I enjoy being part of the wider security profession, membership associations and volunteer leadership within these bodies and it this has played a big part in my security career over the last 20 years or so. Initially I got involved for business reasons in that I decided that building a strong, trusted network was a good thing to do and so it has proved to be: most of the business activities I am involved with today come about either directly or indirectly because of the network I have or the (hopefully good) reputation I have established.
The reasons for involvement have evolved over the years and although maintaining and managing the network is even more important than it was at the start of the process, an increasing reason is being able to give something back to the profession. I know that this sounds a little lame and corny but I do feel it is important to make a contribution and in lots of cases, the more you put in, the more you get out.
Over my twenty-six years in the security sector I have been involved with many organisations and I maintain membership in several. I spent six years (the maximum term) as a Main Board Director of The Security Institute and I still serve on its Validation Board, which assess new applications for membership. I am also very involved with the management of the UK Security Commonwealth a nexus of over fourty security sector membership groups. However, my main volunteer activity has for several years been ASIS International and as I am now in my twenty-first year as a member, I thought I would reflect on 2018 and what I have achieved during the year. I am not doing this to achieve any feeling of self-aggrandisement but to help demonstrate the range and scope of the activities and opportunities open to ASIS Members and its volunteer leaders.
The UK has the largest ASIS community in Europe and the fourth largest globally and as a director and one of two Vice Chairman, there is quite a lot of work involved but with Main Board and Operating colleagues we managed to deliver a full programme of activities. In 2018 we organised around fifty hours of educational content, much of it free to attend and partnered with leading event organisers, to provide additional opportunities. The total attendance at ASIS UK educational events was around a thousand in the UK including our Young Professionals and Women in Security groups
The UK activities in the UK are only part the picture, the remodelled European event. ASIS Europe 2018, attracted 750 international visitors to Rotterdam and GSX, the event replacing the Annual Seminar, was attended by 20,000 people in Last Vegas (GSX 2019 is in Chicago).
In addition to monthly conference calls for the Leadership and Management Practices Council, regular calls and offline activity regarding the global ESRM (Enterprise Security Risk Management) work stream, I took the opportunities to attend these events.
January Annual Leadership Meeting, Arlington VA
March ASIS UK Spring Seminar
April ASIS Europe 18, Rotterdam
June German Chapter Annual Conference
ASIS UK Summer Seminar
September Global Security Exchange (GSX), Las Vegas
ASIS UK Autumn Seminar
October ASIS UK Security Leaders’ Breakfast, US Embassy
November European Advisory Council Meeting
ASIS UK Winter Seminar
Obviously, there are costs, both financial and time related in attending thi s many events, but there are also benefits. My personal network, which was one of the reasons I joined 20 years ago has grown tremendously and globally but more importantly, I am able to play a small part in shaping the future of the security profession and giving security professionals the opportunity to keep their knowledge up-to-date and relevant and growing.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, prosperous and secure 2019.