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Lightning round on Reopening Strategies

This session will be a one-hour, fast paced set of presentations (PechaKucha format) focused on the rapidly changing landscape of security technology. 

Moderator: Sylvia Kendra 

Presentations and Presenters: 

Physical Barriers – When Social Distancing and the Mission Conflict 

Speaker: Frank W. Sulzer, CPP  

Synopsis: The risks we manage for our facilities have become more complicated in light of the Coronavirus and the means to mitigate those risks needed to evolve in order to protect the health and safety of staff and visitors alike.  Reopening poses a great many new risks; however, it did not eliminate any preexisting threats. In this presentation we will explore uses, limitations, and challenges surrounding physical barriers. Visitors still need to be screened, personal property is still lost, access control and key requests must still be managed, and physical barriers facilitate these and many other operational necessities. 

Speaker Bio: Frank W. Sulzer, CPP, has more than thirty years of experience in the security industry.  Being a second-generation security professional, Mr. Sulzer was raised in the security industry and held his first position within the industry at age 18.  Mr. Sulzer has been responsible for a wide spectrum of security functions including, but not limited to, security guard force management, risk and vulnerability assessments, business continuity planning and sensitive investigations for companies ranging from electronics manufacturers, petrochemical companies, medical facilities, and aviation.  He has worked with federal, state, and local agencies to mitigate clients’ risks and provide sound asset protection programs. 

Working with both the public and private sectors, Mr. Sulzer has designed and executed learning and development programs to facilitate client specific needs and training requirements.  His training accomplishments include CPP preparation, Protection of Assets, Workplace Violence, Sexual Harassment, Disaster Management and Incident Control.  Since 2009, Mr. Sulzer has worked as a contractor to the Smithsonian Institution to produce an ongoing auditing and educational process to integrate their Security Management System with the operational needs of the Institution while enhancing the effectiveness of the systems as a whole.  He has served as a speaker at local, regional and national levels for security and asset protection related concepts and strategies. 

Mr. Sulzer holds a Master of Arts Degree in Business and Organizational Security Management from Webster University and graduated Cum Laude from California State University. He is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and an active member of the American Society for Industrial Security International (ASIS).  He is also an associate member of Certified Fraud Examiners, member of International Association for Healthcare Safety and Security, member of the American College of Forensic Examiners International and member of the National Classification Management Society, Inc. 

Timed Ticketing 

Speaker: Kathleen McSweeney 

Synopsis: The Smithsonian Institution’s Tiger Ticketing Team was asked to implement timed ticketing for two museum’s re-opening in about four weeks. In this lightening talk, I will share how we gathered the requirements and got it done. I’ll walk you through the team’s considerations for setting up the system, hosting a staff day for practice, and how the team has taken the lessons learned to create a ticketing Onboarding Manual for the remaining museums. 

Speaker Bio: Kathleen McSweeney is a Project Manager in the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and has led the implementation and adoption of small and large systems, including Office 365 and ServiceNow, for the Smithsonian Institution. 

Preparing Employees for Post COVID-19 Reopening 

Speaker: Douglas Beaver, CPP 

Synopsis: The coronavirus pandemic has forced organizations to confront major disruptions affecting employees, visitors, customers, and others. Now, as organizations prepare to reopen, they face a new challenge; how to prepare employees, both physically and psychologically, to return to a workplace that will be quite different. 

In addition to complying with orders and guidance from federal, state and local officials and the medical community, organizations must address employees’ COVID-19 questions and concerns and reassure staff of the steps that are being taken to protect everyone’s health and well-being. 

While every organization’s circumstances will differ, we will discuss the importance of implementing return to work training strategies that will prepare employees to navigate the many changes they will face, and communicate organizational leadership’s compassion and empathy during these challenging, difficult times. 

Speaker Bio: Douglas Beaver, CPP, presently serves as the Executive Director of Protection Services for the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Mr. Beaver is a former law enforcement officer and previously served as President/CEO of a prominent Washington, D.C. based risk management firm and a senior level executive for a global risk management firm. Mr. Beaver previously held a TSSCI top secret DOD security clearance and was assigned to operate in many high-threat regions in the Middle East, South America, and Asia, including Pakistan, India, Jordan, and Israel, where he provided high-level security expertise, risk assessments, and solution-based consultation. Mr. Beaver formerly served as Chair of the ASIS Cultural Properties Council and currently serves as a board member on the Smithsonian Institution NCCPP Conference Advisory Board. Mr. Beaver’s undergraduate studies were accomplished at the University of Maryland and he holds a degree in Criminal Justice studies with an emphasis on business administration. 

“A Safe Return to the Museum of the Bible: Distancing, PPE, and Sanitation” 

Speaker: Allison Mannon, Volunteer Manager, Museum of the Bible 

Synopsis: “A Safe Return to the Museum of the Bible: Distancing, PPE, and Sanitation”  

This lighting round presentation will shed light on the how the museum of the Bible reopened its doors amid the coronavirus pandemic. This presentation will highlight the museum’s experience and best practices surrounding personal protective equipment, social distancing, and building sanitation. Additionally, the material will briefly touch on other relevant information such as staff accountability, managing our contractors/vendors, and material procurement. 

