Legendary NBC newsman Tom Brokaw keynotes at ASIS

It wasn’t John F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan or other notables Tom Brokaw recalls as his most memorable interviews during his 45 years in the business. It was the young woman who emerged from a church in the south at the beginning of the civil rights movement. Brokaw was a keynote speaker during the 54th Annual ASIS International Seminars and Exhibits in Atlanta last month.

The room was silent as attendees hung on every word delivered with precision from America’s most recognizable voice. Brokaw’s talk focused on his decades of experience as a top news journalist and the scores of people he met.

The woman and others were ready to march for civil rights. The odds were formidable.

“The most memorable interviews for me are folks whose names I don’t know: young civil rights leaders in the South showing great courage as they walked into a town in the dark of the night; a doctor working for Doctors without Borders in Somalia, operating by kerosene lantern in a tent. These are the kinds of people who have lingered in my mind for me,” said Brokaw.
Brokaw tied in his talk to current affairs and the issue of security, like when an anthrax letter was addressed to him at his office in 2001. “I come here not as an authority in security, but one who encounters it from time to time,” he said. He cited a recent trip to China, where security was quite inconspicuous. “I would hope that we as a country would reconsider how we pose our security in public places,” he added.  

He also urged security professionals to give back to the community. “We have to think about our role in the broader fabric of the community. The young people today don’t have to serve in our military. Their real community is text messages or You Tube. I want to remind them that you won’t end poverty by hitting the delete button on the computer and that you won’t stop global warming by hitting the pause button. This is a critical time in our lives. We have no greater cause than to make a contribution and get involved. This is how we will be measured in the future.”
Integrators and security installing companies are reaching out every day to help their fellow mankind, provide a service at no charge to a homeless shelter or assist the elderly with free equipment or monitoring services.

There’s a lot to hold your attention this issue. Video intelligence is the focus in our exclusive roundtable, page 76 and we spotlight an IP solution deployed by integrator Idesco, page 58, as well as video systems 30 years ago versus today, page 82. These and other topics inside are critical to the success of you as integrators.
But we can all take a cue from Tom Brokaw and take a moment to step back and assess what really matters most—people.

Deborah O’Mara, editor
SECURITY Dealer & Integrator magazine