This week, the LP Magazine team is at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, LA, for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Retail Asset Protection Conference 2017. RILA welcomed the asset protection community to the Big Easy on Sunday evening with a reception, where many of the industry’s leaders gathered to reconnect with friends, network with peers, and together enjoy an exciting ending to the 2017 Master’s Tournament as the event played out on television screens placed throughout the reception hall. As it turned out, the event set the tone for an exciting beginning to the week.
Monday morning began with Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations for RILA, kicking off the conference by welcoming more than 1,000 attendees and providing a brief recap of issues and events important to all asset protection and retail professionals in 2017. This was followed by LaBruno, RILA, and all those in attendance recognizing Gene Smith, president of the Loss Prevention Foundation, for his dedication to the loss prevention/asset protection community. Smith announced last week that he will be retiring, and while we all wish him well as begins a new chapter in his life, his leadership and passion for the industry will be missed.
This was followed by back-to-back keynote presentations. Richard Ashworth, president of pharmacy and retail operations with Walgreen Co. took the lead by discussing the transformative changes impacting retail, the dynamic evolution of Walgreens’ asset protection strategies and the essential role that asset protection has played in the company’s overall success. Ashworth further discussed how the role of asset protection has evolved both at Walgreens and across the industry, and the essential role that he feels asset protection will play as the retail industry moves forward.
This was followed by a keynote presentation with Kimberly Overton, chief resource prosecutor for the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys on the “Key to Effective Communication.” Today, more than ever, success in business depends on the ability to communicate. Overton led a spirited conversation on how the ability to understand your communication partner empowers you to tap into the motivations, experiences, and style of communication that drives them. In the session, she discussed the nine principles of accelerated learning, which reviewed how to identify different learning styles and how you can adjust your style of information sharing to promote strong and trusting relationships with internal business partners and external stakeholders.
This was followed by the day’s breakout sessions, which again in 2017 featured excellent educational sessions by some of our industry’s leading subject matter experts. Covering a wide spectrum of topics, including active threats and disruptive behavior, workplace safety, building partnerships, data analytics, improving our ability to testify in court, and other subjects critical to success in today’s retail environment, the topics were timely, the presentations well prepared, and the session leaders kept the audiences engaged.
The afternoon keynote presentation featured a presentation by Patrick Van Home, co-author of Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life on “How Behavioral Analysis Can Change Outcomes.” Van Home reviewed how the ability to observe, classify, assess and communicate nonverbal behavior empowers us to proactively recognize potential threats before a criminal incident occurs. He discussed his insights on how the observation process involves both intuitive decision-making and the deliberate analysis of situations, persons, and the environment. He revealed how behavioral analysis can enhance the ability to make assessments about individual people and improve our understanding of the timeline of threatening events that can impact human capital, inventory, and customers.
Monday’s events were capped off with a networking event in the exhibit hall. Traffic was steady on the first day of the show, and conversations appeared productive and engaging. Many seemed intent on speaking with specific solution providers, which will likely lead to Tuesday’s opportunities to investigate new products and solutions.
Be sure to check back with us tomorrow for more from New Orleans!
Learn more about the 2017 RILA Retail Asset Protection Conference.