See also reactions from attendees at GSO 2025 Dallas!

  • Testimonial Quotes

    The discussion about 360-degree leadership is something I’m taking back with me to use in my own organization.

    — Jeff Tertel – Project Manager, Exelon Utilities Information Technology

Video Testimonials

The videos below are from security practitioner attendees and a few vendor personnel who participated in the events. Their current title and position are shown above their testimonial.

Neil Smith

Director of Corporate Security
Barclays Global Investors

I thought it was terrific! This was a very worthwhile event:

  • It brought up a lot of issues that the security managers face
  • Not only issues, but resolutions
  • I was very impressed with the access control discussions
  • They laid out the agenda was going to be so I could see that it ties in with my direct duties
  • It was right on point

I thought it was terrific! It brought up a lot of issues that the security managers face. And brought up not only the issues, but also brought up many resolutions and remedies that you can work through products, to resolve many manual systems.

I was very impressed with the access control discussions that we had here. I found it very worthwhile. Very worthwhile.

I thought the best thing was that when they advertised the event, they laid out what the curriculum – what the agenda was going to be – so I could study it and say, “Yes, that ties in with my direct duties for my company.” And so that’s why it was right on point.

I walk away from here saying, the same managers in my company, that represent New York or London, should be seeing the same thing.

Derric Wright

Senior Director DEI and former Senior Director – EHS, Security, & DEA Compliance
Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA

Why I like these events:

  • Quality has been excellent
  • Covers ground not covered in other security events
  • CSOs and other presenters have been stellar
  • Continuity of learning throughout the conference, building on what we’re learning as we do along, not just a bunch of separate topics
  • A forum for security professionals to discuss what’s relevant today

I attend maybe three to five events per year, mainly ASIS or ISC and some others. The main thing that attracted me to this event was the security management program track. A lot of times you get bombarded by technology and the new widgets. But in terms of putting the program together, and the security master plan, and how to tie that in with and align yourself with the business that you’re in, taking into consideration the business drivers and things of that nature, now we’re talking the same language as our facilities. So that really was the main thing that attracted me to this event. A lot more education. A lot more practical education, things that you can take back and apply immediately. The cross-section of folks that are here are IT as well as physical security, and as we begin and continue to bridge the gap, the language barrier (the gap there), that’s very very different. I’ve learned so much.

It’s an extremely well-run, well-put-together event. The cross-section of folks that are here, a lot of networking opportunities – and you can go from IT professionals to senior VPs and CSOs that are here. We have the Open Security Exchange and the Security Executive Council and a lot of the major players that are relevant to me as a practitioner are here. And all in one place. I’m looking forward to next year or whenever the next event is. And this is an opportunity for me, as a physical security guy, to bring maybe an HR person, an IT professional – so this is that type of an event, where you just don’t cater to the physical security, but you’re actually dealing with business-related issues, and that’s different.

It’s two days. It’s packed. The momentum was great. A lot of relevant information, practical information – things that we can take back and use right away. It’s a great event. I’m very glad I attended.

Dan Dunkel

Managing Director – Managed Security Services Practice
PSA Security Network

What I liked about the event:

  • Future look-ahead for both security leadership and technology
  • Much more tailored to current-day security issues
  • Leading edge vendors, excellent technology
  • In-depth vendor discussions without sales pressure
  • A lot of great information and the opportunity for discussions about it with other attendees

I like the GSO event because it’s like a private party, in some ways. It’s much more tailored and specific to a lot of security issues that I’m seeing in the industry. I really appreciate the vendors that are here. They’re very much leading-edge vendors, a lot of small companies intermixed with the Cisco’s and the like. Excellent technology. What I also find compelling about the event is I’m always learning something. The thing I’m really taking away here, or from the show today, was the FBI’s detailed description of corporate espionage and how that’s going to affect security leaders moving forward, and everything from the vetting they do with their internal and external employees and suppliers – or the systems that they’re going to purchase – in order to be able to prevent that.

