Let’s Shake Hands

April 30, 2014

by Elizabeth Hunger, Manager of Government Relations in Government Summit

After living in the nation's capital for almost five years, I have become a master of local customs like the "DC handshake."

Immediately upon meeting someone for the first time, a series of questions are asked in rapid succession: "Who do you work for?" "What do you do?" "Where are you from?"—because it is rare to find someone who actually grew up here.

When I reply, "I work in government relations for a trade association," the majority of folks nod, understanding that I, like many other government relations professionals buzzing about Washington, D.C., represent and advocate on behalf of a group, issue or, in my case, an industry. If someone outside of the D.C. metro region asked you the same question, and you provided the same response, they may respond with a perplexed look and then ask for explanation.

But this domain does not just exist within the halls of the Capitol or within a 64-mile stretch of highway also known as the Capital Beltway. A cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship between industry and government is important to the success of the security industry, whether your headquarters is in Orange County, Calif., or Fairfax County, Va.

Industry can provide federal, state and local officials with expertise and cutting-edge solutions that pave the way for the successful deployment of security technologies in a real-world setting, and justify government investments in public safety and security capabilities. Many SIA Members have provided comments on key pieces of legislation relevant to the industry, sell their products on GSA Schedule 84 and 70, or currently hold contracts with agencies such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

We must convince our colleagues they don't have to live in the national capital region to participate in this valuable partnership. In fact, your voice as a constituent is more valued by lawmakers.

The SIA Government Summit, June 3-4 at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C., is the event that brings together these two worlds to understand how they work together, and how we can make that relationship better. Whether you are a seasoned government relations veteran, or you are seeking increased involvement in the federal market, this event will put you and your colleagues in the room with the thought leaders and decision makers that affect how you do business.

So bring your boss, your department colleagues or even the coworker who sits in the cube next to you. We promise that you'll leave with some new contacts, valuable insight and great information.

What are you waiting for? Register today. PSA Security Network looks forward to seeing you there!