Partnership: An Award for One; A Win for All

By Andy Jabbour

Awards and recognitions are funny things. Many know the famous quote from Napoleon where he stated, “a soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon” (or, another variation is “It is amazing what a man will do for a piece of colored ribbon.”). Awards and recognition are great and I’m grateful for those I received in the Army, in the private sector, and for the few we share annually within our Gate 15 team (and externally).

Recently, I was humbled to be awarded a very generous recognition when my peers with the InfraGardNCR Board of Directors nominated me for an InfraGard award. I was awarded the Public/Private Partnership award for the Southeast Region. That was very thoughtful, and it is always nice to be recognized and to receive the many congratulatory comments from friends and colleagues.

Some background on the Public/Private Partnership  award:

Background:  The core of the InfraGard program rests in a partnership between the public sector, as represented by the FBI, and the private sector, as represented by an IMA, and other public and private partners, such as the DHS. Collaboration is recognized as a basic tenet by which the InfraGard mission is furthered.  Such collaborations benefit not only the InfraGard membership, but also the local community.

The Award:  Recognizes the efforts of an InfraGard member, or IMA, and an outside entity (such as a Fusion Center, Office of Emergency Management, Local Police Task Force or other entity separate from InfraGard’s existing relationship with the FBI & DHS) to develop and maintain an enduring collaborative partnership that positively impacts InfraGard and the local community.

But with every individual award, it is important to recognize what really allows an individual to be awarded. Whether an industry award or a GRAMMY Award, the Espys or an Olympic medal, or whatever award – an individual rarely gets recognized for his or her efforts alone. Musicians have producers, athletes have teammates and coaches, and industry professionals also generally rely on their teams and colleagues. Eleven helmets to the football. All oars paddling in one direction. Mass fires. However you best visualize teamwork, it is usually teamwork that secures the win.

“When was ever honey made with one bee in a hive?”

Thomas Hood

At Gate 15, we strive “to be a contributing partner to the community of homeland security and intelligence professionals supporting organizational and individual security, resilience and freedom.” As noted on our website, “Gate 15 was established in hopes of building a business focused on positively contributing in our areas of expertise – both for our clients and the community of partners we work with – to help maintain our common freedoms and ways of life by supporting organizational security and resilience. We seek to achieve this while fostering an open, healthy work environment for our team members and contributing to the communities in which we live.”

While I greatly appreciate the personal recognition, and I genuinely do, if I am successful at my work it is largely because every single day my teammates at Gate 15 and my colleagues around the security community are working hard to help one another, their organizations, and truly build effective private-public partnership. We discuss the importance of that in a recent Risk Roundtable podcast and our team truly believes in that. Via programs like InfraGard, through ISACs and ISAOs, in security groups and communities, with fusion centers and by other means, it takes a team to succeed and it takes effective partnership to truly secure our environment so that we can go about enjoying the things we love to do, even during the restrictions of a pandemic.

A lot of people talk about partnership, service and teamwork. Some people live it. Acta non verba.

Thank you to InfraGard for the award, thanks to my teammates and colleagues who live the spirit of service and partnership every day, and thanks to everyone who contributes to their team. Not everyone always gets recognized, but everyone’s contribution is needed for the win. To those at Gate 15 and all those who are a part of this win – and I know they know who they are – cheers.

– andy

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