It’s leading edge, it’s next generation, and these are the kinds of things that I find I really get out of the GSO shows is where the industry’s really going to be, in a couple of years and beyond.

Basically, it places you into an environment with like-minded folks, where you’re getting a lot of great intelligence and a lot of great banter back and forth with people, because you are having dialogs at the breaks. You’re able to really center on the vendors and speak with them specifically, and you’re able to speak with end users, about what solutions they are looking for, and what they have today and what they’re going to be needing in the future.

It’s much more intimate than the very large shows. It’s not that I mind going to the large shows, you see a lot of folks that haven’t seen in a long time. What you’re really able to do at the GSO shows is narrow down the focus and really get some excellent results as for the time you’re putting in for the two days, it’s really worth it, both your time and the money.

Fernando Silva

Manager Security and ERT

Western Digital Media

This is my second GSO event. My thoughts about the event:

  • It’s the place to be to get up to speed on new technology.
  • Day One showed how to talk to senior management to do more.
  • They are very approachable, you can go back to them for help and support
  • It’s different from other shows because they focus on the latest and greatest technology that’s out there now.

The GSO Event is my second one and it’s like the place to be if you want to get up to speed on new technology.

Day One showed me – or reminded me – how to talk to senior management to do more . . . took me to put myself in their shoes and how they think, so I can talk the same language.

What I think about James and Ray – they’re very professional and very knowledgeable on all the subjects. They’re very approachable, you can go back to them and say, “Hey, I need some help with this.” If you go back to them with a question or you call them – they’re available, they’re there to support you.

GSO is different from other shows I’ve seen because they focus on the latest and greatest of what’s out there. That’s the one think that I thought . . . this show was just one of a kind.

Patrick Cagle

Senior Manager – Corporate Security
Koch Industries, Inc.

This event had several things I was looking for:

  • Technology migration solutions
  • Security leadership for risk management and relating to technology
  • Just one leading technology vendor for each of the areas I was interest in, and the chance for in-depth discussions
  • Insight into technology trends
  • Not a show floor sales type situation

After receiving the announcement and perusing the agenda, it had some specific things that I was looking for, and that was technology migration solutions – that was the number one draw for me.

It provided a good mix, not just of technology issues, but also of the security leadership issues, and how the two could tie together.

[What I liked most?] Probably the business aspect of security, being a business person and applying that role model to the security industry. One of the questions I asked when doing some research on whether to register or not was, “Is it a sales presentation for vendors?” And if it was, frankly I wasn’t interested.

I enjoyed the informational aspect of it, but with the opportunity to voluntarily talk to the vendors if I wanted more information.

The difference from a trade show is, while there is a lot of information, it’s not overwhelming, and it’s not, you know, 15 different types of cameras that you’re looking for. While there are some specific products talked about and mentioned and that you had the ability to see, it was one of each of the major areas of areas of technology in which I was interested.

[What would I say to someone interested in attending a GSO event?] I think it will help them stay – I guess, be aware of – what is on the horizon from a technology standpoint. And to me, that’s the hardest part, to keep scanning the horizon for solutions to either the problems that you have now, and problems or issues and opportunities that you may have in the future.

Jeremiah Frazier

Director of Security and Safety
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee

This is a forward thinking conference – very different from others.

  • The middle-management leadership style is important, because we’re not senior executives in the corporation.
  • The concept of 360-degree influence is a tool that we’ll use to help get projects and budgets approves.
  • Very different from a trade show because it’s personalized. You hvae one-on one-time with the vendors and the products and equipment are hands-on right there.
  • It was great that you can bounce ideas off the other security managers that are attendees.

I thought, “Wow! This must be interesting. This has to do with the future of technology and I was actually pulled in because of Ray Bernard. I read all of his articles in ST&D magazine, and also I noticed that the editor’s going to be here today, Steve [Lasky], so I wanted to see those two. I noticed that it was a really good balanced approach to a conference because we have the first day with leadership, security concepts. Then the second day was really a lab-based conference with technology and hands-on training.

