In the seventh instalment of the series, Matthew Porcelli, CPP catches up with several ASIS International Dutch-Caribbean Chapter members who share their personal, regional insights and expertise for success for young security professionals, women in security and transitioning military/law enforcement in the Dutch-Caribbean region private security sector:
A Message from the Chair (Aaron)
Just like any other Chapter in the last two years, it has been very challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, late last year we elected a new board and I must say things have been moving forward positively since then.
The new board members are: Mr. Urvin Werleman, a security professional (both in physical and information Security) for a local bank that operates on four different islands in the Dutch Caribbean; (Treasurer) Mr. Robert Candelaria, an independent security professional coming from law enforcement where he was member of the staff and an ex-member of parliament of the government of Aruba (Secretary); Mr. Marlon Richardson, CSO of a large local bank operating on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean coming from law enforcement as well (Vice President) and Mr. Aaron Antersijn, Security Risk Management Professional, principal of a security management company operating on six islands in the Dutch Caribbean (President).
It was not an easy road to recovery; many companies in our chapter stopped paying their membership dues with the result that we lost at least 30% of our members over the last two years. Nevertheless, as a board – and with the help of one of our Women and Security Members, Milka Wernet (Security Manager at a local hospital in Aruba) – we managed to put together an important Resilience, Cyber and Security conference that exceeded all expectations.
We managed to bring some eloquent international speakers that entertained the participating local professionals that came from Curacao, Bonaire and Sint Maarten, with a charter that was arranged by one of our board members and joined members and non members of Aruba at the conference.
The conference started with a welcome word by the chairman of the Dutch Caribbean Chapter Mr. Aaron Antersijn, who gave the Minister of Justice of Aruba the floor, Minister of Justice, Rocco Tjon, praised how important such an organisation as our Chapter is for the professional security community and congratulated the board and participating members to put together such an successful event and opened the conference officially.
The conference was held in the Aruba Renaissance convention center and was sold out, we had to put some additional chairs last minute to accommodate a few late comers.
The comments we received from the participants but also from the participating speakers was overwhelming. The conference could not have been more successful and it could not have been without the support of our sponsors, collaborators before and during the event.
A special recognition of excellence goes to the speakers at the conference for doing a wonderful job: Mrs. Jennifer Coffindaffer ex FBI agent that served 28 years, Mr. Benjamin Coleman Head Global Security Protective Services and Leadership Support at Facebook (META), Mrs. Jamie Sanderson-Reid Head of Cyber, Security, Risk and Compliance at AES (a fortune 500 company) and Mr. Malcolm Reid, currently Head of Security at the Security Center of Palo Alto Networks and also Board Director of ASIS International.
With this great event, ASIS Dutch Caribbean, that covers the islands of Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and St. Maarten, re-ignited the interest, passion and continuance of a growing chapter; we have been approached by many young professionals, women in security and there has also been great interest amongst law enforcement professionals that want to launch in the professional security arena.
Our next event will be announced shortly.
Young Professionals in Security in the Dutch Caribbean Region (Miljelvison):
Looking back, the security business was a way to display luxury or for high profilers; with time, it became more obvious that it is a necessity for each individual that wants to feel safe. Nowadays we are more dependent on security officers and security systems, not only for prevention, but also for conducting investigations.
For us, in the Dutch Caribbean, the general aspect was that becoming a security officer is the easy option to tackle unemployment or for retired employees. I am glad to see the progression in the security field, from the unprepared security officer that needed a job to a well-trained or/and specialised security officer for a specific environment.
When I started in the security field I encountered different challenges – the lack of security and safety awareness from other workers or general people around me, the lack of quality in communication, getting the proper feedback that is needed to shape yourself daily, sided by gaining the respect from the higher rank officer and the struggle to get certified and recognised training on a more regular base.
As a young professional security officer, it’s essential to follow your guidelines and stay proactive by constantly seeking more connections.
Be ahead in your field with the latest information and certifications. What I was blessed with is having a mentor to guide me through it all. Seek that person that will pass over their experience in security and share their passion for the broad world of security.
The time has come to move forward from a security officer being just a day-to-day job to a profession in the Dutch Caribbean that is also a modernised prospective career for the future.
I would love to see certificates be more economically accessible for us and more adapted to our culture.
You can connect with Matthew on LinkedIn here