Eduard J. Emde, CPP, took the helm as ASIS International’s president on January 1. For the first time in the Society’s 57-year history, a European is in charge, and one with a truly international perspective. With experience in corporate security management and risk analysis at international companies and agencies, this native of the Netherlands is ready to steer ASIS deeper into global waters.
Security Management spoke to Emde at his home near The Hague just before the ASIS 57th Annual Seminar and Exhibits in tropical Orlando, Florida. The location of the event brought back equally sunny memories for Emde because it was the location of the first seminar and exhibits he attended in 1991 as a bright-eyed student member.
Twenty years ago, a discount flight and a budget hotel room allowed Emde to accomplish the visit. On arriving at the Orange County Convention Center during that initial trip, young Emde was “much impressed with the ceremonial aspects of the program and the size, which was immense. I felt very welcome too. I have been to the seminar and exhibits almost every year ever since. There’s always this energy, always a hustle-bustle, and spirits are up,” he says.
It’s that sense of excitement and camaraderie that Emde would like to see and promote at every ASIS event and in the peer networks, such as the Society’s Young Professionals and Women in Security online groups. Emde refers to it as “turning up the beat.”
He explains, “We have a great heritage and high quality in, and commitment to, everything we do. I feel that without too much change, too much extra work, we could turn up the volume and increase our outreach just by putting a little bit more energy out.”
In fact, he says, “Sometimes, we’re a little too modest. We have an untapped potential both internally and externally. I am so proud of this organization and the volunteers who are active in it, but I sometimes feel a little impatient that more people should know about ASIS, more people should participate. We should share it with more security professionals around the world and also with those in related fields to whom ASIS could be a preferred second member organization, or just a trusted additional source, that they use to broaden their knowledge and networks. As individual members, we should stress the value we reap from being part of ASIS and showing with pride what we have accomplished, and what we intend to accomplish, for the future of the security profession.”