What struck me the most was the middle-management leadership style. Most of the security managers and security directors are not the leaders in their organization, so we have to be able to influence those that are above us or next to us – or even our competitors – so I thought with the leadership assessment and the 360 Degree Leader book that we have, I think that’s a great tool that we’ll use in the future so that we can get the security budgets we need to manage and mitigate the risks that we have.

There were two major products that I was interested in. There was the video analytics – I know that’s was a software-based solution that fits out bill, it fits our needs the most. And then there was an integrator that was able to pull in all the diverse applications and bring them into a single-source solution for us – it was really good.

This is different from a trade show because it is really personalized. You have one-on-one time with each vendor, and you can pose the different types of scenarios to them, and they are hands-on right there – the equipment is right there so you can touch it, feel it, and see it – and you can also partner with the other security managers that are attendees, and then you can bounce off ideas.

Steve Lasky

Editorial Director

Endeavor Business Media

This is my third GSO conference. What I like about it is:

  • There are many perspectives on how to talk to senior management and what to talk to them about, including their need to understand enterprise risk management and the specific issues that face the organization.
  • You see the value of understanding ROI and total cost of ownership for security technologies.
  • What really sets GSO apart from other conferences is that you get to be hands-on with multiple technologies integrated and working together – something that you don’t get to see at other conferences and trade shows.
  • Both the attendees and the sponsors learned more about what it means to work together as strategic partners.

Well I’ve been involved in GSO since the beginning, so this is my third one. Basically, what James and Ray bring to the table, and this whole conference brings to the table, are the business aspects of making yourself ingratiated and part of the conversation in the organization you work in.

And today, because we’re looking at security directors becoming more management staff, and not just guards locking the front gates and holding the key ring, you know, as their making their tour in the warehouse, it’s imperative that they’ve got a seat at the table, and this conference gives them the ammunition to talk turkey with the CFO, the CTOs and the CIOs in order to make their business case on why they need to purchase technology, and why they need to really understand the risk and the enterprise risk management issues that face the organization.

I really enjoyed the Yahoo! talk with Greg Jodry [then Senior Director, Global Security & Safety], who brought to the table the whole message of being part of the business conversation at your organization. Again, because, if you’re not dealing with return on investment when you purchase equipment, if your not converging with your IT department to make sure that when you implement technology it’s going to be good on the network and it works, and it’s cost-effective for your organization, or you don’t understand the total cost of ownership of the technology solutions that you’re purchasing, then you’re going to be a liability not an asset to your company.

I think on Day Two, and I think the thing that really distinguishes this conference from others in the industry, is that your putting together all these disparate pieces of technology and having them work together in a seamless interoperable way.

You walk all the shows and you talk to all the vendors, and you talk to the end users and the thing they want to have is an interoperable solution that’s going to bring as close as possible to an open architecture compatibility solution that they can find, and since we’re not really dealing with standards and open architecture on all our technology, at least we’re seeing that technologies work together if you’ve got good partners and you’ve got a strategic roadmap to get things done.

Ray, to me, is a very strategic thinker. He understands the problems of the folks that he’s dealing with that are his clients, but he understands it from the perspectives of the vendor and also the end user.

Robert Moore

Regional Security Manager – Northern California
Marathon Petroleum Corporation

This was a very helpful event – a great opportunity. High points for me were:

  • How to present the security business case to management.
  • Excellent networking on both days.
  • Helpful perspectives and information on the latest technology.
  • It was a smaller, more intimate venue than a trade show. Easier to interface with other professionals at the event.

I’m Bob Moore and I’m the regional security manager for Tesoro Refining and Marketing company, In Martinez [California].. I heard about it through ASIS and in their advertisement for the conference. I was interested. We had some potential issues that I had to wait ‘till the last minute to decide I was coming, but I’m glad I did. It was a great opportunity.

Day One, the helpfulness to me was really the presentation of the security case to management, in justifying expenditures, budgets and that type of thing. Putting security interests in terms that decision makers will understand. Security is typically considered as a consumer of money, not a producer of money. In other words, we cost the companies money and how do we justify the benefit of those expenditures. That was the most helpful.

