Magazine article Security Management

A Challenge Well Met

Magazine article Security Management

A Challenge Well Met

Article excerpt

Seminar attendees ready to "Meet the Challenge" were in their element at the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) 42nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Atlanta. With nearly 16,000 people in attendance, this ever-expanding annual event was buzzing with new ideas and renewed friendships. It featured a complete menu of educational sessions, a banquet-size exhibit hall, and a smorgasbord of distinguished keynote speakers - in all, ample fare to satisfy any security professional's hunger for knowledge.

For some first-time attendees, technological advances brought them to Atlanta. Mark Raybold, national manager of safety and security for a property management company in Chicago and an ASIS member for five years, came to "keep up to date on what's going on," especially in access control and CCTV.

Others cited the rich educational program as their reason for coming this year. Gary Pearce, Jr., corporate director of loss control, life safety, and risk management for Central Florida Investments in Orlando, was drawn by sessions on fire and life safety. He also noted that his company is getting more involved with the Internet, and he planned to attend sessions on that topic.

The following retrospective of seminar and exhibit highlights will bring back sweet memories for those who attended, offer those who missed Atlanta some food for thought, and whet everyone's appetite for next year's 43rd annual gala in St. Louis.

Bright beginnings. ASIS President Regis W. Becker, CPP, officially welcomed attendees to the ASIS 42nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits early Monday morning, calling it "the largest network of security professionals ever gathered under one roof."

A prestigious group of dynamic speakers brought political insights and visions of the future to each day's opening session. On Tuesday, Robert M. Gates, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), delivered a power-packed speech before an appreciative audience.

Gates told seminar attendees that while the collapse of the Soviet Union may have diminished the threat of nuclear war, many other nations still threaten world peace. "After the Cold War, the United States slashed the federal budget and decreased the strength of its military, intelligence, and diplomacy operations," Gates said. "We acted on our faith and hope,... but that anticipated peace has given way to discord and conflict."

The career government official was adamant about the need for increased vigilance in intelligence gathering efforts from government, business, and industry, saying, "It is imperative for the American government to know about the military and human intelligence of threatening targets." Gates added that new targets would require a different kind of intelligence officer - one with more imagination and boldness in conducting clandestine activities. …

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