Happy New Year IAPSC colleagues!
I hope you all managed to get some R&R over the holidays and spent some quality time with loved ones. The holidays should be an important reminder of why we do this!
As we embark on a new year together, I hope you are excited about your consulting practice's future, and I hope you share in my excitement for the IAPSC. Together is a significant word to me and is my philosophy for the Association's future. Ironically, many of us work for ourselves or may be part of small to mid-sized consulting practices. However, the entire point of the IAPSC is that you are not alone in the security consulting world. You are part of a prestigious group of qualified and experienced professionals. Some with decades of industry experience from around the globe. Others are still in the building phases of their practices. Yet we all share the desire to continue learning, building our businesses, and being better and more successful consultants. To the outside world, we are unique because we appear to be an organization comprised of competitors. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any one of us has over 120 other resources to partner with, share ideas with, discuss complicated clients with, etc. There is no issue we can confront that another consultant has not previously encountered and dealt with effectively. Time and time again, when asked about the value of the IAPSC, my first response is always the networking and camaraderie.
2024 will be a significant year for the IAPSC. It will be 40 years from when our founder, Chuck Sennewald, met with a handful of his peers to form the first-ever professional association for independent security consultants. We will celebrate this landmark loudly and proudly at our annual conference in Jacksonville. The conference is already lining up to be spectacular and our most well-attended. If you are a member who has not previously attended our conference, this is the year to decide to get a bigger picture of the organization you belong to. If you are attending, and happen to work with another consultant or security professional who you think would benefit from our conference, this is the one to encourage them to attend.
We may have a small membership roster, but our members have always been our greatest attribute. I have had the pleasure of being Chair of our Membership Committee for some time. Year after year, most of our new members are a direct result of member referrals. We market and we have a strong presence on LinkedIn, yet our members continue to be our best recruitment tool.
I will ask that 2024 be the year each member will accept the challenge of recruiting a new member into the organization. We have high standards and ask for specific levels of experience and training. However, being vetted by an active member can only increase the candidate's potential to be an engaged and influential part of the Association. Recall we have several categories of membership. Security professionals you meet do not have to be tenured security consultants. There is a category for newer consultants. Each of us encounters security professionals regularly throughout our projects. Many of these are our clients' directors and managers of security departments. Some of us formerly worked in such positions before becoming consultants. These professionals are exceptional candidates for our Internal Consultant category. For those of you who do international consulting, I ask that you remain mindful of our "international" namesake. We are always interested in qualified professionals from around the globe joining our organization. I know it's obvious, but it's worth noting: if we each introduced one qualified professional to our membership, we could double our ranks in less than a year.
I will close on one last point: the continued importance of our status as independent consultants. As we look to grow our membership and improve our standing and reach in the security community, I ask that each of us always remain mindful and never lose sight of its importance. Independent consulting truly sets us apart from being just another security organization. We are the only one who signs an attestation each year upon renewal. There is no doubt that clause is what has given the IAPSC its excellent reputation. It's also the quality that allows us to grow our membership slowly and steadily, ensuring that every candidate joining this incredible organization is qualified to do so.
It is the professional honor of my lifetime to serve as your President. On behalf of Vice-President Vince Vittatoe, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors, I wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.