Nailing it at TechSec 2015

 - 
02/04/2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—I’m writing this midway through the second and final day of our TechSec Solutions conference. So far, so great!

This is my third TechSec conference, and as always, I am impressed, albeit blown away, by the passion and commitment that participants and panelists have for the jobs they do.

My favorite part of TechSec is meeting and getting to know in person our “20 under 40” award winners. If you, out there in the physical security world, have any doubts about the future of the industry, you can rest assured it’s under control. These young people, the future security leaders, are more than smart and certainly dedicated to their profession.

Our keynoter, Brian Katz from Google, a “20 under 40” winner, was outstanding. Following his speech I don’t think he had a moment to himself. Whenever I’d look his way, he was surrounded by people asking him questions, seeking his insights. That’s what TechSec is all about.

During one of the sessions yesterday, “Who’s the boss of video surveillance? IT vs. physical security,” Les Paul Vernon, vice president, enterprise solutions, for Protection 1, and Kelly Klatt, area director of safety and security, Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, stressed that having a good relationship with IT departments from the start of projects is the only way to go. It’s not us against them anymore, they said. Both benefit each other.

My panel, “NextGen: Security practitioners’ perspective” with David Avedikian from Southwest Airlines and Brad Reeves of A&P, was, without being biased in the least (!), a highlight of the first day. These two young pros, minus the third scheduled panelist who was stranded in snow-plagued Boston, talked about their biggest challenges of the past year and those they face in the year ahead; how they deal with emergency situations; and the security technology they want along with the technology they’re not all that interested in at the moment.

We capped off the day with the “20 under 40” awards ceremony. A great turnout along with great appreciation for the winners made for a fine evening in Delray Beach.

Today’s opener from Ralph Nerette, former 20 under 40 winner and director of security and emergency management for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, did much to shed light on what today’s end users have to deal with, especially when it comes to the unexpected. In the space of two weeks, Nerette and his team, in addition to their plethora of daily duties, had to deal with the fallout of an active shooter at a next-door hospital and the impending consequences of a huge storm bearing down on his area.

I also sat in on the “Student Innovation: Young Minds with fresh ideas” session, with Mark Robinton, the manager of technology innovation, strategic innovation team, for HID Global, and Jeff Hale, an MBA student at Chapman University.

And we’re not done yet! Stay tuned.