Rick Snook is the business development manager for Axis Communications. He has over thirty-five years of sales, marketing, technical, and design experience in the electronic security industry. He was awarded The RA Henderson Award for his achievements and contributions to the security industry. In addition to his LPQ, he holds a Physical Security Professional (PSP) certification from ASIS International, CPTED Level 1, and an Axis Certified Professional (ACP) designation from Axis Communications.
As a solution provider, why did you feel it was important to pursue your LPQ certification, and do you plan to go on to take your LPC certification?
Having the privilege of being able to work with the retail industry, I felt it was important to continuously learn and embed myself within the sector, as I have done throughout my entire career. The LPQ certification provided me with a great deal of knowledge and challenged me to understand the retail loss prevention industry on a deeper level. The knowledge I gained gave me a small window of insight into the daily challenges facing the retail LP teams. The outcome for me is being able to find intelligent ways to integrate technology that delivers results for our retail customers while building a network of valuable partners that can deliver on these solutions. I am currently continuing my study to take the LPC certification in 2019.
Was the coursework what you expected?
The coursework was more in depth than I expected for an entry-level program but covered the many facets of the industry and day-to-day relevant information. I was challenged throughout the course, and although threat levels and issues in today’s environment continue to grow, the baseline of information helps you to analyze these threats.
Talk about the process of going through the coursework and taking the exam.
Initially, I thought I would just review the material in big chunks and take the exam. However, it became clear very quickly that I would have to set out a schedule and try and stick to it. Trying to balance life, work, and study time is never easy, but for those looking to take on the challenge, the year to complete goes by quickly, so set the schedule focus and make good notes.
Looking at your own personal background and knowledge, what information in the course helped you the most?
The knowledge beyond technology was the most interesting because the threats and issues facing retail is not all about technology, but a well-rounded loss prevention program. It allowed me to broaden my understanding and approach when helping retailers in using technology and how to apply it with their programs. I can now ask better questions and be more strategic in my approach.
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum?
The topics of interviewing and interrogation were the most eye opening. As much as I knew that it was a great skill for the LP community, I had no idea it was so in depth. The information was thorough and detailed.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course in how you approach and interact with retailers?
For me, I’ve learned to now ask retailers intelligent questions in understanding their programs and how to adapt technology to fit in the day-to-day operations. Understanding the moving dynamics in a program clearly identifies the need for advanced solutions that are effective, easy to operate, and not time consuming.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
I would recommend using the network of retail contacts available to you. Some information may not be clear and easy to understand as an outsider; therefore, you may need to ask questions to better understand the material. Don’t be afraid to connect with an LP professional. They are happy to assist and educate.
How would you compare the Loss Prevention Foundation certifications to other educational courses that you’ve taken?
This program was equally as tough as other programs, perhaps because much of the material was new to me. The course should not be taken lightly. I am sure that long-standing LP leaders may not find it as challenging, but for someone new to the industry or on the vendor side, I would say embrace it and enjoy the challenge.
How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others?
A focus on certification has been present throughout my entire career within the security industry. I feel it is imperative for anyone within this industry to have a minimum level of understanding. It allows you to learn and test your knowledge and clearly show to those working within the industry that you have an understanding-even if only via textbook. I am a firm believer that everyone should have a certification whether mandated or not. As an industry we need to continue to learn and grow as professionals, and having a designation provides that baseline.
Would you recommend certification to others?
I strongly recommend the certification to everyone, including those suppliers supporting the retail industry. Take the program, get your certification, and demonstrate to the LP community that you are invested in their industry.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
Brandy Albano, LPC, Metro by T-Mobile
Stephen Anderson, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Guy Antolick, LPC, Amazon.com
Bradley Byers, LPC, Lowe’s
Christina Crain, LPC, Meijer
Isabelle Devereux, LPC, John Lewis PLC
Dennis Dixon, LPC, Amazon.com
Mason Drawbond, LPC, Amazon.com
Brian Fantom, LPC, K&G Fashion Superstore
Klara Gibbs, LPC, TJX
Lakeisha Gilyard, LPC, Fleetpride
Michael Gray, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Laurel Harrington, LPC, Lowe’s
Douglas Haworth, LPC, Woods Supermarket
Brandon Homes, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Kelly Johnson, LPC, Bed Bath & Beyond
Charles Jones, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Alyssa Jones, LPC, Sears Holdings
Christian Latson, LPC, HomeGoods
Brandon Lollis, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Curtis McGruder, LPC, AT&T
Gregory Morand, LPC, Mavis Discount Tire
Staci Noonan, LPC, Meijer
Nicholas Pappas, LPC, Lowe’s
Richard Peck, LPC, TJX
Kevin Schmidt, LPC, Fleetpride
James Vandermer, LPC, Big 5 Sporting Goods
Randy Vickers, LPC, Ocean State Job Lot
Kenneth Watson, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Victor Wichi, LPC, GameStop
Recent LPQ Recipients
Daniel Assef, LPQ
Jennifer Bailey, LPQ, Siffron
Tara Balkcom, LPQ, Sears Holdings
Craig Cambron, LPQ, Primary Arms LLC
Caleb Hussong, LPQ
Robert Jones, LPQ, Skogen’s Festival Foods
Kristina Jones, LPQ, TJX
Brian Kennedy, LPQ, Skogen’s Festival Foods
Zara Lujan, LPQ, REI
Laura Maggioli, LPQ, T-Mobile USA
George Oancea, LPQ, TJX
Joseph Park, LPQ, Heinen’s Fine Foods
Mark Radford, LPQ, Walmart Stores
Travis Robinson, LPQ, Walmart Stores
Kevin Sterba, LPQ, Penske
Bailey Thompson, LPQ, University of Indianapolis
Manisha Tripathi, LPQ, Sears Holdings
Aristide Vakunta, LPQ, University of Indianapolis
Steven Weir, LPQ, Lowe’s
Taylor Wiechert, LPQ, Lowe’s