New coordinator leads Security’s VIP and significant events program
By Chris Howes
A certain subset of guests entering Argonne are now being greeted by a friendly face. Kim Johnson is the security logistics coordinator leading the new VIP and Significant Events Program within the Security, Travel, and Emergency Services division. She not only guarantees smoother site access for VIPs but also works with organizers of large events to ensure a hassle-free experience for attendees.
The program focuses on improving the guest experience by providing a high level of security-related customer service. VIP visitors to Argonne include elected officials, high-level officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies, foreign dignitaries, laboratory directors and university presidents, and corporate leaders. For these guests, Johnson coordinates with hosts and organizers, as well as Communication and Public Affairs Events and Protocol Office, the Office of the Director and the Protective Force. She typically first greets the guests in person. After security check-in, she may escort them around campus, provide security, and assist with executive protection teams, among other responsibilities.
Johnson’s services are not limited to individuals. She helps coordinate security needs for special events involving large groups of guests, including the Outloud Public Lecture Series, Board of Governors meetings, CyberForce Competition, APS/CNM Users Meeting, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Breakfast with Santa, among others. For these, she may arrange logistical details, determine additional security and staffing needs, and manage parking and traffic control for the event.
A positive guest experience leaves a lasting impression. “We want our guests’ entry and visit to be absolutely seamless,” said Drew Hogan, Security Manager – Protective Force and Site Access. “Kim is highly attentive to detail and the needs of the customer. It’s really more of a concierge service than it is security.”
Johnson has the well-rounded background for this position. With 20 years as a Downers Grove police officer — including time spent as a detective, a member of the SWAT team and a crisis negotiator — she certainly can handle anything that comes up. But she also has significant experience working with people in a more personal setting. For the most recent six years of her career, she has served as a therapist, providing counseling for individuals, families and groups.
For upcoming VIP visits or events, contact Kim Johnson at ext. 2-9073. For more information about the Security, Travel, and Emergency Services division’s VIP and Significant Events Program, please see the VIP Program PowerPoint presentation.