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Groups meet to share and plan.

MANY GROUPS OF ASIS VOLUNTEERS took advantage of their time in New Orleans and met to touch base on strategic plans, report on year-long activities, and gear up for future endeavors. The ASIS Board of Directors, the Professional Certification Board, and the ASIS Foundation Board of Trustees met on the weekend before the official start of the seminar and exhibits. Numerous ASIS councils and regions also carved out time to meet between sessions and exhibit hall excursions.

A host of organizations planned meetings around the ASIS International 49th Annual Seminar and Exhibits to take advantage of the large number of persons who attend this show regularly and of the security technologies and services on display. Numerous exhibitors scheduled meetings for their employees and clients throughout the week. Corporate security departments brought staff together from far-flung offices throughout the world.

The International Organization of Black Security Executives held a mixer and meeting at the headquarters hotel. Three groups gathered for breakfast: Christians in Security, the National Association of Security Companies, and Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents.

In addition, special groups of members met with ASIS leaders to share insights and enjoy the inherent camaraderie offered by membership in ASIS International.

ASIS takes on new meaning. Loretta W. Veney, CPP, ASIS International Board of Directors member, was the opening speaker at Sunday's volunteer leader training program. The afternoon session was designed to familiarize new chapter and regional volunteer leaders with ASIS policies and procedures. Far from a passive exchange, Veney's talk energized the group by acknowledging that it is hard enough to be an effective leader at one's paid position, not to mention one for which the leader receives no compensation. However, to help the new leaders in their challenge, she delivered sage advice using the Society's acronym, saying, "This is the only name you need to know to be effective."

The 'A' in ASIS stands for maintaining a positive attitude, as well as accountability, said Veney. It also includes the ability to acknowledge when someone fails to do the job they volunteered for and replacing them.

The first 'S,' she explained, is for service and standards. "Love what you're doing," Veney said, and create guidelines for your successors so that future volunteer leaders do not need to reinvent the wheel.

Continuing with the next letter in ASIS, Veney told the new leaders that the "I" stands for integrity and information. "People want to follow those with integrity," a vital attribute of a leader. Veney noted that leadership becomes easier when it is based on integrity. Information is also paramount, said Veney. "Information needs to get to everyone who needs it--by e-mail, newsletter, or other methods." She cautioned against a scenario where members get information on their chapter from a source other than the chapter's leaders. Veney also said leaders need to remember that information flows both ways. "Listen to the members," she counseled. "Often we hear them, but we don't listen. Often they have fabulous ideas."

The final 'S' is for security and synergy. Leaders need to be secure within themselves to effectively lead, she said. If this attribute and all the rest of the points mentioned are in place, then synergy will follow. "Everyone will band together and be off to a great start," Veney concluded.

Food, jazz, and great company, "Let the good times roll" is the unofficial motto of New Orleans, and attendees lived up to that credo Sunday night at the convention center during a special First-Time Seminar Attendee and New Member Reception. Hosted by ASIS International President Daniel Kropp, CPP, the program welcomed first-timers to the seminar and provided information about ASIS membership. Those in attendance could also network with peers and ask questions of the volunteer leaders who joined them.

Two members of the ASIS Board of Directors offered their advice to first-time attendees. First was Daniel Consalvo, CPP, ASIS treasurer. His words of wisdom were brief but key to a successful seminar experience: "comfortable shoes." Shirley Pierini, CPP, ASIS vice president, recommended that attendees try not to miss any of the general sessions, where an impressive lineup of speakers was on hand to impart their knowledge. But, according to Pierini, "the most important thing is to network and learn who your colleagues are."

Next, attendees watched "The Professional Edge," a video outlining the benefits of ASIS membership. The panoply of advantages include endless networking opportunities online and in person, a range of professional development programs, a renowned certification program, and access to security information from across the globe through the association's award-winning publications, the ASIS Web site, Security Management Online, and the O. P Norton Information Resources Center at headquarters.
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Title Annotation:Special Meetings
Publication:Security Management
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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