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18Aug2019

2019 Annual Meeting Marks 50th Anniversary of SEARCH; Celebrates Leaders and Champions from Past 5 Decades

By SEARCH

SEARCH held its 2019 Annual Meeting July 22 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Washington, DC—and the highlight of the abbreviated, one-day meeting was a commemoration of SEARCH’s 50th Anniversary.

The meeting agenda also featured:

  • Elections for five open seats on the 15-member SEARCH Board of Directors.
  • Recognition of Members and Staff for special achievements and years of service.
  • Sessions that covered legislative activities of Congress and an active Member roundtable where the entire Membership discussed issues and challenges that face state criminal history record information managers.

The afternoon featured a two-hour workshop to commemorate the historic foundation and ongoing work and achievements of SEARCH. Speaking were:

  • Owen Greenspan, who provided a historical background and foundation of the organization. Mr. Greenspan is a former SEARCH Member representing the State of New York; he is also a former SEARCH Vice Chair and retired in 2014 after 19 years as SEARCH Director of Law and Policy. He then facilitated a dialogue with two sets of speakers who over the years had made significant contributions to the creation and continued operations of SEARCH.
  • The first panel featured reminiscences of Mr. Richard “Pete” Velde, who as Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration championed Project SEARCH, the forerunner of SEARCH; and Mr. Paul Wormeli, the first project director of Project SEARCH. Both were deeply involved in the creation and early years of SEARCH.
  • The second panel featured conversations with longtime SEARCH Member Dr. Al Blumstein, who is Professor Emeritus at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie-Mellon University; Mr. Robert Belair, an internationally recognized privacy expert who had served as SEARCH General Counsel for 37 years; and Ms. Kelly Harbitter, who retired in 2015 as SEARCH Deputy Executive Director following 25 years of service.

It was also announced that on July 18, 2019, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) had introduced H.Res. 503 in the House of Representatives to recognize and honor the 50th anniversary of SEARCH. Rep. Matsui represents the district in Sacramento, California, where SEARCH is headquartered.

That evening, SEARCH held a reception to recognize the organization’s pioneers, leaders and champions from the past five decades.  The SEARCH Board of Directors selected 33 individuals to honor—many of whom were at the reception to accept their award from SEARCH Vice Chair Maj. Brandon Gray. The honorees were:

SEARCH Membership Group Chairs

  • Orville J. (Bud) Hawkins (1969–1974)*
  • Gary D. McAlvey (1974–1980; 1984–1988)*
  • Robert J. Bradley (1980–1984)
  • Gary L. Bush (1988–1992)*
  • Francis J. Carney, Jr. (1992–1996)
  • Major James Martin (1996–1998)
  • Kenneth E. Bischoff (1998–2002)
  • Gerald E. Wethington (2002–2004)
  • Francis X. “Paco” Aumand III (2004–2010; 2012–2014)
  • Thomas Turner (2010–2012)
  • Bradley Truitt (2014–2018)
  • Leslie Moore (2018–present)

SEARCH Executive Directors

  • O.J. Hawkins (1974–1978)*
  • Steven Kolodney (1978–1983)
  • Gary R. Cooper (1983–2003)
  • Ronald P. Hawley (2003–2012)
  • Scott M. Came (2013–2017)
  • David J. Roberts (2017–present)

Other Leaders (Federal Agency Officials; SEARCH Members and Staff)

  • Richard W. “Pete” Velde (Administrator, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, ret.)
  • Paul Wormeli (Founder and Staff, Project SEARCH)
  • Robert Marx (Founder and Staff, Project SEARCH)*
  • Carol Kaplan (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, ret.)
  • Steven Schlesinger (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics)*
  • Liane Moriyama (former SEARCH Member-HI, ret.)
  • Owen M. Greenspan (former SEARCH Member-NY, Vice Chair and Staff, ret.)
  • Alfred Blumstein (At-Large Member)
  • Judge Thomas Stovall Jr., At-Large Member*
  • George Trubow (At-Large Member)*
  • Robert Wessels (At-Large Member)
  • Charles Friel (Member Emeritus)
  • Hugh Collins (Member Emeritus)
  • Robert R. Belair (Former SEARCH General Counsel)
  • Kelly Harbitter (SEARCH staff, ret.)
  • Paul Woodard (SEARCH staff, ret.)

*posthumous honoree

Mr. Owen Greenspan with Mr. Paul Wormeli at the 50th Anniversary commemoration workshop.


Mr. Owen Greenspan with Mr. Pete Velde and Mr. Paul Wormeli.


Dr. Al Blumstein and Ms. Kelly Harbitter.


Past Chairs of the SEARCH Membership Group who helped celebrate SEARCH’s 50th Anniversary were (from left) Mr. Ken Bischoff, Mr. Gerry Wethington, Mr. Francis (Paco) Aumand, Capt. Tom Turner, and Mr. Brad Truitt.


The SEARCH Board recognized 33 individuals with plaques that salute their “significant contributions, enduring commitment and exceptional leadership” that helped build, nurture and sustain SEARCH in the course of its 50-year history.

SEARCH Vice Chair, Major Brandon Gray, handed out recognition plaques to these 50th Anniversary honorees:

Vice Chair Brandon Gray with Mr. Ken Bischoff


Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Gerry Wethington


Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Paco Aumand


Vice Chair Gray with Capt. Tom Turner


Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Brad Truitt


Vice Chair Gray with Ms. Carol Kaplan


Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Owen Greenspan


Vice Chair Gray with Dr. Al Blumstein


Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Bob Wessels


Vice Chair Gray with Dr. Hugh Collins


Vice Chair Gray with Mr. Robert Belair


Vice Chair Gray with Ms. Kelly Harbitter

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