Member Spotlight

Maria Dominguez, CPP

Maria Dominguez, CPP is Senior Vice President, Regional Security Manager for Bank of America, where she has responsibility for the southwest US, as well as assets in Mexico, Central and South America.  She has worked in the security industry for over 30 years.  She began her career as an Air Force communications specialist.  After six years in England, Oklahoma, and Michigan she returned to Phoenix to obtain her bachelor’s degree.

While attending school, she was hired as a security officer at Norwest Bank.  Over the next 13 years a series of financial industry acquisitions led her to progressively larger banks and new opportunities.  She joined Bank of America in 1999.

 Maria has been a member of ASIS for 25 years.  She has held leadership positions at the chapter level including Vice Chair and Chair, and at the regional level as Assistant Vice President and Vice President.  She has also held committee chair positions such as I.B. Hale, Membership, and Southwest Security

Conference.  She is currently the Phoenix Chapter’s Women in Security Liaison and the Regional Women in Security Liaison for Region 1.

Why did you choose a career in security?

Actually, I didn’t really choose this profession.  It kind of chose me.  I’ve always enjoyed it.  There are some days when I wonder why I get out of bed, but for the most part I enjoy what I do.   It has some unique challenges, one of them being a female in an organization that’s primarily male.

 The first time I walked into an ASIS meeting, I remember walking in, looking around and thinking, oh my God, I’m only the third female in this bunch.  And there were close to a hundred people there.  I really hadn’t thought about it before, that it was primarily a male dominated field.

How did you get involved in ASIS?

I went to one of the national conferences I remember sitting down with a bunch of folks from the Phoenix chapter, and at the time Dave Dix was the president.  And he looked at me and he goes, “Why haven’t you gotten involved?”  If you look at the people who attend the monthly meetings, for example, some of them just come to talk to people, but they really don’t want to get involved.  Unless somebody sits down and talks to them, like they talked to me – “When are you going to get involved?”  I don’t think we do that enough.

Tell me about Women in Security.  What are you trying to do with that?

What we’re trying to do is have events where we can get more women involved, more men involved, more like, “Hey, listen, we have some really good women in security, in the chapter, and in ASIS International.”  ASIS International has been very supportive of Women in Security.

How has ASIS helped your career?

If nothing else, ASIS has helped me make a lot of contacts, a lot of really good relationships, friendships, even.  If nothing else, it has helped me feel like I’m doing something for the profession.  It gives me an outlet and it’s really a lot of fun.  I tell people, if you get involved this is going to be hard work, but also it will be very enjoyable.

What trends do you see in the industry that you think are important?

Definitely technology is already playing a very important role.  I think we’re going to get to the point where everything is off the mobile device. We’re going to be on all the time.  Anywhere, anyplace.  I had a meeting with a vendor in Boston.  There was a group of us there.  We had learned that we had the capability to access our incident management system from our mobile devices, iPhones and iPads.  The young man sitting next to me was very excited about it.  And I’m thinking, I go everywhere with my iPhone, iPad.  That means I’m going to be able to work any time I want, and they’re going to expect that, in time.  If so, there’s a positive: if something goes wrong, I don’t have to go into the office because I can do it from home.  But, is it something that’s going to be expected now?  And the answer is going to be yes.  The other concern is – are we going to rely too much on technology and completely eliminate the human element?

What would you say to someone just starting out in our profession?

What advice would you give them?

Get involved in organizations so that you can make contacts.  Getting your job done is who you know.  Getting promoted and moving up in the world is who knows you.  Make that actively involved, because there’s a difference between just joining and being there and actually being involved.

What are your goals?

When I was a kid, I thought to myself, to be successful I want a job where I have an office, carry a briefcase, have a secretary, and have a four-bedroom house.  As I got a little older, my goals changed.  I wanted to get a master’s degree.  But, in my little child’s head, I’ve accomplished all the goals that I wanted to. One of the things that I’ve always wanted was to be well thought of as a professional.  The next step is getting involved at a higher level with ASIS.