It was a true celebration, as more than 19,000 security professionals from all world sectors gathered in Dallas to begin the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of ASIS International. The speed of change in the past half century was evident in the products and services displayed by more than 800 suppliers and in the innovative changes brought to the forefront in 145 sessions led by knowledgeable speakers.
ASIS International's Golden Jubilee celebration began at Monday's Opening Session, where ASIS President Shirley Pierini, CPP, welcomed a standing-room-only audience of security professionals. The rousing session began with a musical introduction from the Skyline High School Band and a presentation of flags from countries where ASIS chapters are located.
Pierini called the Society's 50th Anniversary "a true milestone" and encouraged ASIS members to review the Society's accomplishments with pride. "We are a proud Society and we have every right to be," she said to cheers from the packed auditorium. She listed members' accomplishments, including saving lives, protecting assets, fostering professionalism, developing leaders in the field, and providing education.
Pierini congratulated all attendees on the monumental advances within the security profession. "We have earned the right to hold our heads high," she said. Pierini exhorted attendees "to witness 'Security at the Speed of Change'" in the exhibit hall, the sessions, and the networking opportunities.
She then introduced The Vocal Majority, a 100-voice barbershop group whose songs moved through the decades and genres, including a cowboy-inflected version of "Puttin' On the Ritz" and a stunning rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" sung on bended knees to Pierini.
Next the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas, 75 youngsters from the Dallas metro area, joined The Vocal Majority on stage. The children's chorus, at times joined by The Vocal Majority, thrilled the audience with old favorites such as "Dry Bones" and "Let There Be Peace on Earth."
Thurow goes global.
One of the world's most prominent authorities on the global economy and leadership, Lester Thurow, shed new light on these key business issues during Tuesday morning's General Session. To be profitable today, he asserted, companies regardless of their size must participate in the global economy to find the least expensive place to make their products and the most profitable place to sell them.
Thurow, professor of management and economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, encouraged the audience to take risks that will help their employers thrive in today's increasingly competitive global economy. Globalization is not a foregone conclusion, he said, and companies must seize the moment if they want to create a new global economy in which all prosper.
"Today's professionals are feeling what factory workers felt 15 years ago about their jobs moving abroad," Thurow said. "Competition with the rest of the world has expanded from the factory to the executive suite."
Following his presentation, Thurow drew a long line of autograph seekers who had purchased copies of his latest book, Fortune Favors the Bold: Winners and Losers in a Global Economy. Dozens were sold from the ASIS Bookstore in the 45 minutes following Thurow's speech.
"He gets it and really knows what he's talking about," Darcy Kernaghan, president of Securiguard Services, Ltd., in Vancouver, Canada, said while waiting in line to purchase the 352-page book. He was impressed by Thurow's presentation and said he believes the global economy is one of the most pressing issues in the world today.
Giuliani lauds security.
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is well known for his strong response to the 9-11 attacks and his emotional support of police, firefighters, and emergency personnel who put their lives on the line that day. At Wednesday morning's General Session, Giuliani credited private security professionals with being the true first responders at the World Trade Center, but he warned that tough tasks lie ahead. "Your work is critical now," he told the packed house. He told attendees that they will continue to be the first line of defense against terrorists because most targets are private buildings.
Emblematic of the courage shown by private security on 9-11 was ASIS member Rick Rescorla, director of security for Morgan Stanley. Giuliani cited Rescorla as a highly prepared leader who used every available moment to evacuate nearly all his staff by roaming office to office with a megaphone--and he gave his life in the process. "That's the story of a lot of private security people in that building," Giuliani said. "Some of their stories are known, but many are not."
Giuliani's recommended a philosophy for fighting terrorism, called "relentless preparation," which he learned while clerking for a federal judge in New York. The judge's rule was that for every hour in court, four hours of preparation were necessary. That baseline preparation enables leaders to meet the task, said Giuliani, noting "that lesson gave me strength on September 11."
When he first realized how devastating the attack on the Twin Towers was, Giuliani despaired, believing that the city's emergency response plans were insufficient. An hour into it, he remembered the judge's words. That's how the city addressed the disaster, and "That's how we have to deal with terrorism now," Giuliani said.
Giuliani said New York spent $350 million to prepare for the predicted Y2K computer meltdown. But nothing happened on the fateful day. "I used to resent that," he said. He realized it was money well spent, however, when he remembered that companies in the World Trade Center, following the city's lead, had created detailed backups of their systems. Despite the utter devastation, many companies avoided severe economic damage.
Perhaps security's biggest challenge is chemical and biological attacks, Giuliani posited. Police, fire, and emergency officials have relatively little experience in this arena. "Don't be discouraged," he said.
Immediately following the speech, Giuliani also signed copies of his book Leadership.
"Convergence of Enterprise Security Organizations," the topic of Thursday's General Session, addressed one of the hot-button issues in today's security arena. According to the panel of speakers, convergence--when voice, data, video, and other applications are sent over wired and wireless networks--means more than deciding whether traditional or IT security will be responsible for the overall security of an organization.
