SEMINAR ARTICLE

President’s Reception: An Interactive Feast

Wednesday, September 25 - 6:35pm

A captured World War II submarine, a toy factory staffed by robots, and model trains racing through a miniature Chicago were top attractions at Tuesday night’s President’s Reception held at Chicago’s famous Museum of Science and Industry. Sponsored by AlliedBarton Security Services (Booth #1863), the reception was hosted by ASIS President Geoff Craighead, CPP, and brought attendees from around the world to enjoy food, drinks, music, and the unique sights and sounds of the world-class museum.

Members of the Seminar Committee were on hand to greet attendees as they arrived at the museum. They directed all to the best entrances where attendees were ushered into the museum’s expansive main hallway.

Roxie Craig, CPP, an inspector with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, traveled from Portland, Oregon, to attend her sixth ASIS seminar and exhibits. She spent the first day exploring exhibits featuring entry control and cameras and attending sessions on school security. She was interested in comparing the Museum of Science and Industry to a similar museum in Portland, and roamed the corridors exploring the historic collection.

John Homman, director of operations for Kratos Defense and Security in Conroe, Texas, and his wife, Vickie, were sampling the offerings at the various food stations, which included everything from a taco station to prime rib to Chicago deep dish pizza. Homman had set up appointments with vendors later in the week to further his interest in government security.

Although he has been a member for 17 years, Michael Pachuta, president of CredentialCheck in Troy, Michigan, has not been to an ASIS conference since 2000. He noticed a change in the types of people who attended. “There are definitely more decision makers,” he noted while sampling the various food choices.

As they walked among the exhibits, attendees snapped pictures of the huge display of model trains with a miniature version of the Chicago skyline in the background. They also experimented with the natural phenomena in Science Storms, where attendees could control natural disasters, including a tornado, an avalanche, and a tsunami.

Musical selections by the Blues Brothers Band formed the background for conversation. Darren Nielsen, CPP, PSP, senior auditor of cybersecurity for WECC in Peoria, Arizona, has been in Chicago since Sunday, and spent Monday attending the preseminar program, “Security Program Design—Keys to Success,” sponsored by the ASIS Utilities Security Council. He found the eight sectors of the program to be on target and was looking forward to attending more sessions sponsored by this council.

In another corner of the museum, the history of transportation could be tracked from horse-drawn carriages to steam engines to locomotives. An actual United Boeing 727 was even suspended from the ceiling. During a pause from taking in all the sights, Brad Wilson, civil and security engineer with San Francisco Water Power Sewer, commented on the range of products and services he had encountered in the ASIS exhibit hall. A new member of ASIS and first-time attendee at the seminar and exhibits, Wilson found that he was able to easily engage suppliers in conversation to learn what new products they were featuring this year.

Steve Almy, vice president of operations with Security Forces in Lawrence­ville, Georgia, and Keith Blakemore, CPP, director of corporate security for Grainger in Lake Forest, Illinois, were pleased to reconnect with the members of the ASIS Leadership and Management Practices Council at their Tuesday meeting.

Special areas of the museum were cordoned off for CSO Roundtable members. Guests of the evening’s sponsor, AlliedBarton, toured the famous German submarine during a reception gathering before the event.

The ASIS Military Liaison Council offered premier cigars for sale during the reception. Attendees could enjoy their cigars on the back terrace of the museum, which overlooks a lagoon and a Japanese garden. The proceeds of this sale will be announced at Thursday’s Law Enforcement and Military Appreciation Luncheon, and a check for the final amount will be donated to the Foundation and to various military-related causes.

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