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In the Boardroom™
Silva Consultants


Michael A. Silva
Principal - Silva Consultants
Covington, Washington, USA 98042

President -
International Association of Professional Security Consultants

Michael A. Silva, Principal, Silva Consultants Thank you for joining us today, Michael. It’s an honor to speak with you about the International Association of Professional Security Consultants (“IAPSC”). Before discussing this widely respected and recognized security consultant association, please tell us about your background. We understand that your firm, Silva Consultants, has performed work on hundreds of projects throughout the United States with many of the largest corporations and public institutions located in the Pacific Northwest. Please tell us more.

Michael A. Silva:  Thanks for giving me this opportunity to speak with SecuritySolutionsWatch. I have been in the security industry for over 50 years. I started off as a teenager in the 1970’s installing burglar alarms. I then spent the next 13 years working for security systems integrators in various capacities including installer, service technician, supervisor, salesperson, and operations manager.

In 1985, I started my own independent security consulting practice. I operated this practice until I was approached to become part of Kroll following the tragedies of 9/11 in 2001. While with Kroll, I was responsible for managing security consulting and engineering projects on the West Coast. In 2007, I decided to leave Kroll and resume my own independent security consulting practice, Silva Consultants.

My firm provides security consulting and design services. The largest portion of our business is conducting physical security assessments, where we evaluate all aspects of a client’s security program and make recommendations on how it can be improved. I have served clients in nearly every market sector during my more than 37 years as a consultant, but in recent years, have done a tremendous amount of work in the luxury multifamily housing market, including apartments, condominiums, and gated communities. While we are based in the Pacific Northwest, we do projects all across the United States. We do not do work internationally. Full disclosure, Michael, I have to thank one of your IAPSC Members, Joseph Paul Manley for introducing us to you and the very important work of the IAPSC. Please tell us about the history of the IAPSC.

Michael A. Silva: Paul Manley is a valuable member and I appreciate that he made this introduction. The IAPSC was founded in 1984 under the leadership of independent security consultant Charles (Chuck) Sennewald. At the time, there were organizations such as ASIS that represented the security industry as a whole, but no organization intended specifically for independent security consultants. The IAPSC was created to fill that role.

The organization has members in four basic categories:

  • Security management consultants, who conduct security assessments, create security plans, provide security training, and provide other general security consulting services.
  • Forensic security consultants, who provide consultation to attorneys and expert witness testimony.
  • Technical security consultants, who design and specify electronic security system technology.
  • Cybersecurity consultants, who conduct penetration tests of computer systems and data networks and help clients to better protect their data systems from hackers.

It is important to note that some consultants provide services in more than one category. For example, a security management consultant may also do forensic security consulting and provide expert witness testimony.

We strongly believe that clients are best served by consultants who are completely independent and don’t offer any other type of security product or service. There are many in the industry who offer consulting, but also provide guard or bodyguard services, conduct investigations, or sell alarm or video surveillance equipment. While we greatly respect these individuals, they would not qualify for membership because they don’t meet our requirements for independence. While this clause greatly limits the number of people who qualify as members, we feel that it best serves the interests of clients seeking professional consulting services.

I am honored to be part of IAPSC’s leadership team and am currently serving as President of the organization. What are your goals for IAPSC going forward?

Michael A. Silva:  My goals as President of IAPSC are threefold. First, I would like to increase our membership by getting more qualified consultants to join. Second, I would like to increase the visibility of IAPSC so that those both inside and outside of the security profession better know who we are and what services our members provide. Finally, there is a lack of evidence-based research on best practices in the security profession. While IAPSC cannot take the primary role in conducting research, we want to keep on top of the research that is already being done, encourage further research to take place, and gather and disseminate research related publications to the security community. What is your perspective, Michael, on the benefits of Membership ?

Michael A. Silva: The IAPSC offers benefits to both its members and to the clients who are seeking security consulting services.

Benefits to members include opportunities for training, lead referral, the ability to team with other members to pursue projects, and access to subject matter experts in nearly every specialized area of security. Members also have free access to our Best Practices documents, including our Forensic Methodology which is widely used by security expert witnesses.

For those considering hiring a consultant, the IAPSC offers a means to select from a unique group of professional, ethical, and competent security consultants that have been extensively vetted prior to being granted membership. IAPSC members are not affiliated with any product or service that they may recommend, allowing them to act in the client’s best interests rather than a desire to earn a commission or referral fee. We read with great interest about your upcoming 2023 IAPSC Annual Conference. What would you like the security industry to know about this event.

Michael Silva: The IAPSC Annual Conference is the one security industry event that is specifically tailored to the practice of independent security consulting and should not be missed if you are a security consultant or are thinking about becoming one.

The conference includes educational sessions that help you to keep up with the latest security practices and technology, opportunities to develop strategic relationships with other consultants, and the ability to exchange ideas with some of the leading practitioners in the consulting profession.

This year’s conference includes a risk assessment workshop and sessions on school security and emergency preparedness, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in security, business growth tips for consultants, human trafficking, weapons screening, expert witness testimony in court, and consulting in casino and gaming security. The conference also includes exhibits and presentations from some of the leading providers of security products and services.

You do not have to be an IAPSC member to attend the conference.

International Association of Professional Security Consultants  Thank you again for joining us, Michael. Are there any other subjects you would like to mention today?

Michael A. Silva: Thank you for having me. The only other thing I would like to mention is that now is a great time for people with the right background and experience to get into the security consulting profession. Most qualified consultants are very busy right now and can’t handle all of the work that is out there. Many of our more senior members will be retiring over the next few years and we are not seeing very many younger people stepping up to take their place. If anyone is interested in getting started in this rewarding field, consider attending our conference or reaching out to me directly for more information.