When security is truly integrated, said the speakers, it cuts across functional lines, encompassing human resources, legal, audit, and corporate communications departments. The goals of security are more easily attained when a diverse group participates, said the speakers. The result means companies and employees are more prepared to respond rapidly to unforeseen situations. "Convergence is more than just the latest buzzword for security professionals. It's the direction in which security is moving, and moving quickly with us or without us," said Timothy Williams, CPP, vice
president of corporate and systems security at Nortel Networks and a member of the ASIS Board of Directors. Williams moderated the panel discussion, which was also translated into Spanish.
The speakers, like Williams, were security professionals and consultants who had achieved convergence in security organizations to different degrees and from different perspectives. They shared their success stories and their disappointments with the audience. Speakers included William Boni, CPP, vice president and chief information security officer at Motorola; David Cullinane, CPP, chief information security officer with Washington Mutual; Jim Newfrock, senior director, Booz Allen Hamilton; and Eric Maurice, director, eTrust Security Solutions at Computer Associates.
Debate in Dallas.
Healthy debate is a hallmark of a free society, and Thursday morning's two-hour Security Insights program provided a forum for divergent viewpoints on some of security's most pressing concerns.
The session, held in a congressional hearing format, was moderated by former ASIS President Mick Moritz, CPP, who was joined by other past presidents in the presentation.
No strangers to the art of debate, two former U.S. senators considered the testimony of the security expert witnesses: George McGovern, South Dakota's former U.S. congressman and senator and Democratic presidential candidate, and Steve Symms, former U.S. senator from Idaho.
The senators grilled witnesses on four subjects: information sharing, liability protection, the corporate right to privacy, and federal inroads into security. The lawmakers were counseled in their questioning by former ASIS President Brian Hollstein, CPP.
Two eminent speakers provided testimony on each subject. Positions on information sharing were offered by Art Fierro, special agent, FBI, and John Bumgarner, CEO/president of Cyber Watch, Inc. Fierro has been detailed from the FBI to the Department of Homeland Security as a special assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary of the Homeland Security Operations Center. He is currently assigned as the national program manager for the Homeland Security Information Network. Bumgarner, a frequent contributor to Security Management, leads a company that focuses on enterprise security solutions.
Laying out the case for liability protection was Norman Bates, president, Liability Consultants, Inc., and Regis Becker, CPP, global director of security and compliance, PPG Industries. Bates's firm frequently supplies expert witnesses on a variety of security subjects. Becker, another former president of ASIS International, is responsible for developing and implementing long-term global security strategies for PPG assets and employees worldwide.
Underscoring the corporate need for privacy protection were Cynthia Conlon, CPP, security director, Rand Corporation, and Pat Dunagan, an attorney with State Farm Insurance. Conlon, also a former president of ASIS, is responsible for global risk management and enterprise security for Rand's worldwide operations. Dunagan's current responsibilities include managing litigation, reviewing and analyzing contracts, and providing legal advice to State Farm's security unit.
Shedding light on federal inroads into security was the responsibility of Don Walker, CPP, chairman, Securitas Security Services USA, and J. David Quilter, security director, NiSource. Walker, also a former ASIS president, heads a company with 120,000 security officers and revenues in excess of $3 billion. Quilter brings more than 30 years of experience to his position with NiSource, the second largest natural gas distributor in the United States.
The lively discussion engaged the packed audience and gave them a glimpse into the deliberations that legislators encounter as they weigh the pros and cons of the thorny issues facing the security managers of today.
The seminar and exhibits officially closed after a hilarious comedy skit by The Capital Steps, a satirical troupe of former congressional staffers. With their music and dance numbers, the group used its 20 years of experience covering Capitol Hill personalities and the denizens of the Oval Office to leave attendees laughing.
New ASIS Board Members Inducted
Daniel J. Consalvo, CPP, was elected as the 51st president of ASIS International by fellow board members on the Sunday before the opening of the ASIS International seminar and exhibits. He was introduced to the membership at Tuesday's luncheon along with the other 2005 officers: Jeff M. Spivey, CPP, PSP, vice president; Raymond T. O'Hara, CPP, secretary; Steve D. Chupa, CPP, treasurer; and Shirley Pierini, CPP, chairman of the board.
The new officers will officially be sworn into office at the Volunteer Leadership Meeting to be held on January 13, 2005, in Arlington, Virginia. Those elected by the membership to serve through 2007 are Lawrence K. Berenson, CPP; Linda F. Florence, CPP; Joseph R. Granger, CPP; James E. McNeil, CPP; and Jeff M. Spivey, CPP, PSP.
Shirley Pierini, CPP, 2004 ASIS president, praised the work of these volunteer leaders: "Their selfless dedication has helped this Society to elevate the security field worldwide, and to advance its capabilities in security education and professional development. It is these people who keep us at the highest level. Security at the speed of change would not be possible without them."