HERO Hosts Gambling Conference

27 May 2003

LAS VEGAS – (Press Release) -- The Homeland Education Resource Organization, (HERO), a limited liability company with offices in Washington, D.C., and Manhattan, will host a conference entitled "Gambling with Security: Hospitality and Gaming Face High Stakes" on June 17 & 18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. HERO's flagship conference, aimed at top-level executives from casinos and hotels as well as the insurance and security sectors, will address the pertinent security issues facing the gaming industry.

With the support of the Department of Homeland Security and the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS), HERO seeks to establish a major public-private alliance to increase the security of the gaming industry. HERO will provide the platform for prominent experts in many fields including high-ranking government officials, seasoned security professionals, terrorist profilers, leading architects, and insurance experts, who will offer concrete advice on disaster preparedness and managing the risk of terrorism.

"HERO believes that government, insurers, risk management and security professionals must work hand-in-hand to educate American businesses about the threat of terrorism and the preventative measures that will enhance safety, while helping their bottom line," said Marcus Cohen, HERO's managing director.

The organization, founded by two young attorneys, will assemble experts from disparate backgrounds in one forum to educate the gaming industry about the risks of terrorism, crucial security measures and the need for adequate terrorism insurance coverage. HERO's ultimate goal is to help the gaming industry create an advisory board and a list of "Best Practices" to help combat the terrorist threat.

The Department of Homeland Security is sending Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, Jr., Special Assistant to Secretary Tom Ridge for the Private Sector, to discuss ways the Department can work with the gaming industry to help increase security. The Federal Government is also sending the Treasury Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Financial Institutions Policy, Greg Zerzan, to discuss Treasury's role in the implementation of the newly enacted Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. The purpose of the Act is to provide a transitional, transparent system of shared public and private compensation for insured losses resulting from acts of terrorism.

"The President's National Strategy for Homeland Security clearly states that protecting our country is a national effort, not just a federal effort. What we mean by National is federal, state and local governments, and private sector entities working together. We can provide the information, intelligence, and resources, but ultimately you know the intricacies of your business better than anyone," said U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Martinez-Fonts Jr., on how the Private Sector should take a more proactive role in homeland security. "It is your duty to take many things, such as vulnerability assessments, strategic communications, conducting drills and war games, and allocating money, to better secure your personnel and your assets. Better security equals better business."

In addition to key officials from the highest echelons of government, HERO's flagship conference has scheduled a thorough list of experts to speak, including:

-- Peter E. Tarlow, Ph.D., Founder and President of Tourism & More Inc.
(T&M), Head Advisor on tourism security for the Bureau of Reclamation,
U.S. Department of the Interior, Author of Event Risk Management and

-- Steve Emerson, Director of the Investigative Project, Author of
American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us (Special Invited Guest

-- Donald T. Ahl, CPP, Director of Safety & Security, Las Vegas
Convention and Visitors Authority

-- Derk Boss, Director of Surveillance for Stratosphere and Arizona
Charlie's East and West, Chairman of Gaming and Wagering Protection
Council for the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS)

-- Patrice Svendsen, Risk Manager, Harrah's Las Vegas, and Risk Insurance
Management Society (RIMS) Nevada Chapter President (Moderator)

-- David Howyrla, Vice President of Architecture, Marnell Corrao

The U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Nevada's Homeland Security Bureau, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, McCarran International Airport, Los Alamos Federal Laboratories, Hoover Dam, and the Red Cross will also be represented at the event.

The "Gambling with Security: Hospitality and Gaming Face High Stakes" conference is the first in a series of conferences HERO is organizing that will focus on a wide variety of business sectors, tailoring each conference to the specific security requirements of each individual industry.

Homeland Education Resource Organization, LLC, has office locations in New York and Washington D.C. at: 225 West 86th Street, Suite PHU, NY, NY, 10024 and 1954 Columbia Road, NW, Suite 702, Washington D.C., 20009. HERO can be reached via phone at 917-475-7787 in NY or via the Internet atHomeland Education.

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Gambling with Security: Hospitality and Gaming Face High Stakes