‘20 under 40’ winners will talk tech at TechSec

Four young security leaders to present
 - 
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

YARMOUTH, Maine—Four honorees from Security Director News’ “20 under 40” Class of 2013 will speak at TechSec 2013 next month in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Representing the retail, hospitality, public utility and corporate sectors, these up-and-comers in the industry will discuss their experiences with new security technology as part of the panel, “Next Gen Security: Young Security Professionals Talk Tech.” This panel reprises an educational session that was highly rated by attendees at TechSec 2012.

The panelists are Ryan Knisley, senior director of security for Walmart Global eCommerce, responsible for physical security at those sites; Chad Pohle, director of security and safety at Montage Laguna Beach, a high-end, 30-acre California resort; Scott Starkey, security superintendent for the Birmingham (Ala.) Water Board, the largest water utility in the state; and Adam Williams, chief security officer at Diebold Inc., a $2 billion global enterprise.

The panelists have experience that includes dealing with terrorist and environmental threats, executive protection and workplace violence.

Working with the most up-to-date technology, however, does not preclude having a “personal touch” on the job. Pohle said he walks “a fine line” between security and guest services.

“We’re certainly going to be prepared, present and ready to respond at all times, but we’re not in their face. Our team is out there every day, greeting people, walking with purpose and intent, and looking for anything that seems out of place or suspicious,” he said.

Employee training and awareness is also part of these security professionals’ jobs. Williams teaches Diebold employees, among other things, how to pick their desk-drawer locks to illustrate how things are not always as safe as they might appear.

Starkey stressed the need to get employees’ support for security programs. “Because security is by its very nature intrusive, with access control and things like that, it’s important to get everyone on board. They need to understand how important security is, not only for protecting our critical infrastructure, but also protecting our employees as well,” he said.

Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, is on these professionals’ minds, too. “Security, as an industry, is working to balance the need for social media with the concerns of security,” Knisley said.