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Security management is a global profession. Every region of the world has threats that need mitigation; every organization has people and assets that need protection. But the practice of the profession is also influenced by local conditions—culture, business practices, economics, politics, and type and severity of threats—that differ from region to region.

Paulo Grechi de Almeida, Sr., CPP, PCI, PSP, security manager for Fiserv, spoke on Latin American security issues in the September 2021 Security Management magazine article, Global Management: How Security is Changing in Latin America.

Almeida, an ASIS volunteer from Brazil, sat down with the ASIS Blog to share his #MyASIS story.

How did you first get involved/introduced to ASIS?

In December 2010, the director of the organization that I worked for received an invitation to participate in an ASIS event: “Opportunity & Risk: The CSO Roundtable Latin America Summit," in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Because his schedule was full and I had knowledge of the English language, he recommended me to go in his place.

It was a great opportunity for me to make my first contact with members of ASIS Brazil and other countries and become inspired by these certified professionals. After that meeting, I bought and started reading the CPP reference materials, and in 2015 I started my journey to obtain my certifications.

What does ASIS membership mean to you and what would you tell someone if they are thinking of joining ASIS?

For me, being a member of ASIS means a lot, as it allows me to be part of a large global network, access exclusive contents, such as standards and guidelines, which help me in my day-to-day work. It also contributes to my continuing professional education, keeping my knowledge up to date through the excellent webinars and events that the association promotes.

Why is certification important? How has certification impacted your career?

Being certified took my level of knowledge and professional maturity to another level, because when carrying out the studying process my mind opened, increasing a lot my base of knowledge and the improvement of several domains that I had not mastered until then. Due to that I became a much more secure, mature, and attractive professional for the market, with doors opening to new professional opportunities. Not to mention the personal achievement of studying and learning in a foreign language and passing an international exam.

What does ASIS mean to the security profession in Latin America?

With the increasing existence of companies, especially global ones, in Latin America requiring or recognizing as a plus the applicant for security management positions which holds an ASIS certification, being certified becomes a great differential mainly in today highly competitive market. For employers, it facilitates the evaluation process and raises the level of trust they can place in the candidate.

ASIS has also contributed a lot in the dissemination of knowledge and networking of members and new associates in the region, mainly through its local chapters. The use of social networking tools and the association's website makes it a lot easier to share professional contents, contributing to raise the level of private security professionals in Latin America.