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AcceleRISE 2022: Unlocking the Future Leaders of the Security Industry

By Northland Controls, Aug 30, 2022

At Northland, we believe in unlocking prosperity for all we touch and last month, a group of Northlanders ventured to Austin, TX to do just that at the annual SIA AcceleRISE conference.

Designed for young professionals making their mark on the physical security industry, this conference focuses on both the personal and professional development of emerging leaders in our field. We sat down with Northlanders who attended for their biggest takeaways.

Here’s who you will hear from:
Paula Balmori | Onboarding Specialist
Morgan Khov | Technical Project Manager
Liv Doherty | Consulting Coordinator
Alec Fetterman | Integration Application Engineer
Dakota Bierly| Content Marketing Specialist

The People:
Paula said it best - you connect with people, not companies and there was a clear consensus among our attendees that the people in attendance were the best part of the conference. The room was filled with likeminded security professionals who are shaping the future of our industry, and being able to talk, network, and build relationships with them was a huge value for our team!

PB: The networking was an incredible experience to expand our professional horizon and discover new opportunities that we didn’t even know existed.

LD: I learned that every interaction you have should have a goal of walking away with a stronger relationship than you started with. Building good relationships is the foundation of all the work we do. So regardless of what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve, always put the relationship first.

AF: Networking was probably the most important takeaway for me. In an industry as small as ours, the only things that truly matter are the relationships and connections we create/build on.

MK: You could tell that everyone who was there genuinely wanted to be there to meet new people and learn from each other. I felt there was a good mix of those new to security balanced with industry “veterans” who were open to sharing their learned experiences with the room. It gave those who are new to the industry a really great chance to see what it’s all about.

DB: When I got home, I jokingly said I felt like I just returned from summer camp. The intimacy of this event meant that I had the chance to meet almost everyone in the room and have conversations about more than just what we do. I had conversations about my job, my life, the challenges I’m facing, the challenges our industry is facing, and what we think the future of this industry will look like. I found that to be a really unique and rewarding feature of this conference.

The Content:
The AcceleRISE conference packed a punch with three days of educational sessions. From a live debate to an impactful conversation on diversity and inclusion to conversations on emerging technology, each session gave attendees tangible takeaways to bring back and incorporate into their jobs and lives.

AF: The conference kicked off strong with Nisha and Sabrina from Dormakaba talking about their journey and sharing leadership skills they developed along the way. A couple points they made that stood out are that developing a vision is vital to outlining and executing a plan, while balancing leadership helps avoid burnouts and lets others shine in areas you may not be as knowledgeable in. I also enjoyed Kasia’s session on negotiation and the risks involved with being too demanding or demeaning. My two biggest takeaways from her presentation are to count your wins and that people don’t forget how they felt during any interaction you have with them.

PB: The presentations and the conversations that happened during the conference were incredible. We were having very insightful, relevant, and necessary conversations during those three days. Having the chance to brainstorm about innovation and the next moves in the industry was extremely uplifting.

Personal Development:
The conference's focus on young professionals meant there was both professional and personal development happening with each session. Here's what stood out.

LD: I learned to get out of your comfort zone and ask questions. The best way to grow as a person and in your career is to continually ask questions about the industry, about different career paths, about why things are the way they are. Strive to be a lifelong learner and the opportunities will come.

MK: One of my big takeaways is the importance of advocating for yourself and expressing what you need from your manager/peers/team to be successful. At the end of the day, everything relates back to the human element of the workplace. How your team is feeling and what they are going through will directly affect their performance. So, it’s important to understand what drives them to best support those around you. You should always leave an interaction with a stronger relationship than you started.

DB: Being a young woman who is still relatively new to this industry, it’s easy for impostor syndrome to creep in. But this conference gave me a healthy dose of reality – it’s not just me. We are all learning, growing, and developing and there are a lot of tools and resources to help us get to where we want to be. I walked away from this conference with a little more pep in my step to learn, grow, and inspire others.

A Focus on the Future:
This generation will be the future leaders of tomorrow and there was a focus on discussing what that future might look like. From tackling challenges that are facing our industry to discussing advanced technologies, it was definitely a highlight of this year's conference.

LD: It is up to us to create the future of the industry that we want to see. And as we continue to expand and add more diverse minds to the industry, it is up to the rising leaders to speak up and invite more people to the table.

MK: AcceleRISE attendees are the future leaders of our industry and it was really amazing to be in a room full of people who care about one another, our industry, and their impact on the world. I think Kelsey ended the conference by saying something along the lines of someone helped us get our seat at the table, and it’s our responsibility to keep making room for other voices to be heard so that we can continue to focus on diversity and inclusion within the industry. I left feeling really empowered to shape my own career, inspired by the sessions, and confident in the generation that we’re a part of.

PB: After the event, I was left with a tremendous amount of energy for the next steps that we need to take as an industry. We have the opportunity to continue working collectively on the issues and needs affecting our industry, and the ecosystem that is born out of AcceleRISE is like nothing I have ever seen before.

DB: One of my greatest takeaways from this event was the energy that I felt from everyone there. Sometimes, the conferences we attend are so focused on the company’s purpose that it can lose sight of the impact on the individual. But, at AcceleRISE, we were all there to invest in ourselves and our careers – and that was felt in every interaction I had. It made me really excited to be in the security industry and to be a part of the future our generation will create.

Overall, AcceleRISE’s mission is to grow, inspire, and lead the next generation of security leaders and, by the sound of it, it did just that and more!