Past Featured Members
Each month IFCPP chooses a member that exemplifies what being an outstanding cultural property security professional is all about. From these excellent candidates we will choose our annual IFCPP Security Professional of the Year Award recipient.
Brad Novak, CIPM joined the Campus Safety and Security Department of the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) in 2012 after nearly 12 years of service in the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.
Promoted to Director of Campus Safety and Security in October of 2015, he was immediately tasked with leading a team of security professionals in the midst of re-opening a renovated permanent collection.
Later, in 2017, MAM acquired a county park and 1200 space parking garage adjacent to the museum. The property was in need of immediate security improvements. Novak, working alongside Manager of Campus Safety and Security John Rittberg, CIPM, expanded their department’s exterior security staffing, training, and technology to formally safeguard a growing museum campus. This resulted in immediate improvements toward security and safety standards at the new property.
Overall, Novak and Rittberg have guided the department toward significant technological improvements, including upgrades to camera systems, coupled with integration into a new access control platform. The two often adopt a nimble, autonomous approach. Self-sufficiency is their aim in all projects.
Novak and his team work closely with several community partners to safeguard Milwaukee Art Museum’s deep variety of cultural assets, as well as the iconic status of the Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, a civic symbol of the City of Milwaukee. In addition to their close relationship with IFCPP, Novak’s team also works with Milwaukee’s Downtown Security Network, and participates in trainings with TSA, DHS, Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee Fire Department.
MAM’s Security team also compiles and analyzes data from art observation and art incident reports to pinpoint what specific pockets of their galleries attract the most security related interactions. Security Officers report findings in all situations, from more concerning incidents (change in art; movement), down to the less impactful (vitrine smudges or close proximity to an object). This data is compiled into what Novak calls “heat maps” to predict visitor behavior in specific galleries, genres, or design layouts. This analytical approach hopes to support a more proactive security plan within security-sensitive areas of the museum. This is one method the team uses to strike a balance between cultural property protection and ambassadorship consistent with a superb visitor experience.
“Our team is composed of dedicated security professionals,” remarks Novak. “I still pause every time I look at the years of service our Security staff have devoted to the museum. Milwaukee Art Museum is supported from one generation to the next as a result of its kind, dutiful staff. We all are stewards in the honor of preserving cultural inspiration so it may be enjoyed by future generations.”
Novak was born and raised in Milwaukee, graduating from Marquette University with his BA in Criminology and Law Studies. When he worked as a deputy sheriff, he also served as State Secretary for the Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police. During his time at MAM, Novak has completed certifications in IFCPP’s CIPM and CVRS courses. He is a certified CPR/AED and First Aid Instructor through the American Red Cross and a Crisis Intervention Partner through the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
A father of three and married to his wife Lindsey, Novak would find eternal peace in a Milwaukee Brewers World Series title. He jokes that his one challenge is visiting museums with his high-spirited four-year-old daughter. “She cannot be trusted in any gallery, regardless of heightened parental supervision or the combined efforts of any security team. She is the ultimate museum security challenge.”
Winston-Salem, North Carolina is a long way from Palm Springs, California. But when Shawn Brophy had the opportunity to do what he loves on the East Coast amid the green, rolling hills of the Piedmont Triad, he jumped at the chance. Brophy was named Director of Security at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in July 2018 and has quickly made a positive impact on the institution in his first six months - but you won’t hear that from him. Brophy’s path to Reynolda is filled with honors, rescues, and partnerships, but what he likes to talk about is his team.
“I am most proud when I see all of the training we do as a team pay off,” Brophy says. “When my colleagues respond to an unusual or emergency situation and are able to mitigate it based on how we trained, or go the extra mile to make sure our guests are happy and safe, those are the moments I find most fulfilling.”
With a background as an emergency medical technician and fire warden, training is an area where Brophy excels. He is an Indirect Training Instructor for the Center for Domestic Preparedness, a CPR/First Aid Instructor, and an Advanced Bleeding Control Instructor. He is also certified with CIPS, CISS, CIPM, & CIPM II from the International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection, and holds the Crime Prevention Designation (CPD) with the National Institute for Crime Prevention. He served as the IFCPP South West Chapter President for two years, and in 2013, spoke at the IFCPP Conference on Terrorism Preparedness at Cultural Properties.
“Security teams at cultural properties are tasked with protecting parts of history so they are preserved for future generations to enjoy and connect with. Many of the things we protect are irreplaceable. I have always found it rewarding to be tasked with protecting such things.”
At Reynolda, Brophy has initiated several projects to upgrade and enhance the security infrastructure. As a 100-year-old historic house listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Reynolda House features a renowned collection of American art on view in the restored interiors of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds’s country home, just a few miles from downtown Winston-Salem. The museum also features a modern addition added in 2005 that includes education studios, auditorium, offices, storage, and a 3,000 square-foot exhibition gallery.
Brophy has prioritized upgrading surveillance capabilities, updating and modernizing the museum’s key control systems, and adding additional access control measures to keep the museum’s patrons, staff, and collection safe. As a new member of a tight-knit community, Brophy has also developed partnerships to update, modernize, and streamline Reynolda’s emergency response plans and procedures with the Winston-Salem Fire Department, Forsyth County Emergency Services, Wake Forest University Police, and Wake Forest University Emergency Management. He’ll soon be leading efforts to enhance the level of training offered to the museum’s Protection Officers and Senior Protection Officers, all in support of his belief in the importance of cultural properties.
