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Making the connection.

Attendees at the ASIS 43rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits could connect with colleagues in a variety of settings outside the formal educational sessions and the busy exhibit floor. Networking consistently is mentioned as a major reason for attending the seminar and exhibits, and organizers plan ample opportunities for members to meet in formal and informal settings.

Orientation ovation. Smiles, firm handshakes, and conversation spiced with intermittent laughter was the scene at Sunday's First-Time Seminar Attendees and New Members' Reception as Society leaders eagerly greeted participants and heralded the benefits of ASIS membership.

ASIS President James H. Van Houten II, CPP, along with Executive Director Michael J. Stack and Regional Vice President - Education Steve Millwee, welcomed the crowd of nearly 200 people from around the globe.

"I hope you make good use of the potential you will be exposed to here," Van Houten said, referring to the cutting edge technology, educational workshops, and industry colleagues readily available at the ASIS 43rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits.

While feasting on a buffet dinner, participants viewed ASIS: The Professional Edge, a video detailing the many threats to company and community assets and how ASIS has been meeting the challenge by helping members find security solutions. New members said the film awakened a sense of belonging and a call to deepen their stake in the industry.

The thrust of the message sent to new members and first-time attendees was clear: "Get involved. Soon. Revive and mobilize chapters to help make ASIS what members want it to be." The directive was first expressed by Van Houten, and it was echoed throughout the reception.

"We're going to enhance the chapter experience," Millwee told the audience. "You're going to learn how you can make a difference, how to add value to your Society, and how leadership works to better help you." He urged attendees to attend chapter meetings, get to know each other, and call on leaders when assistance is needed.

"ASIS is a unique organization because we're all cut from the same cloth," he reminded the group. "You will get out of it exactly what you put into it."

Millwee's message got through.

"So far, everything's been great," said Joseph Thivierge, who joined ASIS about three months ago. He directs security for NAV Canada, a private corporation that is assuming all of the country's air traffic control operations.

"I'm an ex-cop, and I've worked in the casino business," said Thivierge. "From meeting various people, I've heard so much praise of ASIS. I decided to finally come and see what it's about. It's great."

David Kidd, a security personnel member of (x-ray tube manufacturer) Varian Associates in Salt Lake City, had not joined by the time he attended the reception, but he planned to as soon as he could.

"My company sent me here," Kidd said. "I'm not a member yet but I plan to be before I leave."

Newcomers also had the opportunity to talk with Society leaders who were stationed throughout the room.

Members mix. The exchange of tips and information among colleagues buzzed in the air at Sunday night's Get Acquainted Mixer, which followed the new members orientation reception. The hundreds in attendance were busy striking up friendships, finding old friends, making contacts, and munching on snacks as the pop sound of Fanfare helped fuel the energy of the evening.

Many attendees were drawn to the ASIS 43rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits by the networking opportunities. "This is by far the largest gathering of security professionals," said Brent Barnes of Indianopolis's Security Video Indiana, Inc. "We get to share ideas and experiences with colleagues." Fern Abbot, president of Metuchen, New Jersey's Guardscreen, was interested enough in making contacts that she ventured to St. Louis despite having had spinal surgery six weeks ago to repair a ruptured disk. Seemingly unhampered by a neck brace, she cheerfully discussed her company's service - maintaining a database of security officers' employment histories for use by organizations looking to hire officers.

Other attendees overcame the obstacle of international travel. Gregory Mendes and his wife, Denise, made the trip from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Gregory Mendes, a security consultant specializing in security training, auditing, and surveillance, was eager to seek out security professionals with whom he could discuss issues of concern. In the two previous ASIS seminars that he attended, Mendes said, he picked up "new ideas, new philosophies, new techniques. This is one of, if not the best meeting of the minds of security professionals from an international point of view."

Also looking forward to exploring international issues was Terry Douglas of Post & Associates Ltd., Phoenix, Arizona, who had recently returned from the Philippines where he was at work on a trade secret theft case. Douglas, whose firm specializes in investigations in Asia in fields such as due diligence and product diversion, said that he was looking to make contacts with qualified professionals overseas in places where his company didn't have much coverage. He also anticipated learning about other professionals' experiences in educational sessions and imparting some of his own hard-earned wisdom.

