NCISS News

The attached photos are from the presentation of The Duffy Award to Francie Koehler by Awards Committee Chair and Past President, Ed McClain.

"The Duffy Award is the highest recognition which an NCISS member may achieve.  It is named in the honor of John J. Duffy, NCISS’s first President, who, along with his wife Eleanor, founded Per Mar Security in Davenport,Iowa.  John Duffy was the primary spark plug getting NCISS started in 1975 and the Duffy family has continued the tradition by providing unequivocal support for the Council.

After John passed away, the Council initiated the award in 1985 with the intent of presenting the award every other year to a member and then, in alternate years, to a person or organization who has been supportive of the Council and the profession.  In this latter category, the Award has been given to, among others:  the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Los Angeles Police Department Threat Management Unit, the Private Security Council of ASIS, Bruce Brownyard of Brownyard Programs, Congressman Pete Sessions, and Jimmie and Rosemary Mesis, publishers of PI Magazine.

Before I continue, I’d like to ask the past recipients of the Duffy Ward who are present this evening, (regrettably many are not,) to please stand and remain standing as I call your name:  Eddy McClain, Michael Duffy, Bruce Brownyard, Robert Heales, and Maria Vinson Landry.

In 1992, The Awards Committee deviated from its every other year format, to honor a special member who had extraordinarily distinguished himself on behalf of the Council.  That person was the late Vincent Ruffolo who went on to continue to work for NCISS for another 21 years before his untimely passing last year.

This year, a similar circumstance has arisen.  One of our members has given so much time and effort for such an extended period, that the Duffy Committee decided recognition could not wait another year.

I have served on the NCISS Board for 38 years and before that on the CALI Board and both Legislative Committees for many years, so I have personal knowledge about this person.  The primary purpose of both associations is to try to keep the government from putting us out of business.  I know where some bodies are buried and I can tell you for sure that without the tireless work of this individual, both in the bellweather state of California, where most national trouble starts, and Washington, D.C., the investigative landscape would be unpleasant.

Serving something like thirteen of the last fifteen years as State Legislative Chair plus time in the NCISS legislative hot seat, speaks for itself.

As is often the case, leadership is not without its critics.  Our recipient is no shrinking violet and personifies the old Army credo of “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.”  This was evident during two years as State President and two years as President of NCISS.

Our recipient is holder of CALI’s highest honor, the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Wayne Wunder Memorial Award.  She is presently Chair of both Legislative Committee’s and her hobby is riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle when she is not serving her family as grandmother.

So it is my privilege to present the 2014 John J. Duffy Memorial Award to our version of the Energizer Bunny.  The Award reads, To Francie Koehler, “who by her specific deeds and accomplishments has exhibited the highest standards of conduct and service to the private investigation and security service industries.”