“I really enjoy being a part of a team that genuinely cares about the historic house and our collection, not just because it is their job, but because Reynolda means something to them,” he says. “It continues to amaze me when I meet people in the community and tell them where I work, people always know where I am talking about, and most have a great memory of Reynolda. I am really proud of what we do at Reynolda, both in the security department and as an organization as a whole.”
Brophy spends his time outside of work with his wife of 15 years, Stephanie, their two children, and one fur-child. He volunteers with his daughter’s Girl Scout Council and has become an avid fan of the Carolina Thunderbirds, Winston-Salem’s minor league hockey team.
Jeff Strong has been a Utah State Certified Police Officer since 1985. He initially served for 3.5 years with Sandy City Police Department in Salt Lake County, then accepted employment with Brigham Young University Police Department in Provo, Utah; December 1988. Jeff currently holds the rank of Sergeant in the Police Department with his primary assignment serving as the Directing Supervisor of Museum Security for The Museum of Art at BYU. He has a combined time of supervising divisions of security in Cultural Property Protection at the Museum and Harold B. Lee Library with their large Special Collections Department for 10 years.
While working for the University, Jeff completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development; and a Master Degree of Public Administration. Jeff has been a member of the International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection for four years and certified CIPM-I and II. Jeff served on the Advisory Board for the creation of the new CVRS (Certified Visitor Relations Specialist) Certification for the IFCPP. Jeff presented in 2016 at the National Conference on Cultural Property Protection of the Smithsonian on the concept of enhanced customer service brings about a higher level of security to an institution. Jeff has hired, helped train, and supervised over 350 part-time student security officers in 15 years of leadership in various Security Divisions on Campus. Jeff incorporated the training concept for Security to be the front line representation for the entities they protect on campus. The Museum of Art at BYU is favored and attended well within the community due in part to the level of customer service performed by the Security Staff.
Brigham Young University Police Department has certified Sergeants which supervise over all the satellite locations of campus which involve a Security Division. All the Security Officers of these Divisions are full time students attending the University. The Officers are trained in house at their specific assigned areas and complete a Security Academy created for all Divisions of campus. Jeff serves in the Police Department as an Emergency Vehicle Operations Instructor, Background Investigator, and as a State Certified Crisis Intervention Team Officer. He has been awarded various Leadership and Service Awards from Brigham Young University, The Museum of Art at BYU, the Harold B. Lee Library on campus, BYU Police Department, and the Mountainwest Campus Law Enforcement Association.
Jeff’s personal life is involved with what he and his wife Debbie feel is the most important in life. After having four children born to them; Jeff & Debbie have adopted fifteen additional children over the years. Jeff is sometimes asked if any of his children have special needs, and he replies “yes, all children have special needs”, and laughs. To note, of the fifteen adopted children; ten have specific disabilities of varying natures. Jeff & Debbie have felt inspired to bring these children together as family, and felt with each child the strong desire to care for them. Three of Jeff & Debbie’s special needs children have passed on. Three of the nineteen total children are married, and they have two grandchildren with one on the way. Currently ten children still live at home with Jeff & Debbie. Jeff enjoys the time with his family, sports (playing/watching when time permits), repairing many things and helping the daily operation of the house and family move forward.
The IFCPP conference team was very proud to award Jeff with an IFCPP Good Samaritan Scholarship to attend this year’s Hearst Castle conference for all that Jeff does to promote best practices in cultural property protection, and good will on campus, in the community, and at home. We’re honored to work with Sergeant Strong, a true inspiration to us all!
Please join us in congratulating Corey Burrage on his recent promotion to Director of Operations in the Department of Protection Services at The Art Institute of Chicago. Corey was with us at our 19th Annual Conference at the Hearst Castle and Cambria Pine Lodge in October.
AIC Vice President of Operations Russ Collett said “Corey is the ultimate ambassador to The Art Institute of Chicago, a valued asset to museum operations and a devoted colleague to everyone. Corey’s bold and trusted leadership and collaborative, pragmatic approach to strategy, tactics, problem- solving and reducing complexity has helped the AIC continuously increase their security talent, program responsibilities and respect. Corey’s partnership with DoPS Executive Director of Operations Lu Ventura is driving positive business transformation and furthering the AIC mission.”
For the past 10 years, Corey successfully served as a DOPS Security Manager on both the day and midnight shifts. His responsibilities included operations, oversight of gallery, event and escort security, and staffing, scheduling and training.
Corey exemplifies excellence in leadership – he is genuine, humble and collaborative. His professional approach has helped raise the performance of the AIC officers, supervisors and managers which in turn has elevated their customer service and security programs to new and improved levels. The AIC was the TripAdvisor #1 Museum in 2014 and remains one of the “Top 25 Museums in the World.”
Corey studied business administration at North Park University in Chicago, obtained a Criminal Justice Diploma from Stratford Career Institute, and maintains an IFCPP Certified Institutional Protection Manager II Certification.Corey served in the United States Navy for over eleven years and upon his honorable discharge became the security contract account manager for one of the world’s premier bio-pharmaceutical companies at their global corporate headquarters in Connecticut before returning home to Chicago
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