The Institutional Locksmiths Association (ILA) scheduled their 2004 security conference in Roanoke, Virginia, at the prestigious Hotel Roanoke. The conference was billed as "The High Security Summit." It was only fitting that Hotel Roanoke sits on the summit of a hill overlooking the city center.
Institutional Locksmiths from all parts of the country enjoyed four days of both social meetings and serious classroom training events sponsored by the Assa Abloy High Security After Market Group. The conference took place Oct. 13-16. The beautiful fall colors in the Virginia mountains added a special touch to the event.
A friendly get-together evening with food and beverages was a good beginning on Wednesday before training classes began Thursday and Friday. Locksmiths were able to choose from different classes including Understanding Key Control and Life Safety, plus both Fundamental and Advanced Masterkeying classes. In addition, several Assa Abloy product update classes were presented. Locksmiths could attend informational classes on Arrow, Rixson and Yale plus certification classes for Assa, Medeco and Mul-T-Lock.
While all the classes were well received, the Advanced Masterkey class was of special interest. Expert locksmiths who work on large keying systems on a daily basis packed the room and displayed their expertise as the instructor challenged us with unusual masterkeying questions. Everyone benefited from the lively discussions.
Roanoke, Virginia, is the home of Medeco High Security Locks. The host group from Medeco made sure that attendees were both well informed and well taken care of. Buses were available on Thursday morning to transport ILA members to a tour of the Medeco factory.
The annual ILA banquet was held at Hotel Roanoke on Friday evening. After a delicious meal, Medeco Security Lock President Robert Koch presented a welcoming speech to ILA members before introducing keynote speaker Harry Carson. Mr. Carson is a former New York Giants football star. He has now joined with Medeco to participate at Habitat for Humanity house building events. Mr. Carson is an impassioned motivational speaker.
Good things must come to an end. The final event at the banquet was the swearing-in of officers for the coming year. Many ILA members stayed to take the ILA certification test on Saturday before heading home. We all look forward to an even bigger and better conference next year- a tall order after the fine Assa Abloy conference staged this year.