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Peer pleasures.

Opportunities abounded all week for members to connect with like-minded cohorts outside the confines of the seminar and exhibits. These events, held with typical Texas flair, provided informal venues for the main educational focus of ASIS - networking.

Members mix it up. With soft country-western ballads in the background, hundreds of attendees converged on Sunday evening's Get Acquainted Mixer with divergent goals in mind.

"This is really exciting," said James Grayson, CPP, a partner at Code 3 Media, of Glendora, California. "I was really looking forward to being here. This is my first seminar."

Roger L. Fritze, CPP, director of investigations in Florida's Inspector General's Office, said he had combed through the roster of seminar attendees and was anticipating meeting old friends that night. He was especially pleased to renew these acquaintances, he said, because he hadn't been to a seminar and exhibits in five years.

Herman C. Statum, CPP, of TSC Industries Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. used the occasion to network. "I come every year," Statum announced jovially as he distributed his business card.

Others, like Ranjan Maini of ATECO, in the United Arab Emirates, came to unwind after a hard day's work. "I took the CPP exam this morning," he said. "I hope to meet some people and enjoy the night."

And that was just a fraction of the week's worth of entertainment.

Reception. "Who shot J.R.?" Guests at Monday night's President's Reception, held at South Fork Ranch of Dallas fame, might have been recalling the question that once riveted a nation of nighttime soap opera devotees. J.R., however, was the least likely target Monday night, as attendees explored their inner cowboy in mock quick draw contests, simulated cattle roping games, and a variety of other Western-themed diversions.

ASIS President F. Mark Geraci, CPP, welcomed guests to the home of TV's J.R., Sue Ellen, Miss Ellie. and the rest of the dysfunctional Ewing clan. Among other activities, guests could hear Western music. savor Texas fare, tour the Ewing mansion, take a hayride through the ranch grounds, or enjoy a rip-roaring rodeo.

Early in the evening, Ron Watkins, of Information Resource Service Company in Dallas, and his wife, Nell, tested their luck on a craps table, one of several just-for-fun gaming stations on site. Despite never having played craps before, Nell Watkins was on a roll. "This is the best place to learn," said her husband. "It doesn't cost you anything." With their run of good luck, however, the couple was considering getting on the next plane to Las Vegas - a tad early for the 1999 ASIS Seminar and Exhibits, however.

Next door in a room with a Tex-Mex theme, a mariachi band provided the musical backdrop for people who were digging into tortilla chips and fajitas. Lawrence T. Walker, St., chief of security for the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., was one of those who lined up for grub. On the lookout for upgrades to his organization's CCTV system, Walker was impressed by the exhibit hall at the Dallas Convention Center: "It's so huge this year."

A short stroll away, guests were snaking through the Ewing mansion. Among those absorbing the opulence of J.R. and Sue Ellen's bedroom were Michael A. Underwood and John Pontrelli, CPP, of WL Gore & Associates, who enjoyed guests' reactions to such over-the-top touches as a bedside champagne bucket. Befitting the reaction of many of the room's delighted visitors, a sign on the bedroom couch admonished guests to "Please refrain from fainting on this sofa."

Downstairs, caricature artists were at work. Francis Gob, head of industrial security at the Singapore Ministry of Defense, was depicted as a gunslinging cowboy by one artist, while Kim Tennison of Kansas City, Missouri, posed for another. Her husband, Randy, director of security for a property management firm, had arrived in Dallas early for a CPP review class. Was it helpful? "Ask me in January," he replied.

Meanwhile, back across the ranch, guests were competing in good-natured gunslinging. After Dick Patton, vice president of Transnational Security Group Guard Systems, outdrew sales rep Chad Read, Patton revealed his secret advantage: he had served in the Los Angeles sheriff's department. Patton also raved about the activity his company saw on the convention center's exhibit floor. "The show's been great for us," he said, "and it's only our first real show."

In an adjoining room, Kiersten Sutliff of Securaplane Technologies, Tucson, Arizona, literally got roped by a lasso artist into serving as a human prop for lariat tricks. Shortly thereafter, en masse polka lessons began on the dance floor as a country band provided accompaniment.

What's Texas without a rodeo? Guests were treated to three shows featuring bullriding, horse races, and various other entertainments. At the 9 p.m. show, one rider managed to stay on a bronco as it crossed the entire corral, until the animal slammed into a metal fence inches from the crowd.

"That sucker was coming this way," said John Spain, CPP, of Atlanta's Asset Management Solutions. "He was flying, like he was going to come through that fence." Though safe from the bucking beast, Spain and other fans in the first row were treated to a dirt shower, perhaps an appropriate conclusion to a night at the ranch.

