PITTSBURGH — Vector Security has accepted 30 retail industry professionals into the 2011 Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) scholarship program. Now in its third year, the continuing education program provides coursework focusing on business management, leadership and loss prevention.
The nonprofit LPF offers two certification programs — LPQualified (LPQ) and LPCertified (LPC). The LPQ is an entry-level education program for those who are new to the loss prevention profession. The LPC is geared toward loss prevention professionals with at least three years of experience in the industry.
“The loss prevention industry continues to evolve and is no longer just focused on doing shoplifting investigations or making apprehensions,” LPF President Gene Smith tells SSI. “It has become very sophisticated. Loss prevention professionals have to understand the technology and utilize leadership principals.”
Vector Security Vice President of Marketing Dave Merrick adds that education is vital to succeeding the loss prevention industry. “Vector realizes that a better educated individual is more inclined to understand return on investment of new technologies,” he says. “Those who are less educated in those aspects of loss prevention just aren’t able to make those types of decisions.”
Entrants had to list their qualifications, supply a letter of recommendation for their supervisors and explain how the scholarship with benefit their career and their employer. Applicants seeking employment with retail loss prevention and showed that they were making efforts to work in the industry were also considered, Merrick says.
The number of entries more than doubled this year, which prompted the foundation to increase scholarship grants. In 2010, the foundation received 45 entries compared to 105 this year. Merrick credits the addition of the LPC coursework, which was introduced last year, for the spike in applicants. “It’s the doctorate degree of retail loss prevention,” he says.
Merrick notes that LPF’s coursework is becoming more visible in trade schools and universities for people outside the industry as the economy struggles to rebuild. “Loss prevention is pulling people from general education or those leaving military or police roles to fulfill jobs in this area,” he says. “It’s coming together nicely because as some police departments continue to decrease staff because of funding problems, LPF is helping these people get new jobs.”
Following is the list of 2011 Vector Security LPF scholarship program winners:
- Brad Johnson (Cabela’s Inc.)
- Lucio Botello (CVS/Pharmacy)
- Casey Alexander (Gordman’s Stores)
- Neil Jones (Lowe’s Companies Inc.)
- Tyson Robertson (Marshall’s - TJX Companies)
- Jose Mendoza (Michael’s Stores Inc.)
- Mike Otten (Panera Bread LLC)
- Deborah Giordano (Pepboys Auto)
- Andrew Diamond (Publix Super Markets Inc.)
- Renaldo Johnson (Pursuing opportunities)
- Tom Chason (Pursuing opportunities)
- Kenneth Williams (Wal-Mart Stores Inc.)
- Patrick Foy (J.D. Maurer & Associates)
- Brandon Mathews (Sears)
- Cameron Hess (Belk Inc.)
- Ken Parsons (Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc.)
- Keith Weiner (Prevention Resources Inc.)
- Thaddeus Hughes (Fred Meyer Inc.)
- Kathy Wood (Kohl’s Corp.)
- John Watson (Lowe’s Companies Inc.)
- Marcus Collins (Lowe’s Companies Inc.)
- Martha Skokowski (Luxottica Retail)
- Amy Stephens (Macy’s Inc.)
- John Reid (Michael’s Stores Inc.)
- Brian Clark (Sears)
- Tiffany O’Brien (Staples Inc.)
- Louis Senecal (The Zellman Group LLC)
- Monty Whitlow (Pursuing opportunities)
- Sal D’Amico (Walgreens Co.)
- Laura Guerry (Wal-Mart Stores Inc.)
For more information about the LFP, visit www.losspreventionfoundation.org.
Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.