pay for membership out of my own pocket.”

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Pat King
Senior Consultant
Sunstates Security, LLC

With ASIS, I have a brain trust at my fingertips.
Pat King
Sunstates Security, LLC

Pat King thought serving in the Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis was the closest he would ever be to guns and violence—that is, until a gunman opened fire at his workplace in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Pat was the brand-new head of administrative services and security management at what was, at that time, IBM’s largest plant. He and his team were responsible for dealing with the gunman.

In the wake of this shooting tragedy and other incidents of workplace violence around the country, Pat was tasked with determining what had gone wrong and creating a plan to address the causes and effects of similar incidents. As he accessed the collective knowledge of a broad network of active and committed security professionals to help him solve this challenge, Pat realized the extraordinary value of his ASIS membership.

Pat found value in membership from his first ASIS meeting and has continued to experience a return on his investment throughout 32 years of ASIS membership. ASIS members, he said, “have so much more knowledge about security than I’ll ever have. One person’s experiences and education can’t compare to the vast amount of information a group of seasoned professionals can share. “With ASIS, I have a brain trust at my fingertips.”

ASIS has supported Pat throughout moves and career changes, as he became involved with ASIS chapters everywhere he went. Pat considers himself an ASIS champion now, as he aims to give back to the organization by revitalizing chapters and rallying support for events. In his retirement, he’s taking his ambassadorship a step further. Partnering with a professor at a large North Carolina. university, Pat is helping students learn about ASIS and how to network. In return, those students who show a commitment to the security industry receive a year of sponsored ASIS membership. Through this effort, Pat is helping young professionals learn the value of networking and membership in organizations that can help shape their careers at the onset of their professional lifecycle, instead of having to learn the hard way as he once did.

Pat says that every security professional has one mantra: “I have to protect my people.” With ASIS membership, you harness the power of thousands to help you fulfill that mission.

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Mike Howard
Chief Security Officer
Microsoft

By mentoring, you’re giving back.
Mike Howard
Microsoft

As a former CIA Officer with 22 years of experience, Mike Howard initially felt equipped to make his transition to the corporate world as the Director for Executive Protection at Microsoft. However, one year into the job, Mike was elevated to Chief Security Officer. Securing an enormous corporate enterprise would require the use of all the skills he had acquired in his CIA career, especially those non-security or intelligence related skills such as people development, strategic thinking and mentoring. But Mike realized that he would also need guidance to help him navigate this new world.

Mike asked his manager at the time to recommend a mentor. Mike has always believed in mentoring and being mentored, having developed one of the first mentoring programs at the CIA. Mike’s manager was instrumental in getting a long-term Microsoft business executive to be Mike’s mentor. This relationship proved to be invaluable and reinforced Mike’s belief that “by mentoring, you’re giving back.”

This mentor helped Mike successfully understand Microsoft’s culture and how things got done there during Mike’s first few years with the company. Mike himself has been a mentor for many years and highly supports the mentoring activities within ASIS and the CSO Center for Leadership and Development.

As a subject matter expert on security leadership, Mike helped the CSO center along with a team of CSOs to create governance policies for the CSO Center. He also has spent time developing CSO deputies within his own organization. Many of his team members belong to ASIS, and some are Certified Protection Professionals (CPPs). Mike says of those CPPs, “they are better able to leverage the information from ASIS International on a daily basis, relying on information, technology, and intelligence to navigate and anticipate emerging threats.”

If you ask around, you’ll find that Mike is well known in the industry for his people development skills. He gives back through ASIS because the association has been a part of his career success, and says, “as a mentor, you model certain behaviors so that future generations will understand the value of mentoring and want to give back.” Mike exemplifies how ASIS membership can help chart a course for future leaders to follow.

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Herbert Calderon, CPP, PCI, PSP
Loss Prevention Manager
Gloria Group

As the loss prevention manager for Gloria Group in Lima, Peru, it’s Herbert’s job to keep a close eye on the accuracy of shipments and inventory. That accuracy came into question after the discovery that a “rat” was causing widespread inventory fraud.

Herbert discovered that someone had launched a computer program that changed the number of items in the inventory, causing the quantities of goods throughout the system to be inaccurate. Layered over this issue, another computer program was overreporting the weight of the final products. These discrepancies were not only hindering his company’s security, they were also negatively impacting its credibility and client service. Herbert knew there was a rat, but he couldn’t think of a way to track down the perpetrator of such widespread fraud.

Enter ASIS and a connection Herbert had made through his membership in the CSO Center for Leadership and Development. This technically-savvy colleague sent him IT models that, when deployed, would point directly to the perpetrator. Herbert quietly launched the program and identified the source of the fraud. The company pressed charges, and the systems attack was resolved.

When facing systemwide fraud, Herbert knew to turn to ASIS as a valuable resource to access advice and problem-solving insight. In Herbert’s case, knowing the right member to call helped him restore order and accuracy in the face of fraud and uncertainty.

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Jeffrey A. Slotnick, CPP, PSP
Chief Security Officer
OR3M

Every security professional should consider ASIS as a central part of his or her professional portfolio.
Jeffrey Slotnick
OR3M

Jeff Slotnick is the picture of a successful entrepreneur: owning two thriving companies in Washington state and spending his days diligently overseeing the operations. When asked the secret to his success, he emphatically states, “I can directly attribute the success of my business to my involvement in ASIS.”

Being a business owner, ​he explains, means clients come to him with a variety of requests and problems that need to be resolved. If Jeff does not know the solution himself, he feels confident that someone in his vast ASIS network is the right person to call. To meet the needs of an international client base, Jeff appreciates knowing that ASIS is truly a global partner—providing him exposure to industry contacts and connections in his own backyard and in places like Africa, India, and the Middle East. His ASIS network offers him access, he says, “to some of the premier minds in the security world.”