Spouses soak up Dallas. Bonnie Rowan can still remember the moment she learned that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. "I was teaching and some children ran into my classroom and said the president had been killed," the Saratoga, New York, resident recalled. "I said, 'That's not funny,' and I yelled at them."

Rowan was remembering that fateful November day in 1963 with about 200 people who toured Dallas on Monday as part of the ASIS Spouses Program. During the tour, Rowan and the other participants visited the former Texas School Book Depository, where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired the shots that killed the president. Now known as The Sixth Floor Museum, the building houses an array of exhibits and artifacts that capture Kennedy's years in the White House and relive the days leading up to the assassination.

"It's a little overwhelming," said Marcia Miller of Alexandria, Virginia, as she walked through the museum. "I remember exactly where I was - I was taking care of a friend's kids at the time it happened."

Before going to The Sixth Floor Museum, spouses were taken by motorcade for a brief driving tour of downtown Dallas. The group passed Pioneer Plaza, which features fifty bronze Texas Longhorns in a cattle drive. The morning tour also showcased some of Dallas's colorful and historic buildings, including the Romanesque "Old Red" courthouse, the original Neiman Marcus department store, and the Pegasus-topped Magnolia Oil building.

The drive ended at Mattito's Cafe Mexicano, where spouses were treated to a Southwestern style breakfast. The group was then taken to Dealey Plaza, where they looked over the site where Kennedy was shot and stood on the so-called Grassy Knoll from where some witnesses believed a second gun was fired.

"I always go on the spouses program," said Audrey Kelly of New York City, who has been on six to eight such tours over the years. "You see things you would never see - things you have read about in the history books."

After visiting Dealey Plaza and The Sixth Floor Museum, spouses were brought to the city's West End District, which features fifty-two restaurants and shops. Participants were given about an hour for lunch before they were taken to Neiman Marcus to shop. The spouses' tour ended in the late afternoon.

In addition to the many sites the spouses saw, the program allowed old friends to see each other for the first time since last year's ASIS seminar and exhibits in St. Louis.

"It gives us a chance to discover new things about a city, but more importantly to see all the friends we've made," said Liz Jessee of Naples, Florida, who has attended the spouses program for twenty consecutive years. "The spouses program teaches you about the diversity of the country and how lucky we are to live in America."

Carolyn Cross of Stuart, Florida; Jackie Farley of New York; Bev Clark of West Kingston, Rhode Island: and Jane Smith of Phoenix have been meeting on the spouses program for the past four years. This year they picked up two new friends: Elizabeth Slade of Rockville Centre, New York, and Donna Sherman of Coventry, Rhode Island.

"We love to soak in the culture of the city," said Smith.

Diane Perron came all the way from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Although she had only been in Dallas for two days, she said she'd already noticed a difference between her home city and the "Big D." "Everyone thinks big here - that I can see."

The four-day ASIS Spouses Program provided ample opportunity for spouses to see gardens and museums and experience the city's Old West culture, including its award-winning museums, unique eateries, and western shops and saloons. Stops included the site of the annual Southwestern Fat Stock Show and Rodeo, one of the largest livestock expositions of its kind. Participants also visited the landscaped pools and waterfalls in the Fort Worth Water Gardens - a four-acre city park in the heart of downtown Dallas. A special docent tour of the 21,000 square-foot DeGolyer House, the fantastic Mexican hacienda of petroleum geologist Everett Lee DeGolyer, was included in the program. Its arboretum includes The Johnson Color Garden, with the largest collection of azaleas in the southwest; the Lay Ornamental Garden, displaying native Texas plants in an English-style perennial setting complete with the sound and motion of water; and Fern Dell, a serene, misty garden of shade-loving plants.

Mist opportunities. Mist could also be found obscuring the view on the Bear Creek Golf Course on Saturday, but the wet conditions didn't dampen the spirits of the 121 security professionals who took part in the ASIS Foundation, Inc.'s Second Annual Golf Tournament on September 12.

The golfers who participated in the eighteen-hole "captain's choice" scramble said the charity event gave them a chance to unwind and relax before they got down to the serious work at the ASIS 44th Annual Seminar and Exhibits.

"It was rough conditions, but it was fun; we made it through," said Don Kasten, vice president of operations at Advantage Security.

"It's a great concept," added Alan Kosaka, the director of engineers at PCSC, which is one of the tournament's sponsors.

Dubbed The Lone Star Classic, the charity tournament, along with two auctions held after the golf event, netted an estimated $20,000 for the Foundation. Bob DeProspero, an account executive with Innovative Security Technology in Irving, Texas, served as chairman of the tournament's organizing committee.

Participants were enthusiastic about the tournament. "It's a chance to get out there, compete, and have a good time," said Scott Hawke, vice president of sales and marketing for Law Enforcement Associates.