Day Two – and Day One, for that matter, was a great networking opportunity. Certainly the biggest value on Day Two was just the opportunity to meet other people, exchange a lot of business cards, and also to get an exposure to the latest products that are available to security people such as myself, that help us in our responsibilities for security projects, access control systems, cameras, and gettin’ a lot of technical questions answered but more importantly getting contacts for resources to get answered.

It was different in that it was a little more intimate – a little smaller, compacted venue if you will, a little easier to interface with other professionals that were here. So that’s how it really differed from other venues. It wasn’t a massive trade show type situation.

Jeff Tertel

Project Manager, Exelon Utilities Information Technology

I found the GSO event to be very valuable in many ways:

  • I appreciated the smallness of the event and the personal attention.
  • Me being in the IT profession, it was very helpful to be able to have discussions with the physical security folks attending.
  • The discussion about 360-degree leadership is something I’m taking back with me to use in my own organization.
  • It was important to me to talk to people from other organizations and hear about their experiences.

Video Clip #1

I’m Jeff Tertel. I work for the IT department at Exelon corporation. We are the holding company for three utilities, many power plants including a lot of renewable power, including wind and solar. So, what made me come to this event was a lot Ray, and it was also the fact that when I looked over the agenda and kind of the personal attention that was going to be received here . . . I mean that was important to be able to connect and network with a lot of folks in the security industry.

Me being from the IT profession, I don’t get a lot of experience outside of within Exelon to talk to a lot of security folks to find out what they are doing. And product-wise, I was real excited to see that we had some discussion about security theory, and then also on the second day would be on the security products.

I think the thing I found most valuable would have been the discussion about 360-degree leadership. The ability to discuss with leadership, peers and also subordinates and really to lead instead of to manage. I think one of the things that hit me was the Peter Drucker quote on management about how managing was having people do things right, and leadership is doing the right things. And so, the ability to communicate that with the organization whether it be folks above, below or your peers . . . is really important. And that’s something that I’m really going to take back and use within my own organization.

Being in IT and being the fact that physical security is just being integrated with IT in my own organization, it’s really important for me to get the word out and be able to bring the central IT organization along in an area where physical security folks are just kind of struggling in their ability to deal with the IT area.

I also really appreciated Day Two:

  • It was great to be able to look closely at the technology and understand more about it.
  • I think I exchanged business cards and talked with with everybody attending the conference.
  • I’m now in contact with a lot of vendors that I probably should have been in touch with earlier – and I now have resources to get my technology questions answered.
  • It wasn’t a lot of sales talk. It was specifically about how the products worked, and how I could use their capabilities in my organization.
  • There was a lot of interaction between IT and physical security folks.
  • It’s very helpful to know what other people are doing. I get asked about that alot.

  • Ray has been invaluable to me in my projects, both for his advice, which is always right on, and for his knowledge about that other organizations are doing.
Video Clip #2

What was great about Day Two was the fact that we got to take a look at the products, that we were able to see different solutions. That I was able to kind of understand more of the technology. Lately my career has gone more of the management way, and so I haven’t learned as much about the products as probably is necessary for somebody that’s implementing some of this stuff on a regular basis.

I think that was pretty interesting. I’m actually in contact now with a lot of vendors that I probably should have been in contact with before. And it was very appropriate. It wasn’t a lot of sales – it was more, “Here is how the products work, here’s how they can work in your organization. Here’s the different opportunities you could implement . . . and here’s why that’s important.” I think that was important for me to learn, too, as to some of the security technologies and why they might be important to our organization.

I think some of the things that are different with GSO than with other conferences, are the smallness, the closeness, the ability . . . I think I’ve talked to everybody that’s here at the conference. I’ve probably exchanged cards with everybody here at the conference. I think that’s important to be able to network with other folks, with other peers. You know, one of the other really cool things about the conference was you had a lot of security folks, you had IT folks, and so you had a lot of interaction between the organizations that need to be involved in convergence of IT and security. So that was exciting. It was really cool to talk to the security guys, me being in the IT area. And it was really cool to talk to the IT guys who maybe have a little more experience than I do in this area.

