Vector Security President and CEO Pam Petrow.
President and CEO, Vector Security
Keys to Success
"My parents never told me I couldn't do something, and my husband has always been supportive of me. Also the board and leaders at Vector Security have provided me with the ability to learn, grow and experience new opportunities. The fact that I have held several positions at Vector Security gave me the opportunity to establish credibility as I moved from one post to another. I did that by understanding the job and understanding the perspective of the employees who do the job. At Vector Security, we recognize that technology is changing the industry and we are positioned to capitalize on the change. We bring in talent that allows us to be more competitive and proactive, addressing not only opportunities today, but also in the future."
Succeeding an Icon
"Coming into the position of president and CEO of Vector Security, I wanted to respect Mr. [John, also an SSI Hall of Famer] Murphy's legacy. He was exceptional in many ways. He knew how to separate critical information from less important information when making decisions. He was a strategic thinker and always saw the big picture ... anticipating next moves and their impact on the industry. I learned from him the importance of communication and how to surround myself with people who complement my skills. And then giving those people the freedom to do what they are good at."
Participating in Industry Causes
"I'm a believer that 'you get back what you put in.' I've found value in every committee I've been involved in and the extraordinary people I've worked with. They've made me better professionally, and they've given me a different perspective in life personally. Currently, I'm working with CSAA on the "ASAP2PSAP" program. When fully functional, ASAP allows for automated delivery of monitoring information to public safety answering points [PSAPs]. The program benefits emergency response centers, the public and the security industry as a whole. Vector Security was a beta test center for the initiative."
How Things Have Changed
"My early days in the industry were central station related. We kept customer account information on 3 X 5-inch color-coded index cards that were filed in plastic sleeves kept in a three-ring binder. When we answered alarms, we would have to look up the cards in the binders and sometimes they were not filed correctly. It was a very manual process. I remember having nightmares about not being able to find the right cards. Today, technology has allowed central stations to be more efficient while reducing incidents of error. Even during a natural disaster, like a hurricane, we can monitor 16,000 alarms effectively."
Serving as a Role Model
"I believe the challenges in this industry are similar for both women and men. I'd like to be a role model for anyone - woman or man - who believes in working hard, turning challenges into opportunities, and continually improving themselves personally and professionally."
Why She's on the List
- Some 30 years mastering and ascending the ranks to lead Vector Security, one of industry's most prominent installing security providers
- In 1997, appointed senior V.P. of central stations and information services group; 2004, executive V.P.; 2008, COO; 2010, president and CEO
- In 2006, her central station staff's 12-step false alarm reduction plan earned Vector industry's first Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) award
- Since 2007, has served as secretary on the Central Station Alarm Association Executive Committee, co-chaired CSAA's Education Committee, and conducted CSAA's Operations Management conferences
- Helped bring CSAA training online to make it more accessible; more than 10,000 operators worldwide have completed the program
- Represents industry to Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Int'l (APCO) to develop and implement Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) project
- In 2009, received APCO's President's Award for outstanding contributions to electronic transmission of signals between central stations and 911 dispatch centers
The Petrow File
- Born in Pittsburgh
- One of four sisters, father was a teacher and grade school principal, mom a homemaker and grocery store manager
- Married with one son
- Bachelor's degree in management & marketing from Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa., and graduated Harvard Business School's advanced management program
- Began electronic security industry career in 1982 as member of Vector Security's residential sales team
- If not security, says career would have been in education
- Reputation at Vector Security as being the "queen" of practical jokes
- Other interests include cooking and reading