Golfers were grouped in teams of three and four players, with each team playing the best shots of its individual members. First place in the scramble went to a three-man team consisting of Marshall Troxell, Doug Freck, and Scott Jolman. Despite rainy conditions, the three shot a combined score of fifty-eight.

"I thought we had a pretty good chance of winning because we were fourteen-under (par)," Freck said. "It was a lot of fun - that's the important thing."

Second place went to Glenn Trest, Ross McBride, John Brownrigg, and Gary Baetz, while the team of Bob DeProspero, Owen Pulliam, Larry Anstett, and Malcolm Beckwith grabbed third place.

While pleased with his team's second-place finish, Ross McBride, the director of corporate services and security at Alcom Labs, pointed out that the tournament meant a lot more. "It's a chance to get out, network, and meet people," he said.

In addition to the scramble, individual players competed in putting, hole-in-one, and other contests as they made their way through the rolling hills of the handsomely landscaped country club. Ten participants qualified for a $200,000 hole-in-one contest at the end of the outing. Although several golfers came close, no one was able to sink the big-money shot.

After the tournament, golfers were treated to a barbecue dinner followed by two auctions that also raised money for the Foundation. The volunteer auctioneer, Ron Watkins of Information Resource Service Corporation, helped sell several items, including round-trip airplane tickets donated by American Airlines and Southwest Airlines and a football autographed by former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry.

Three Dog Night. Heralded as the major fund raising event benefiting the Foundation, the 16th Annual ASIS Foundation Dinner was a success. More than 600 guests filled the ballroom of the Wyndham Anatole and lent their enthusiastic voices - and their dancing feet - to the gala.

Following a sumptuous four-course meal, ASIS Foundation President Curtis Hayes relayed the past year's Foundation successes. Among them were the recent purchase of Security Journal by the British publisher Perpetuity Press, a record number of participants in the Webster University academic programs, and art increased emphasis on matching-grant scholarships given through the chapters to worthy local students working toward degrees in the security field.

As an adjunct to this scholarship program, the ASIS Foundation provided thirty scholarships to the Dallas iteration of the ASIS CPP Review Course. The funding for this program was provided through a grant given to the Foundation by PPM 2000 Inc. in memory of Allen J. Cross, CPP.

Generous giving was a hallmark of the evening, as chapters and corporate donors stepped to the forefront to provide funds to the ASIS Foundation. AXCESS, Inc., a newcomer to the security industry, donated $35,000 to defray the cost of the dinner. The Brownyard Group again presented its Security Officer of the Year Award, which included a $5,000 check to the Foundation in the names of the two worthy recipients.

Finally, the lights dimmed and music led the attendees down memory lane. Famed recording group Three Dog Night brought the night to a rollicking finish, as members were drawn to the dance floor to sway and spin to such hits as "Joy to the World."

RELATED ARTICLE: Booths Highlight ASIS

Fifteen standing committees and councils distributed timely information about various segments of the security industry from booths located just outside the exhibit hall. Committee members who staffed the booths also met with peers and offered new insights on business practices and related technologies.

The Council on Business Practices solicited new submissions for the next edition of its prized publication, Security Business Practices Reference. Council members also distributed pamphlets advertising the committee's late fall seminar, which will focus on proven security strategies.

The Gaming and Wagering Committee publicized its upcoming multitrack seminar, the "World Gaming Congress & Expo '98," which was to run from September 23-25 in Las Vegas.

Attendees near the Investigations Committee booth could find themselves "subpoenaed." Committee members served documents requesting the immediate presence of the bearer at its two sessions, "The Amended Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1997 - 'Negative' Impact" and "Mail Bomb Awareness: A UNABOM case study."

The Physical Security Committee has restructured its educational programs this year, and the changes were explained in a video that ran continuously at its booth. Future programs, now aimed at beginner, intermediate, and advanced security professionals, will cover such topics as conducting surveys, developing master security plans, exploring new technologies, and designing effective guard force management.

The committee also displayed its new Web site at the booth.

Free diskettes containing the latest news on the amended Fair Credit Reporting Act could be obtained from the Privacy and Personnel Information Management Committee members at their booth. The committee has compiled new data on the legislation and on other personnel or privacy-related issues in a diskette format. Perusers could also obtain several papers at the committee's booth, including articles on how to establish a background screening program for job applicants.

Visitors were intrigued by the multimedia displays at the Telecommunications Security Committee booth. The booth displayed several posters, videotapes, and Powerpoint demonstrations to heighten awareness of issues faced by security specialists. Among the subjects addressed were telemarketing fraud and efforts to thwart these schemes.
COPYRIGHT 1998 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:American Society for Industrial Security 44th Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas, Texas
Publication:Security Management
Date:Oct 1, 1998
Words:2688
Previous Article:Workshops western style.
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