Ray Bernard is one of those guys that just kind of leads and provides his expertise with kinda not even knowing it. Ray has been invaluable to me both in improving my expertise in the security area, and his recommendations have always been right on. I use Ray in . . . for his consulting work in some of the projects I’ve been running, and I find his advice invaluable.

And, you know, I think I also help Ray a little bit in some of the experiences that I have and letting him know what’s going on in my organization. And it’s really helpful for Ray to bring his experiences with other organizations to me as well, because that’s really important when it comes to . . . some of the folks in my organization are always asking, “What are other people doing? What are other people doing?” And Ray brings a wealth of experience and the ability to really help to understand what’s going on outside of our organization.

Bud Broomhead


Why I like these events:

  • Quality has been excellent
  • Covers ground not covered in other security events
  • CSOs and other presenters have been stellar
  • Continuity of learning throughout the conference, building on what we’re learning as we do along, not just a bunch of separate topics
  • A forum for security professionals to discuss what’s relevant today

The quality of course has been excellent. Certainly, the chief security officers and those that are in the business, if you will, of physical security – that has been stellar.

The continuity has been one of the good aspects – and the fact that we’ve been able to build on what we learned through the conference. That’s one of the things that I’ve been noticing about this is that we’ve all been going through a learning process and sort of a collective one, and as we’re getting into the second day here we’re referring back to things that we learned about yesterday as a group. That’s really helped everybody to move the conversation along and cover new ground.

I really think that a number of topics have come up here that may have crossed somebody’s mind at some point, but now they have a place and a forum and other professionals and peers to discuss the issues.

Mike Colclough

E Search, Inc.

The GSO event was different from previous events I’ve attended:

  • The vendors offered many electronic systems that could be used for our Federal facilities.
  • I understood how we could be able to upgrade our current systems.
  • The one-on-one interactions, including with the vendors, were very helpful.
  • Putting the leadership principles together with technology understanding is an awesome idea.

What attracted me to the GSO event was the many vendors that were here offering different electronics, different equipment, things that could be used for our facility from a Federal standpoint and we just need to have various options that could potentially upgrade our current systems.

The various security vendors here, and the opportunities they have provided us, have been extremely helpful.

From my experience, the difference [with GSO] is that you just have that one-on-one contact, you have that one-on-one interaction, and they give you an excellent opportunity to ask some questions, pertaining to how they can assist you, and its been very helpful for what we want to do in the future.

I thought that from a leadership standpoint, that everybody within the organization has the opportunity to lead, and as far as the technical standpoint, if you take the leadership and the technical and integrate them into one, then you have an awesome idea.

Mike Colclough

Personnel Security Officer

Federal Trade Commission Headquarters

I got a lot out of the event:

  • A lot of our customers are still dealing in silos with security over here and physical security over there, only talking at the project end.
  • This even covered how to bring IT into the conversations early, and what the touch points are.
  • Day one included technology approach and theory. Day two you saw it all come together.
  • There are vendor teams and product/system architectures that work together, and we saw that working.

I got a lot out of this two-day event, quite honestly.

One of the big issues for us is the acknowledgement of convergence. A lot of our customers are still dealing in silos with security over here and the IT guys where you talk to them at the end. And this kind of magnified the need that we force that communication early. We probably will bring IT more into the team so that we can look forward in developing some of the solutions for our clients so that this is like more than a two-year investment and that they get more return. Even though maybe the up-front cost may be more, they get more life and flexibility in the systems that we provide to them.

I think it was excellent in that you hear I’ll call it the theory on one day and then on the second day you actually saw some of the things work. But even before you saw them work, you got to break down – like a puzzle was being put together while you sat there, looking at the different layers and how they are integrated.

Well for me, it left me with a solution, you know, that it works, not so much off-the-shelf, but there are ready teams and architectures out there that fit together. It’s just a matter of making sure that the customer is fully vetted, as far as what he is looking for, so you can give him the best solution.