Having never completed college, Jeff also found value in ASIS membership when supplementing some of his knowledge gaps. He enrolled in an online program through ASIS and was stunned to discover that the ASIS certifications he had received had allowed him to earn two years’ worth of college credits. Now, at the age of 61, he is finishing his degree and sees his education as a valuable gift from ASIS.

Jeff believes that a good leader enables the success of the next generation, and he uses his ASIS membership to mentor those who want to succeed. He has a strong message for young professionals considering a career in security: “Every security professional should consider ASIS as a central part of his or her professional portfolio. You never know where membership can take you!”

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Laurie Simmons
Regional Vice President and Vice Chair
ASIS Commercial Real Estate Council

ASIS offers mentors and resources so you’ll build the confidence you need to get ahead.
Laurie Simmons
ASIS Commercial Real Estate Council

Four years ago, Laurie Simmons was living quietly in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a senior property protection manager for Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq, where she’d worked for 26 years. She was an ASIS member, but hadn’t yet gotten that involved with the organization.

One chilly February day, her phone rang. She had no idea her life was about to change.

On the line was a Senior Regional Vice President of ASIS. He was looking, he told her, for a Regional Vice President t​o cover Minnesota and Wisconsin. Her name had come up, and he wanted to see if she was interested.

Interested? Yes. Terrified? Yes! Laurie described herself as a “turtle hiding in its shell.” She was quiet and shy, and lived a simple life: she had never traveled alone and liked her routines. Minnesota and Wisconsin were big territories, and she wasn’t sure she was up to the challenge. Nevertheless, she took a deep breath and accepted the position.

That decision turned Laurie’s life around. She dove into the ASIS website and learned all she could about her chapters. She gathered training materials to bring with her as she crisscrossed the two states. Suddenly, Laurie was traveling constantly, speaking to chapters with confidence, and inspiring others to take chances. There was so much more to ASIS than she’d ever realized. Members who had really engaged were connecting and helping each other in all matters of security.

Now, ASIS is a focal point of Laurie’s life. She is a Regional ​Vice President and Vice Chair of the Commercial Real Estate Council. She serves on the Awards Committee. These roles have taught her to stand up for what she believes and encouraged her to lead with authority. Her personal growth, her friends say, is staggering.

Talking to young professionals considering ASIS membership today, Laurie says, “Go for it! ASIS offers mentors and resources so you’ll build the confidence you need to get ahead. You’ll leave ASIS events inspired and motivated by the core values we share. The support ASIS offers, and the network you’re part of, will help your career. And who knows? Maybe this membership will change your life, as it did mine.”

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Paul Allena
Security Consultant

One of the best decisions that I made in my career was to join ASIS International.
Paul Allena
Security Consultant

When you make career decisions early in your life, you need to look forward and not backwards. As a college graduate back in 1988, I had a chance to enter the security profession and I have never looked back.

One of the best decisions that I made in my career was to join ASIS International. More importantly, I decided to “give back” to the organization that has truly “given back” to me for more than 28 years.

The many professional ASIS relationships that I have developed over the years have become lifetime relationships which I value each and every day. These relationships crisscross the globe in our international organization.

When I was given the opportunity to become a volunteer chapter leader a​t the local level, I never imagined that I would ascend to a regional level as a Senior Regional Vice President. It is gratifying to provide leadership to your local chapter but even more rewarding to represent an entire region consisting of thousands of security professionals.

I firmly believe that you get out of an organization only what you put into it.

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Brian Reich, CPP​
Chairman
Law Enforcement Liaison Council

I truly believe in the value ASIS can offer for all who want a career in security.
Brian Reich
Law Enforcement Liaison Council

I joined ASIS International when I was the deputy chief of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, which serves the most populous county in New Jersey. As part of my job, I was put in charge of the physical security of our county facilities. At that time, while I had a senior ranking position, by trade, I was really a police officer, major crimes and special victim’s detective. I recognized that my law enforcement skillets were not aligned to what I needed to build a comprehensive physical security program. Furthermore, while I had other skills and strong leadership experience, there was a lot that I needed to know in order to achieve success in this new role. In a nutshell, I knew what I didn’t know.

So, I decided to join ASIS International and I attended my first global conference in Atlanta. While there, I met so many great security professionals who, like me, had come from either the law enforcement or the military. I was fortunate to have met great mentors and leaders from global Fortune 500 companies who selflessly offered up their business cards with the invitation to call them if I needed help.

Upon returning to New Jersey, I joined ASIS and committed to staying involved, obtaining my CPP, and growing in the security industry. That year, I was invited to join the Law Enforcement Liaison Council (LELC), and in 2009 I obtained my CPP. Soon after, I became the Chairman of the LELC and in 2012 ASIS President Ray O’Hara, CPP, honored me with the Outstanding Council Chairman of the Year award. I’ve served on the Professional Certification Board and currently serve on the ASIS Foundation Board of Trustees and the Executive Board of the New York City Chapter, one of the largest ASIS Chapters in the world.

I owe ASIS so much for helping me meet great friends and mentors which helped open doors to the private sector that would have been difficult to open on my own. Because of ASIS, I have an amazing career that is rewarding in so many ways. As a senior corporate security leader now, I work hard to give back to ASIS by staying involved in volunteer leadership and speaking at transitional training programs to help current public sector professionals understand how to make the switch to the private sector and be successful once there.

I truly believe in the value ASIS can offer for all who want a career in security and am grateful for all it has helped me achieve.

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