Almeda Dunn Receives the Wunder Award

 

For the second year in a row, a woman has won the Wayne J. Wunder Memorial Award. The Wunder award recognizes exceptional contributions by members who characteristically are not in the forefront in terms of recognition. A highlight of the Past President's Award luncheon at the NCISS annual conference in Minneapolis was the presentation of the award to Almeda Dunn of Chicago, CEO of Star Detective and Security Agency. The award was announced by Syd Huckvale, past recipient and past president of NCISS and chairman of this year's Wunder award committee. The award was presented by Leslie Wunder-Hester, granddaughter of Wayne Wunder.

The Wayne J. Wunder Memorial Award is given by the Wunder family annually in memory of the security pioneer and founder of Continental Secret Service in Toledo, Ohio. The award recognizes exceptional contributions by members who characteristically are not in the forefront in terms of recognition.

After the death of past president Wayne Wunder in 1988, his son Phillip succeeded him in the business. Carrying on the tradition of leadership for the family, Phil was also elected president of NCISS and served with distinction for many years as a representative to SCOLA, Security Companies Organized for Legislative Action. Phil passed away in 2005 and his daughter, Leslie, now carries on the family business.

There was a certain ceremononious harmony in Leslie presenting the award to Almeda, who is carrying on a family business started by her grandfather. Star Detective and Security Agency was started by Luegemus "Captain" Bratton, a son of slaves, in 1923. Mr. Bratton started the agency in Chicago's tough south side, providing security and bodyguard services to recent immigrants pursuing their own American dream. Soon the agency was working in area hotels and providing detective services as well. Almeda grew up in the business working beside her mother, Vivian Wuson, who took over the agency when Mr. Bratton died in 1977.

After a stint in the U.S. Navy, Almeda joined the Chicago Police Department in 1977, in the second class of women being hired as beat cops. In an interview in a Chicago area business journal in 2001, Almeda credited her police training and experience with preparing her to step in as president and CEO of Star in 1999. Almeda brought those same talents to the helm of NCISS, serving as president this past year, after several years on the board and executive committee. Almeda currently serves as chairman of the board.