"Clients choose their security level," said Scott Maxson.

Security Magazine profiles Scott Maxson, director of building and protective services, Q Center Contemporary Conference Commons in St. Charles, Ill.

Security Magazine: What is the Q Center?

Maxson: Q Center is a conference center offering food and lodging for corporate guests attending conferences being held at our facilities. Q Center has the capability of accommodating two to two thousand guests. We have had guests from over 30 countries visit us. Our guests are business-minded, and their meetings range from new-hire training conferences to senior-level leadership retreats. We host trade fairs for technology, and also hold political fundraisers for such guests as Colin Powell and Dennis Hastert, as well as other political figures.

Security Magazine: What types of services does Q Center offer its guests?

Maxson: We offer such things as company-specific meeting set-ups, technology such as laptops, projectors, remote control polling, Teleprompters, acoustics, media such as posters and other signage from our on-site printing facility, as well as identity security. There is absolutely no sharing of ideas or media from company to company. Our laptops, for instance, are wiped clean after meetings. We have security levels, and each company chooses which level of security they feel is necessary during their visit.

We have restaurants and cyber cafes, a clubhouse that has other eating areas as well as a sports bar and a cocktail lounge. We offer an on-site hair salon, valet parking, dry cleaning services, and a gift shop with toiletries. We have life-saving resources such as an on-site Registered Nurse and six Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Security Magazine: What is Q Center’s biggest security challenge?

Maxson: Our number one challenge is the constant flow of people from all over the world who come to stay from anywhere between two hours to two weeks. We have security houses with security officers at all three entrance gates, and have identity badges for all of our guests, as well as our staff. The identity badges double as proximity-based room key cards and swipe cards for goods such as food and beverages. We have 32 cameras in common-areas, which are monitored in our command center. This allows us to monitor many locations from one central location.

Our partnership with Levy Security (Chicago) has definitely made this happen. Our security officers, which we call public safety officers, are in uniform to be a known presence, but are more approachable and do not intimidate our guests. We want our guests to feel that if there’s an issue, someone is there 24 hours a day to address it. The constant influx of guests entering and exiting our grounds is definitely our number one security challenge, but I feel that our zero percent crime rate shows that we are addressing our challenge. When we do have to address a crime, we will be able to deal with it, but we do not want to have to deal with it. We work to never let it happen.

Security Magazine: What do you feel Q Center offers that other conference centers do not?

Maxson: Catering or a wireless hotspot or other amenities can be matched by any other conference center or hotel, but we feel it’s our customer service that keeps our center at a full year of capacity with a client return rate of 75%. Customer service can always be improved upon and be competitive. We try to make this our clients’ home for the length of their stay. Levy Security makes this a reality by creating a custom-made security program for Q Center. We have worked with Levy Security to develop a system that we feel works well for our facilities. We have Q Center staff attend Levy training and vice versa. Levy offers us a positive partnership. We will continue to strive to offer the best of everything for our guests.

SIDE BAR: Positive Partnership: Q Center and Levy Security

For 26 years, Scott Maxson has strived to offer his services to the public, and has found a successful partnership to help him offer the best. Q Center’s partnership with Levy Security allows for Maxson to breathe easy with a zero percent crime rate. Q Center offers its business-minded guests 118 unique meeting venues in more than 150,000 square feet of meeting space, and accommodates anywhere from two to two thousand guests at a time, which is why security measures are a must. Levy Security’s public safety officers monitor activity on a 24-hour a day basis. According to Scott Levy (pictured below with Scott Maxson), “We definitely have a positive partnership with Q Center, and we strive to constantly exceed their expectations. We aren’t defining where they go, they are defining where we go. And we will continue to partner with our client.”