Many attendees were awaiting the rollout of innovative new products in the exhibit hall. Russ Bridges, an operations director at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, was preparing to scan the hall for equipment that would reduce the aquarium's vulnerability to frivolous patron injury claims. Barnes of Security Video Indiana, Inc., had his eye out for infant abduction prevention systems for hospitals as well as general CCTV and alarm equipment.

Perhaps the best representatives of the night's camaraderie were Edward and Susan Nemie of Chesapeake, Virginia, who work together in an international trade and security design business. The self-described "newlyweds" of six years, who were mixing with various colleagues at the event, have seen security's future - and they like it. "The quality of the security professional has certainly improved immensely," noted Ed Nemie. "And ASIS has been directly responsible for that growth."

Van Houtens entertain. For some it was the head on a platter. For others, it was the karaoke in the beer garden. Still others favored the contraption that played symphonic music based on the movement of their hands. Whatever they fancied, the range of food and fun at Monday's night's 1997 ASIS President's Reception at the St. Louis Science Center gave the revelers a chance to get partying down to, well, a science.

ASIS President James H. Van Houten II, CPP, and his wife, Sylvia, welcomed the guests to the science center, after which attendees merrily weaved through the three-floor site replete with faux St. Louis landmarks, jugglers, balloon artists, and musicians. The thrilled guests agreed that the night was an experiment worth repeating.

Brenda Swartz and Dolly Winters, owner and office manager, respectively, of Security Applications, Inc. in Valhalla, New York, tried out an exhibit showing what happens to a skyscraper when heavy gusts of wind hit it. Meanwhile, Thomas DeChandt and Lisa Rose, both of Trizec Hahn Property Management in Escondido, California, were sitting on opposite sides of a special mirror that was letting them trade facial characteristics.

After stopping for some snacks, Tony Martin, a security specialist with the IRS, plopped onto a sit-down scale that looked like an elongated porch swing. Informed that his weight was a few pounds higher than normal, Martin attributed the difference to his hat, which had been wrought from twisted balloons.

On the other side of the center, Erik Hoffer and his wife, Diane Haugh, were busy pointing out the best illusions and most interesting hands-on exhibits. Hoffer, president of Consolidated Graphic Materials in Somerset, New Jersey, then slipped behind his personal favorite: an exhibit that made his body disappear except for his head, which seemed to be supported on a platter.

At another venue, palm and tarot card readers commanded long lines of security professionals wondering about their fates. One of the first up was Gary Murphree, vice president of government sales for Sargent & Greenleaf, Nicholasville, Kentucky. According to the seer, Murphree's palm indicated that he had been married twice and had three children, which Murphree confirmed. Everything "all kind of fit together," he said.

Over in the Exploradome, Randy Kazik, CPP, was in a mock Union Station having his caricature drawn in mid-golf swing. Kazik, who works at Protection Technology Los Alamos in New Mexico, said that the reception had capped a great Monday - what he called an "awesome" first day of the seminar.

"A lot of law enforcement has shown up," he commented. "In the past, there's been a line between law enforcement and security. I think that line is starting to be broken, which is good for the industry."

Perhaps the most excitement of the evening was in the Einstein beer garden where a karaoke booth was set up. Few dared to grab the microphone until Preston Herald III, of the Smithsonian Institution, ripped out a rollicking version of "Bad Bad Leroy Brown." "I'll try anything," Herald said. Karen Davis, who works for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners but does some professional singing on the side, then followed with a captivating rendition of "Super Woman."

Stan Turbyfill of the National Linen Service in Atlanta found the evening a relaxing end to a day of educational enlightenment. "This is a great evening of entertainment and activity, with the whole science center to roam in and explore." Like the security industry itself, Turbyfill found the evening of revelry to be "multidimensional."

Spouses see St. Louis. When Fatima Al-Wazir of Saudi Arabia thinks about the United States, St. Louis is not the first place that comes to mind. But as she toured the city with the ASIS Spouses Program, Al-Wazir realized that there is much more to this city than the famous Gateway Arch.

