This is another in a series of interviews with working loss prevention professionals who have earned their LPQ or LPC certifications from the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) to hear in their own words why they pursued certification and how it has benefited their careers. Karla Hutchinson, LPC, is the asset protection administration systems manager for Brookshire Grocery in Tyler, Texas. Her career started with the company thirty-two years ago as a cashier in one of its retail locations. Hutchinson worked in human resources for about ten years and had several different roles in safety, asset protection, and retail operations.
Why did you decide to pursue certification?
I had the opportunity to attend my first Food Marketing Institute conference in 2010, and during the conference I learned about the various certifications offered by the Loss Prevention Foundation. Fortunately, my name was drawn to receive the LPC scholarship as a door prize for stopping by their booth. Wanting to advance my career and enhance my experience with loss prevention, I seized the opportunity.
Was the course what you expected?
The coursework provided much more than what I expected. As a newly promoted LP professional, I wanted to learn more about the LP side of business. My background was retail, education, and training. I came into our LP organization with little practical knowledge of the loss prevention. The courses gave me a great deal of knowledge of loss prevention, safety, and business concepts.
Tell us more about the process.
The coursework provided up-to-date information about a large number of topics. I liked that you could read the information, take practice tests at the end of each section, and go back to review the materials if you liked. I would make note cards with the information and carried my notes with me to review wherever I went. This method helped me learn the information and gave me a great deal of confidence when I took the exam.
Looking at your own personal development, what information within the course helped you the most?
The program gave me a better foundation of how important it is to have department goals that are in line with the company’s strategic plans. My team works toward a common goal, and the course helped me with setting goals that will benefit the company.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
I believe that studying the coursework and receiving my certification has given me an extra layer of knowledge that has helped advance my career in this profession. I now approach my job with much more confidence knowing that I have a greater foundation of knowledge about loss prevention and look forward to learning something new from every experience that I am a part of.
Would you recommend certification to others?
Absolutely. The certification provides you with a wide range of business knowledge and gives you real-life situations that put that knowledge in a context that you can relate to. It’s an awesome opportunity to learn from the many veterans in the industry who contributed to the development of the certification program.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
Just do it! You will not only be better equipped with greater information to do your job, but you will also gain a personal sense of accomplishment. We are never going to grow professionally if we don’t continue to learn. The challenge is rewarding. Jump in and take the certification. You will learn so much and will show your colleagues the value and investment you have in your own career growth.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
Deborah Abood, LPC, Bed Bath & Beyond
Glenn Alexander, LPC, Ahold USA
Alex Almaraz, LPC, Lowe’s
Vicki Burnette, LPC, MRCO
Shawn Canfield, LPC, Ahold USA
Gregory Dinneen, LPC, Ahold USA
Aidan Duffy, LPC, The Sports Authority
Thomas Elser, LPC, Ahold USA
Hector Erazo, LPC, CFI, PI, Walmart
Daytona Erkan, LPC, American Eagle Outfitters
Dion Fessler, LPC, Ahold USA
Justin Ford, LPC, Fred Meyer
Nathan Frazier, LPC, Helzberg Diamonds
Gerald Haliburton, LPC, Lowe’s
Jeffrey Hess, LPC, Ahold USA
Scott Hoffmeister, LPC, Giant Food Stores
Douglas Johnson, Jr., LPC, Giant Food Stores
Lisa Johnson, LPC, Lowe’s
Joshua Lamond, LPC, Neiman Marcus
Jeffrey Martin, LPC, Lowe’s
Michael Murphy, LPC, Ahold USA
Brian Nowlan, LPC, Goodwill Industries of Seattle
Daniel Perron, LPC, Rite Aid
Richard Rabuck, LPC, Weis Markets
Brendan Rys, LPC, Ahold USA
Hector Santos, LPC, Ahold USA
Donald Schleicher, LPC, The Mershimer Group
Richard Shafer, LPC, Ahold USA
Mark Stebbe, LPC, Burlington Coat Factory
Lisa Sternbane, LPC, Delhaize America
Nancy Tabeek, LPC, 7-Eleven
Robert Thornton, LPC, Ahold USA
Chuck Tyler, LPC CFI, Target Stores
Paul Ullrich, LPC, Ahold USA
Jason Vanne, LPC, Ahold USA
John Vey, LPC, Ahold USA
Calvin Watson, LPC, Lowe’s
Bryan Wilson, LPC, Ahold USA
Joseph Yannes, Jr., LPC, Ahold USA
Carol Zielinski, LPC, Walgreens
Recent LPQ Recipients
Ronald Averette, LPQ, Publix Super Markets
Daniel Bambas, LPQ, Walmart Stores
Relana Brokmann, LPQ, PayPal
Brian Casey, LPQ, American Military University
Ryanne Jones, LPQ
Robert Kolkebeck, LPQ
Frank Maisch, LPQ, 7-Eleven
William Muenzer, LPQ, Belk
Elmelo Punongbayan, Jr., LPQ
Bradley Schmidt, LPQ, Publix Super Markets
Terrance Williams, LPQ, Billy Reid