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Thank You for Coming!

Thank You for Coming!

Thank You for Coming!

I just want to celebrate!

Yes, that may be a song by the group Rare Earth from 1970, but that’s also how I and my fellow Security Systems News colleagues feel after what was a fantastic and memorable SecurityNext conference in Nashville.

We were so thrilled that we could host an in-person event for the first time since COVID-19 entered our lives in 2020. The enthusiasm of the attendees who ascended upon Music City for our conference last week was infectious, from the cocktail reception on opening night to the very last session on Wednesday afternoon.

Sure, there’s a lot of planning that goes into putting together a conference – from picking the venue to reaching out to potential speakers, to selecting food and beverage options, having badges and conference books made up, and so on.

But all the effort that went into organizing our event certainly paid off in the end, as SecurityNext 2022 was a great success, thanks to all of you who made the trip to Nashville to participate on a panel, listen to our solid lineup of speakers, exhibit your company’s latest security technology, network with colleagues you may not have seen in nearly two years, and perhaps accept an award (more on that later).

We at SSN knew we had a stellar lineup of speakers lined up for this year’s SecurityNext, and they delivered in a big way.

The State of the Industry Roundtable kicked off our conference, and Min Kyriannis, CEO of Amyna Systems, moderated a five-star panel of speakers - Kasia Hanson, Global Director, Edge AI Sales – Safety & Security, Intel Corp.; Pierre Bourgeix, Senior Partner, Butchko•ESI; and Kathryn Bartunek, Senior Security Design Manager, Cloud Operations + Innovation (CO+I), Microsoft – who touched on a variety of critical topics facing the security industry today, including supply chain optimization, training and retaining security talent, and protecting critical infrastructure. Our panelists knocked it out of the ballpark, so to speak, which was a sure sign that this was going to be a great couple of days.

Of course, I could go in-depth about every session and what our speakers presented (and I did my best on social media to try to keep up what our panelists were telling us), but I’m going to highlight one particular session that truly blew me away and really encapsulated two of our proudest accomplishments at SSN.

The “40 Under 40” Class of 2021 Roundtable, moderated by Geoffrey Kohl, Security Industry Association’s (SIA’s) Senior Director of Marketing, brought together three women - Elli Voorhees, Director of Learning and Development (L&D) at SIA; Angela Osborne, Associate Vice President — Risk & Emergency Management Solutions, Guidepost Solutions LLC; and Suzanna Alsayed, Founder, Evolutz and Hilt International Security Inc. – who were so fascinating to listen to and convinced me, and I’m sure all of those in attendance, that the future is very bright for women in security.

This trio of ladies representing the next generation of security leaders addressed a variety of topics, such as the importance of mentoring programs and investing in young professionals, being proactive and putting yourself out there when pursuing a career in security and developing incentive programs for young security talent.

Alsayed, who participated in her first in-person live panel but came out looking like a real pro, talked about the importance of developing a personal brand when looking to make your mark in security. “A personal brand is your story, it’s your personal business card,” she told attendees. “Having a personal brand gives you an additional voice.”

For us, this roundtable had us bursting with pride for two reasons. First, we are so honored to select our “40 under 40” winners each year and know that the security industry is in good hands with all of this young talent among us.

Second, having three women representing our “40 under 40” panel this year is just another example of why we are proud to feature profiles of impactful women in security in every issue of SSN, in partnership with SIA’s Women in Security Forum (WISF).

Elli, Angela and Suzanna have already, and will continue to make waves in the security industry, and we could not have asked for a better group to represent the “40 Under 40” Class of 2021. Amazing job, ladies!

Speaking of “40 under 40,” how could I not recap SecurityNext without mentioning our awards reception, during which we presented our “40 under 40” winners with their awards while soaking in the applause of those assembled on the rooftop lounge of The Westin Nashville. Kudos to all winners! Stay tuned as we’ll be announcing how to submit nominations for the “40 under 40” Class of 2022 in the near future!

And speaking of awards, it was such a great honor to present our Security Legend Awards to the amazing husband-and-wife team of Andrew and Christine Lanning, co-founders of Integrated Security Technologies Inc.

After some kind words from Jim Henry, himself a former SSN Security Legend Award winner, the Lannings accepted their own Legend award, with Andrew taking it to the extreme by calling himself “Legend” Lanning.

But on a serious note, Andrew cited those in attendance as the real legends of security during his acceptance speech.

“What we do is worthy of legend awards. It’s what we do that makes us legends,” he said. “That’s this group of people, all of us here, who are legends, and I really, truly appreciate this award.”

He added that there is a lot more that all of us can do to protect our country.

“We have a lot of ground to gain. We have a lot more than we can do as an industry to represent security for this country, security for our communities, and security for our customers,” he noted. “We really need all the security professionals in this country to add their voice. We are the trusted partners of our clients. Engage yourself in the protection of our nation!”

Amen, Andrew! You and your wife truly are security legends!

We thank you for attending SecurityNext 2022! I already can’t wait for next year’s conference!


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