Nearly 250 executives tackled cyber security trends, company culture, and “unmarketing,” while fostering industry relationships, and bettering their businesses at the Electronic Security Association’s 2018 Leadership Summit, held last week in Savannah, GA.
More than 65% of survey respondents rated the 2018 event as not just “good,” but “excellent.” The exclusively executive conference included education, networking events, association meetings and moments to honor excellence in industry leadership and volunteerism.
The recipients of the industry’s most prestigious awards, the Sara E. Jackson Memorial Award and the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year, were both announced at the Summit. This year, Robert Few, co-founder of The Connection Xchange, was named the recipient of the Sara E. Jackson Memorial Award during Thursday morning’s general session.
Few has dedicated countless hours of work to developing ESA’s Mentorship Program and furthering efforts to bring fresh talent into the electronic security industry. His character and contributions to the association through his work as chairman of the Rising Leaders Professional Group earned him this honor.
Tom Donaldson, president of AT Systems was announced as the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year, and will officially receive the award at the Opening Reception at ESX 2018 in Nashville.
Larry Mann, technical training and consultant, took home the National Training School’s Paul F. Baran Instructor of the Year Award.
The excitement didn’t end here: networking in professional and casual atmospheres, engaging main stage presentations and focused breakout sessions spurred executives onward to greatness.
“The quality of networking in a smaller environment is much more valuable than with other shows,” says Don Childers, COO of Lake Norman Security Patrol, Inc.
Attendees started the week by linking up at the Kickoff Reception in the riverside ballroom of the Hyatt Regency. Old friends caught up and new connections were made to start the week off on a good foot. The next three days of networking events included one-on-one scheduled meetings, a speed networking event, sponsored by Altronix and Security America RPG, and a Diamond Event, sponsored by Interlogix, that took guests to a local dueling pianos hotspot with dinner catered by Paula Deen.
The friendships and business partnerships formed in these encounters are frequently cited as attendees’ favorite part of the Summit. In fact, 100% of attendees surveyed reported that they made valuable business contacts with peers.
Education was another big take away of the Summit, with 86% of survey respondents saying they got information and advice that will help grow their businesses.
“The keynote speakers were awesome. Always on point and informative,” says John Ward of SMS Integration.
Highlights of the week’s educational offerings included the What Keeps You Up at Night interactive panel, where executives discussed topics such as finding new talent, engaging Millennials in the workplace and incentivizing employees; ESX keynote speaker Scott Stratten’s UnMarketing session, where leaders learned how to build a stronger brand through customer service and innovation; and Dr. Allen Harper’s Cyber Security Trends for 2018, where Harper explained the most common forms of cyber-attacks today and how executives can avoid them. These sessions were sponsored by Interlogix, Honeywell and NAPCO Security Technologies respectively.
In addition to linking and learning, important association meetings were held on legislation, education, and membership issues. State chapters made their voice heard, and the Rising Leaders Professional Group and Mentorship Program met to further efforts of bringing fresh, young talent into the industry.
The association’s National EMP Forum saw its highest-ever attendance, with standing-room only for its speaker Gretchen Gordon, president of Braveheart Sales Performance.
During the three-day conference, the industry was driven forward. At the end of the week, executives returned to their offices prepared to lead like never before, using new strategies and connections created at the Leadership Summit to achieve success in 2018.