"When I first came here, I thought we wouldn't be able to do anything," Al-Wazir said. "I'm impressed. It's nice."

Al-Wazir was not alone. St. Louis seemed to surprise many of the 200-plus spouses who participated in the four-day program designed to highlight the history and attractions of this city on the Mississippi River. Sponsored by the Host Chapter Committee and conducted by Destination St. Louis, the program participants visited sites from historic St. Charles, Missouri, the state's first capital, to the 138-year-old Missouri Botanical Garden.

"I'm amazed at how many things there are to do," said Judy Ordogne of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. "I love old homes and old architecture and there's an awful lot of that here."

The group first toured in and around St. Louis, visiting the 630-foot Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium, the Fox Theater, and Union Station - once the busiest train station in the world.

Spouses stopped at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, where they toured the visitor's center and saw the stables where the famous Clydesdale horses are housed. They also toured the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, where participants saw the largest collection of mosaics in the world (43 million pieces in 500,000 different shades of color).

Spouses then passed through the historic residential districts of the city as well as centers dedicated to the arts and sciences. Along the way, spouses enjoyed delightful repasts at historic restaurants.

Participants didn't have to be from somewhere else to enjoy the tour. Janice Weber, who is a lifelong resident of St. Louis. said she really enjoyed her first spouses program. "We've built up a lot of attractions," she said of St. Louis. "There's plenty to keep the spouses entertained and busy."

On one daylong excursion, participants visited St. Charles, the oldest town on the Missouri River and the state's first capital. The town was used by thousands of pioneers to replenish their supplies as they made their way west. It is also the site where Lewis and Clark rendezvoused for their expedition of the West as well as the site of the mapping of the Sante Fe Trail.

Another day, spouses were whisked off to Grant's Farm, the 281-acre estate of the late August A. Busch, Jr. The group was bused to Grant Station, where they boarded a tram that wound through Deer Park, a 160-acre game preserve where antelope, buffalo, and other wild animals can be seen in their natural habitat.

Spouses also viewed Grant's Cabin, which was built by General Ulysses S. Grant for himself and his bride twelve years before he was elected president, and the historic Bauernhof, which houses the Busches' antique carriage collection.

Strengthening ties. A number of corporations and organizations took the opportunity to hold their own meetings as a tie-in to the ASIS 43rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits. For example, American Magnetics Corporation sponsored its fifth business breakfast for several of its distributors. Company officials detailed new product information, presented an update on company developments, and discussed technical and service issues, according to Cari De La Cruz, of American Magnetics' marketing department. Company officials also presented awards to those distributors who reached company goals.

Security managers from Bristol-Meyers Squibb facilities based in North and South America met for the third year in a row. Approximately twenty-eight attendees heard presentations from various managers on robotics, legal issues in security, and protection of proprietary information.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb also used the meeting as an opportunity for their security managers to get together and discuss their experiences over the past year. Much of the meeting was devoted to break-out sessions and informal conversation designed to help managers share tips on improving corporate security measures.

The board of directors for the International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) held its ninth annual meeting during the seminar and exhibits. The ten board members announced several changes to their training manual, which was recently released, said Sandi Davies, executive director of the IFPO. The group also considered revamping its security supervisors program to bring it in sync with changes in the industry.

Following the meeting, the IFPO hosted a hospitality suite for members at the hotel. While the meeting was generally informal, Davies said "it also allows us to develop new strategies on enrollment and programs."

The International Organization of Black Security Executives hosted a "Meet and Greet" reception on Tuesday evening. The organization's seven board members attended, as did many of its 200 members. Mary Parker, who heads the organization, said the purpose of the reception was for members to get together and network, as well as recruit new members.

Sensormatic held its second annual President's Luncheon on Tuesday with the company's Chief Executive Officer and President Robert Vanourek providing the keynote address. He spoke on the future of the security industry, what products will meet the challenge of the next century, and the company's plan to meet those goals.

Potential and existing customers were invited to the function and were encouraged to speak about their own security goals and needs for the future.

