ASIS coins new name, ASIS International

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Wednesday, January 1, 2003

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -After 47 years as the American Society for Industrial Security, the security industry organization has changed its name to ASIS International.

The new name comes as the association looks to better define the group of people it represents.

“There were several reasons,” said Steven Millwee, president of ASIS International about the new name. “Probably the more prominent or important reason is we are truly now a global professional society. We have members and constituents all over the world.”

Another driver for the name change, said Millwee, were the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which has placed a greater focus on corporate security.

The association’s original name, American Society for Industrial Security, was coined in the 1950s, said Millwee, at a time when the term industrial was embraced by many.

Crafting a new name for the organization was a two-year process. Not only did its board of directors look at changing the name outright, but it also considered keeping it the same during its study period.

Instead, the group decided shortening the name to ASIS and adding the word International was the best fit. The association now also includes the tagline “Advancing Security Worldwide” with its logo.

“By changing the name now, we’re able to position ourselves as a stronger advocate,” said Millwee. “The majority of our members understand the change and embrace it very well.”

Still, he said, some members had a difficult time omitting the words American from the organization’s name. “Dropping the name of American, for some, just doesn’t feel right,” he said.