Guests at Tuesday night’s President’s Reception were transported back in time more than a century at Dallas Heritage Village, which provided a living history of life in North Central Texas from 1840 through 1910. Attendees experienced a time when Dallas had general stores, saloons, and gunfights along Main Street, a clue that security was not quite as prevalent then as it is today. It was only when partygoers overheard nearby banjos trilling “New York, New York” that they were reminded that the Civil War is most definitely over.
The highlight of the evening for many was when ASIS President Joseph R. Granger, CPP, rode into the event atop a wagon pulled by the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales. Granger shared space on the wagon with the Anheuser-Busch Dalmatian, also known from the Budweiser commercials, while members of the crowd called out to Granger and cheered him on. There were plenty of photo opportunities with the horses, as they marched their white-stocking feet throughout the park.
Guests mingled around the numerous food stations, which featured catering by Eddie Deen, or took a tour of the houses and sites. Armadillos were running about, members had photos taken while they rode steers, and donkeys watched the proceedings, unperturbed.
A cigar fundraiser raised funds for the ASIS Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides aid and awareness for injured service members. Many attendees lit up cigars for charity and several bands serenaded the guests, whether they were in the pavilion, milling about the bandstand, or walking down Main Street. It was not unusual to bump into a cowboy or girl or wander by a reenactment of a shootout.
The President’s Reception is an opportunity to see old friends, according to Jeffrey L. Larson, PSP, manager of physical security and safety at Midwest ISO. “It’s a great time… the President’s Reception allows us to reconnect with folks we haven’t seen in over a year.” According to Larson, ASIS provides resources he can consult when he is dealing with unfamiliar issues. “I’ll reach out to one of my peers and say ‘I have this topic going on, can you send me some information?’ And most definitely they’ll get back to [me].”
Sarah Vogt, associate manager of security at Noven Pharmaceuticals, also credited the seminar for its networking opportunities. “The educational tracks both here and in general that [ASIS offers] throughout the year are very informative and help you if you’re starting out.” Vogt said she took several classes when she began her career, and they helped build up her knowledge base.
Keith Kambic, CPP, director of security at Willis Tower in Chicago, was looking forward to hearing the keynote speakers as well as checking out the new technology in the Exhibit Hall. He said the President’s Reception is “fantastic every year… ASIS does it very well.”
The CSO Roundtable hosted an exclusive party for members at Brent House, where hors d’oeuvres were passed around while the most senior security professionals caught up with each other.
Michael G. Smith, CPP, corporate security manager of NRG Energy, Inc., who attended the CSO Roundtable gathering, said his ASIS certification has helped in his career. “Getting the CPP really helped me take a look at how I can better do my job, not just the way we were doing it at our particular company, but also looking at the alternatives and seeing if there’s a better way out there to do that.” Smith is looking forward to hearing the former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, Thursday’s keynote speaker.
Ed McDonough, CPP, director of global security for Tyco International, was also chatting with his peers at the CSO Roundtable party. McDonough said he planned on attending sessions regarding security in Mexico. “It’s a big trouble spot for everyone and our company as well,” he said. McDonough stressed the importance of both networking as well as giving back to the Society through volunteering. He applauded the night’s festivities. “The reception’s been amazing. It’s a beautiful atmosphere and it’s a perfect night…the food’s been outstanding, and the Clydesdales, what can you say? When you walk in and they’re right there, it was great… the atmosphere is always fun, it’s a fun group of people, but they’re professional,” said McDonough. His remarks were punctuated by a loud bang—those gunfighters were at it again.