Nine individuals to be awarded Friends of NCS4

A total of nine professionals will be recognized for their contributions to NCS4 during the 2021 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition set for Nov. 9-10 in Phoenix. This year’s theme is Reconnect. Reflect. Inspire. and boasts the most exhibitors and sponsors in conference history. The event is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Friends of NCS4 Award recognizes professionals whose contributions have been invaluable to the advancement of NCS4. The NCS4 staff and leadership nominate individuals who have been a resource to NCS4’s goals and activities during the past year.

“We are grateful to each of these recipients for the invaluable leadership and assistance they provide,” said Lauren Cranford, MPH, CHES, NCS4 director of operations. “They have each gone above and beyond in helping us to further the mission of NCS4.”

Individuals being recognized include:

• Scott Dickson, associate general manager, Jerome Schottenstein Center, The Ohio State University

• Steve Georgas, deputy chief (retired), Chicago Police Department

• Billy Langenstein, CSSP, director of security services, National Football League

• Michael Nishi, chief operating officer, Chicago Event Management

• John Pepper, CSSP, sergeant, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

• Tim “Tuba” Smith, director, festivals and strategic events, C3 Presents

• Gary Stevens, director of student activities, Thornton Academy

• Jesse Watkins, director of operations, TEEX/National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center

• Amanda Wright, owner, Wright Consulting

For more information about the conference, visit and for more information about the awards, visit