SIA Member Profile: Mary Grace (MG) Karch, Director of Business Development, Security Division, NICE Systems, Inc.

Security Industry Association (SIA)

How did you get into the Security Industry?

I was really drawn to the security industry after 9/11. Like every American, I will never forget that day and the complete feeling of helplessness that came over me. At that point in my career I was working in the IT industry for a leading search engine provider and had some experience with video indexing. When I was introduced to a small start-up company that had developed a video analytics product for security applications, I took a big leap of faith and made a move. I wanted to be involved in any way I could to bring the latest technology to customers who were fighting to keep us safe. As it turned out, my very first customer was a very large government site. The project was a big success and as a result we established the validity of video analytics for real operational security applications.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy getting to know my customers and their missions. I feel so honored when I get to visit critical locations that the average citizen does not have access to. My career has taken me around the world and behind the scenes of some truly amazing places. The other aspect that I really enjoy about my role is the teamwork with my colleagues both within NICE and in the industry. I have found people in our industry to be very helpful and willing to collaborate.

What’s your prediction for the biggest trend that will take place in the security industry in 2013?

I think we will continue to see an emphasis on the integration of disparate technologies, products that are more predictive in nature, and an increased use of social media in security applications. I think we are still in the infancy of what technology will be able to do for security solutions. It’s a very exciting time and I really look forward to seeing what new ideas emerge this year.

What is your biggest challenge?

Unemployed teenagers.

What does your organization receive from membership in SIA that you’d like to share with others?

Industry awareness, excellent networking opportunities, and a forum for helping to shape the direction of our industry. I can’t imagine being in this industry and not being a SIA member.

Will you be attending the ISC West show (or other SIA networking events)?

NICE will definitely have a significant presence at ISC West. Unfortunately, it looks like I will be out of the country this year and will really miss attending the show. I look forward to seeing everyone at the SIA Government Summit.

What is the importance of government relations, specifically critical infrastructure protection, to the industry?

The activities and hard work that SIA conducts around government relations is really vital to helping our industry understand the legislative, and therefore funding priorities. These priorities then trickle down into virtually every industry sector that we provide our goods and services to. It really is the essence of the “follow the money” principle. This information helps SIA members know how to focus their resources, and ultimately what solutions to develop to ensure protection of critical infrastructure.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association (SIA).