Speaker Bio: Allison Mannon is the Volunteer Manager at Museum of the Bible where she has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people who help the museum meet its goal of inviting all people to engage with the Bible. She values the growth of personal connections with the volunteers and has developed impactful and meaningful opportunities for those who serve the museum. She recruits, trains, retains, and places volunteers in the program based on their skills and interests. Allison also developed the Museum of the Bible internship program to provide experiential learning experiences for college-aged students and she continues to help place students in the program. In addition to her volunteer and internship management experience, Allison is passionate about working with artifacts in museums and historic house collections. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in Decorative Arts and Design History from The Smithsonian Associates & George Mason University.

How do Museums Measure Success in the Age of COVID-19? 

Speaker: Lisa Krassner 

Synopsis: How do Museums Measure Success in the Age of COVID-19? 

As we reopen our museums in the midst of COVID-19, what are our new measures of success? Historically we tracked attendance, revenue, per caps, zip and country codes, retail and restaurant spend, dwell times, participation in education programs and volunteer-led tours, and more. As museums aim to maintain reach and relevance and serve our respective missions in new ways, what are our new benchmarks? What will the Key Performance Indicators on our dashboards look like? We may not have the answers yet, but we need to start asking the right questions! 

Speaker Bio: Lisa Krassner joined the American Museum of Natural History in 2019 as the Chief of Visitor Services, Security, and Floor Operations. In her role, Lisa oversees frontline operations and service delivery to 5 million visitors a year and leads a team of nearly 400 staff and 1000 volunteers. Prior to joining AMNH, Lisa spent 20 years as a senior executive at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she grew audience engagement to bolster their respective missions and drive revenue. Lisa holds an MBA from Simmons University and a BA from Bryn Mawr College. 

Proximity Sensors 

Speaker: Vittorio Calabrese, Director of Magazzino Italian Art 

Synopsis: Magazzino Italian Art, a research center and museum located in Cold Spring, NY dedicated to postwar and contemporary Italian art, reopened this July after four months of COVID-19 related closure. During this pause, the team researched and developed a series of strategic solutions to ensure that visitors could safely reenter the museum upon reopening, which included the adoption of a wearable device that encourages social distancing. Utilizing radio waves, the devices buzz and light up when they–and the people wearing them–have breached a safe 6-foot distance, allowing visitors to measure their proximity to others accurately. 

Speaker Bio: Vittorio Calabrese is the Director of Magazzino Italian Art Foundation. A native of Irpinia, Italy, he specializes in the management of international and cultural institutions, art business practices, collection management, and appraising. Vittorio holds a BA and MSc in Business Administration and Management from Bocconi University, Milan, and an MA in History of Art and the Art Market from Christie’s Education, New York. As the founding director of Magazzino Italian Art, Vittorio acts as the chief steward of the museum, overseeing the team and determining the institution’s programmatic and strategic direction. In this role, he curated several exhibitions including: Ornaghi & Prestinari, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, New York, 2016; Marco Bagnoli, Domenico Bianchi, Remo Salvadori: From the Olnick Spanu Collection, Hillyer Art Space, Washington D.C., 2017; Alessandro Piangiamore: Marango, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, New York, 2018; Fausto Melotti: Works from the Olnick Spanu Collection, Consulate General of Italy, New York; Renato Leotta, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, New York and Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, 2019; and Homemade, Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York, 2020. 

The Signs Are Good: Developing Effective Reopening Graphics  

Speaker: Matthew O’Connor, Deputy Director, Smithsonian Exhibits 

Synopsis: The COVID-19 pandemic has made communicating with the public more important than ever before. Signage can help keep staff and visitors safe. But developing effective reopening graphics requires careful planning and input from many stakeholders. There are many things to consider. Where should signs be placed? What needs to be explained? How much signage is too much? Join Smithsonian Exhibits Deputy Director Matthew O’Connor for a discussion of these and other issues.

Speaker Bio: Matthew O’Connor is a museum design and fabrication professional with 20 years of experience. He currently holds the position of Deputy Director for Smithsonian’s Office of Exhibits. Prior to, he was the Director of Operations and Head of Exhibitions for the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC. He has worked with numerous NYC museums, design and architectural firms, and in the film and television industry. 


Sylvia Kendra

Moderator: Sylvia Kendra

Associate Director, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Protection Services

Douglas Beaver

Douglas Beaver

Director of Protective Services, National Museum of Women in the Arts

Vittorio Calabrese

Vittorio Calabrese

Director of Magazzino Italian Art

Lisa Krassner

Lisa Krassner

Chief of Visitor Services, Security, and Floor Operations

Allison Mannon

Allison Mannon

Volunteer Manager, Museum of the Bible

Kathleen McSweeney

Project Manager in the Office of the Chief Information Officer

Matthew O’Connor

Matthew O’Connor

museum design and fabrication professional

Frank Sulzer

Frank Sulzer

Security consultant, SEI



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