Chris Scheutzow, LPC, is the area assets protection leader for Big Lots. He oversees daily asset protection functions for thirty-eight stores in Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Previously, he has held loss prevention leadership positions with Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, and Target. He graduated from Ashland University (Ohio) with a bachelor’s in criminal justice and received his LPC certification in 2013.
Why did you decide to pursue certification? Was there something specific that influenced your decision?
Most employers are looking for individuals who are doing more than just the job. I had known Gene Smith for twelve years at the time I went through certification, and he really sold me on the need to further educate myself.
Was the course what you expected? Why or why not?
The course was not at all what I expected. I had heard from some people that many certification courses are just put out there for companies to make money. That’s not the case with the Loss Prevention Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organization. I assumed that the coursework would be basic things I already knew. I was quite surprised to find the curriculum was quite diverse and educational.
Tell us more about the process of going through the course and taking the exam.
One needs to be disciplined to do this course. Being out of any type of schooling for more than twenty years, it was an adjustment to learn how to study. Also having a family requires a specific way to get this accomplished. Taking this course helped me line up a way to study as one needs to continue education to obtain continuing education units (CEUs) year to year. Also, twenty years ago, I learned to study in paper books. Moving to online learning was an adjustment. Going through the courses was very easy. Practice tests helped me prepare. Taking the exam was easy, and I got the results immediately after completion. Plus, Gene called me shortly afterward to congratulate me.
What information within the course helped you the most or was most eye-opening?
The leadership section really helps anyone with personal development. The most eye-opening section for me personally was the shipping and receiving section. This was one area I really did not understand; terms like “deadheading” and “free astray” were foreign to me. This was just one of the many areas of knowledge that helped me understand the entire business.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
I truly believe that employers are looking for individuals who have done something more to enhance their careers. Currently, my supervisor is really invested in his people’s continuing education. I believe this is a growing trend. Those who do not want to invest in their futures will be left behind.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
Continue learning. Every major job class has some type of certification. The important thing about being certified means one must commit to continue their education to recertify yearly. This can be in any area you choose.
How has going through the certification process influenced the way that you approach your job?
I now continue to look for answers and educate myself to learn more about the business. Back in the day, one was doing their job if they caught shoplifters. That’s not true anymore. Loss prevention has evolved to more than catching thieves. To be successful in our business today, LP professionals need to be operators and good business partners, adding value to the organization well beyond traditional loss prevention.
How would you compare certification to other educational courses that you’ve taken?
This certification is very well-rounded. Many other courses focus only on one aspect or piece of the business. This certification looks at everything an existing or starting-out LP professional needs to be successful and advance their career.
Do you think getting certified will help make someone a better LP professional?
It will absolutely help both someone new to LP as well as someone like me who had a number of years’ experience in LP. If you are new to the profession, it will give you a great base knowledge in this field. If you are tenured in the business, it will allow you to continue growing by providing knowledge of areas of the business you may not have a complete understanding of. Plus, just because one is certified, additional learning is required each year. Anytime one becomes more educated, it enhances the professional life of that individual. This will make that person a much better, well-rounded candidate for advancing their career.
Has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career?
Because yearly CEUs are required to maintain my certification, this requirement has brought me into other organizations, attending other conferences and training seminars. Continuing learning is very important today. The LPC certification enhances one’s knowledge base allowing them to succeed. I would highly recommend that all loss prevention professionals seek some type of certification to enhance their career.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
David Abraham, LPC, Sears Holdings
Joseph Bingeman, LPC, Amazon.com
Relana Brokmann, LPC, PayPal
Michael Bruce, Sr., LPC, PETCO Animal Supplies
Joseph Carter, LPC, Amazon.com
David Coffey, LPC, Walgreens
Jason Coren, LPC, Amazon.com
Michael DeGrenier, Jr., LPC, Sears Holdings
Kennard Dilworth, LPC, Publix Super Markets
William Everett, LPC, CFI, Lowe’s
Nathan Hamblin, LPC, PetSmart
Douglas Harwood, LPC, Walmart Stores
Brian Horn, LPC, Amazon.com
Pablo Lafitte Iglesias, LPC, Sears Holdings
Keith Langley, LPC, Amazon.com
Aaron Leger, LPC, Amazon.com
Brian Marcial, LPC, Amazon.com
Christian McCarty, LPC, Walmart Stores
Charles Moubray, II, LPC, Amazon.com
Gregory Nottingham, LPC, Amazon.com
Steven Pace, LPC, Bloomingdale’s
Agnieszka Pienio-Ganthier, LPC, Amazon.com
John Pollard, LPC, PETCO Animal Supplies
Derick Rich, LPC, Sears Holdings
Tyson Robertson, LPC, Amazon.com
Aaron Schiffelbein, LPC, Walmart Stores
Frank Seo, LPC, Walmart Stores
Robert Stark, LPC, Walmart Stores
Leonard Talbert, LPC, Sears Holdings
Anthony Tomassi, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Fess Whitaker, LPC, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
John White, LPC, Amazon.com
Recent LPQ Recipients
Brad Abelt, LPQ, Johnson Controls
Albert Bedard, LPQ, Federated Co-operatives Ltd.
Jeremy Canova, LPQ, 7-Eleven
Ian Cherry, LPQ, Marine Corps Community Services
Denise Coghiel, LPQ, Marsh Canada
Brian Fantom, LPQ, K&G Fashion Superstore
Wayne Frutchey, LPQ, Gordon Food Service
Edgardo Gonzalez, LPQ, AT&T
Troy Hayley, LPQ, Sobeys
Bruce Herritt, LPQ, Walmart Stores
Justin Hockman, LPQ
Steven Jensen, LPQ, Weis Markets
Anthony Johnson, LPQ, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM)
Thomas Martinez, LPQ, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM)
Keith Mitchell, LPQ
Eric Mizner, LPQ, Vector Security Services
Michael Pedersen, LPQ, Goodwill Industries of Seattle
Lewis Pyburn, LPQ, Inner Parish Security Corporation
Jamie Richardson, LPQ, Walmart Stores
Debra Stanley, LPQ, 7-Eleven, Inc.
Danielle Taseris, LPQ, Goodwill Industries of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan
Michael Wolfrom, LPQ, TJX Companies