Sensormatic also hosted a consultant's luncheon to discuss trends in security. Those who attended were asked to provide feedback on the company's vision of the future.

Former members of state law enforcement agencies shared time with peers at Sunday night's sixth annual Former State Law Enforcement Officers Get-Together. The former state police officers, troopers, and highway patrol officers related happenings in their former professions while enjoying the camaraderie of new friendships.

"We've been through so much . . . trying to catch some winks in the barracks and depending on your fellow officer," said the social's organizer, Raymond N. Veillette, a veteran of the Connecticut State Police, and now manager of security for Handy & Harman Refining Group.

"Now we're in various forms of business from Wall Street to the airlines," commented Veillette, "but I have personally felt that I wouldn't know where to turn if it weren't for this group."

RELATED ARTICLE: Booths Open for Business

Sixteen ASIS standing committees staffed individual booths outside the exhibit hall throughout the ASIS 43rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits. Members answered questions about their committee and its specialty and handed out literature on related issues.

The Gaming and Wagering Committee, for example, had a television and VCR set up at its booth that continuously showed a videotape from a surveillance camera at a casino, which depicted how employees and customers attempt to shortchange the casino.

The Substance Abuse Committee provided passersby with handouts that answered questions about drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace and shared material that gave a step-by-step plan for helping employees with their substance abuse problems.

The Computer Security Committee handed out computer disks with a range of security information, including virus updates, the latest threats to corporate computers and networks, and computer protection measures that have been used successfully by other companies. Visitors to the Healthcare Security Committee booth could not only pick up articles on healthcare security issues but also sign up for a tour of the St. Louis-based Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

RELATED ARTICLE: Kudos to Host Committee

The Host Chapter Seminar Committee spent long hours so that the ASIS 43rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits would run smoothly for all attendees. Recognition for a job well done belongs to Robert L. Weber of SBC Communications, Inc., who served as host committee chairman; David W. Thompson, CPP, of George Washington School of Medicine, who was host committee deputy chairman; George E. Ronne, CPP, president of Professional Consultants, and Darrell Baker, branch manager at CAMDEX, who organized educational activities; Frank Warren, campus services manager for Edward D. Jones & Company, who handled registration; Sharon J. Lutz, director of safety and security for the Frontonac Hilton, who coordinated functional activities; and Patrick Albright, manager of security for Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, who provided oversight for liaison activities.

At Wednesday's luncheon, ASIS President Van Houten presented Weber and Thompson with Certificates of Appreciation and the entire committee was recognized at the Annual Meeting of the Membership.

RELATED ARTICLE: Members Receive Just Rewards

Dennis T. Haw, CPP, was awarded the E.J. Criscuoli Jr., CPP, Volunteer Leadership Award, and Janice L. Peth, CPP, and Raymond T. O'Hara, CPP, were presented with the President's Award of Merit at Monday's luncheon. The honors were bestowed by 1997 ASIS President James Van Houten II, CPP.

During the past twenty-four years, Haw, director of corporate services for Simsmetal America, has actively worked with the San Francisco Bay Chapter, having served as the Chapter Committee Chairman of Budget and Finance. Key to the success of the 1990 ASIS seminar and exhibits held in San Francisco, Haw has also been a regional vice president and "mentor to a parade of leaders and members alike." Van Houten said. The Criscuoli Award recognizes those ASIS members who have excelled at serving the Society at the Chapter level.

Peth, director of security consulting for Kaiser Permanente's national facility services in Oakland, California, was honored for meritorious service to ASIS as president of the ASIS Foundation Board of Trustees in 1996 and 1997.

O'Hara, security manager for Weyerhaeuser Company in Carlsbad, California, was lauded for his role as president of the Professional Certification Board in 1997 and his many long hours of work to make the CPP a universally recognized designation.
COPYRIGHT 1997 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ASIS 43rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits; includes related article on awards given and booths opened at the conference; 43rd annual conference of the American Society for Industrial Security
Publication:Security Management
Date:Dec 1, 1997
Words:3161
Previous Article:Workshop workout.
Next Article:A solid foundation.
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