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Congressman gathers insight at security firm

Welcomes 'open forum' back home

POSTED: May 2, 2013 12:26 a.m.
Crystal Ledford/

District 7 U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall talks with SecureUSA chief executive officer Carla Clark about the north Forsyth company’s many outdoor security products. Officials told Woodall about the federal regulations the business faces.

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Employees at a north Forsyth business had a special visitor Tuesday as District 7 U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall stopped by SecureUSA.

Woodall took time to discuss issues that the Keith Bridge Road business, which is owned and led by women, faces when dealing with federal governmental issues and regulations.

He was invited after Tammy Herslebs, the company’s chief financial officer, attended a local town hall meeting with Woodall earlier this year.

“We appreciate [his] time and candor and just being able to have an open forum that we could invite our folks to ask any questions they wanted,” said Carla Clark, chief executive officer of SecureUSA.  

That “open forum” was important for the business, which focuses on perimeter security solutions for a range of clients, since it often encounters federal rules and regulations when seeking government contracts.

“[We wanted to have Woodall visit] to get updated on what’s going on in D.C. because what happens up there does have a direct impact on our business,” Herslebs said.

Established in Forsyth County in 1995, SecureUSA has provided perimeter security devices for clients such as the U.S. Military Academy, Department of Defense and New York City. Its products range from gates and fencing to bollards and high-tech vehicle barriers.

Woodall, a Republican from Lawrenceville, represents a district that includes the southern half of Forsyth County and a large portion of Gwinnett.

After his sit-down visit with the employees Tuesday, the congressman toured the SecureUSA facility and had a chance to see some of the products it’s developing.

Among them are bollards, or short vertical posts, and vehicle barriers that can be raised and lowered with the touch of button or the swipe of an identification card.

The company is currently developing security devices for groups such as NASA and others headquartered in the nation’s capital.

Herslebs said she goes to Washington, D.C., about once a quarter to stay abreast of governmental regulations that could impact the business and its federal contracts.

“The second reason we wanted to have Woodall here is to explain to him some of the challenges we face in hopes that he can go back and, with constant updates from us, be able to make a difference to help our business in things that we deem as really not being a level playing field in being able to compete for government business,” she said.

Herslebs told Woodall that he has been easier to work with than some other federal officials.

“One of the things I love about your group is that if I can see you, I will see you as opposed to seeing all the legislative assistants,” she said.

Woodall said he was happy to help.

“Let me benefit from your folks, their frustrations as they run up against a federal wall,” he told Clark and Herslebs. “Let them come and knock on my door.”

He added that visits such as Tuesday’s are beneficial for him as a congressman because they provide opportunities to learn about all the endeavors going on in his district and how to help them prosper.

“In the search for good government, we can do things one of two ways,” Woodall said. “We can try to elect folks who have all the answers all the time, or we can elect folks who know that they have people back home who actually do have all the answers and they’re updating [the elected officials] all the time.

“The person who experiences the problem is the CEO or the business owner back home, and we can either make it worse or we can make it better. Input from people like Carla gives us at least a fighting chance to make it better.”

 

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