Self-Employed

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Secret Agent

Monday, September 01, 2008
Diane Griffin has been an NASE Member for two years. She owns Security First & Associates LLC in Columbia, Md. Her Web site is www.securityfirstassociates.com.

Tell us about your business.
Security First & Associates provides clients with a complete range of security services to help protect their physical and intellectual assets as well as personnel, while meeting all applicable specifications and regulations. We assess our clients’ programs and offer solutions that are in compliance with the National Industry Security Program and Director of Central Intelligence Directives. My clients are primarily small to midsize defense contractors.

I started my company in 2002 after realizing the enormous need within the governmental service arena for a company that could maintain an up-to-the-minute, in-depth knowledge of security rules and regulations and bring any given work or project up to the standards of such regulations.

Do you have employees?
I am a one-woman show! I work with my clients one-on-one to provide them the services they are looking for. I use trusted independent contractors for security services. I’m always on the lookout for good people — in a small business, you never know when a large job will arise and you need to ramp up your personnel quickly.

How did you get interested in the security industry?
I have spent the last 20-plus years working in the security industry. I’ve worked in the areas of human resource management, personnel, information technology, facilities security, compliance issues and more. It was a natural progression for me to start my own security services company.

What’s the coolest thing about running a security firm?
I am up to date (up to the minute!) on so many regulations and issues in our federal government. I feel like I have an insider’s view that most people don’t have of how our government handles security. It isn’t quite as glamorous as a David Baldacci novel, but it is pretty cool to understand that side of our government.

How has the NASE helped your business?
It is very difficult to obtain good health insurance rates when you’re self-employed. The NASE helped take the headache out of researching the different options available to me. It gives me peace of mind to know I’m covered and that I’m not paying exorbitant rates. I also enjoy the books, tapes and publications that are offered through the NASE.

Being an NASE Member helps me feel connected to others in the business community, which is highly important when you are working alone for much of the time. The NASE provides opportunities to the small-business owner that would normally be available only to larger businesses.

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