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Day 1 of the 2016 RILA Asset Protection Conference

The Retail Industry Asset Protection Conference is now in full swing in Dallas. This year’s conference kicked off with introductory statements from Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations. LaBruno shared that this year’s attendance is the highest in the history of the conference, and set the tone for a busy agenda. She further emphasized that consumers are more connected than they’ve ever been before, and the loss prevention community needs to build our approach to support that line of thinking as well, finding new and creative ways to learn and grow with our retail companies.

A moment of silence was then shared in memory of Jaseramie Dion “JD” Ferguson, who was fatally shot outside a metro Atlanta Wal-Mart last week. “JD’s death provides a sober reminder to us all of the risks associated with shoplifter apprehensions,” said LaBruno. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire loss prevention community are with his family during this difficult time.”

The day’s events then kicked off with a General Session led by David Lund, vice president of loss prevention with Dick’s Sporting Goods, on “Making LP Matter.” Lund reminded us that if loss prevention continues to remain relevant, we have to change our perceptions. He discussed the importance of evolving as partners within the retail enterprise; and finding new and improved ways to contribute to the success of the organization as a whole as a means of keeping the department productive and valued by the entire organization.

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This was followed by an enlightening discussion with political analyst Amy Walter who shared her insights on the electoral process, congressional culture, and the current political scene as we march forward towards this year’s election. With voters more polarized than ever, Walter underscored her message by stating that perhaps the most prominent political bumper sticker we should see to represent this year’s elections should be, “2016: WTF?” With the strange and unique events that have categories the recent trends in American politics, she feels that we are at a tipping point that is in fact reflective of the current changes in our country and within the political arena.

Morning and afternoon Breakout Sessions for each of the session tracks were next on the day’s agenda, sandwiched around lunch in the main ballroom. The Breakout Sessions featured many open forums that allowed the audience to actively participate in the conversations, leading to active and productive discussions that were informative and engaging. The day’s speakers were knowledgeable and well-prepared; getting the most out of the information and the audiences while sharing their presentation messages.

Following the afternoon Breakout Sessions a General Session was hosted by former FBI profiler Joe Navarro, who discussed “Dangerous Personalities.”  Navarro how to identify the four most common “dangerous personalities” and analyzed how much of a threat each one can be: the Narcissist, the Predator, the Paranoid, and the Unstable Personality. He reviewed the characteristics common to each of these personalities, and offered advice on how to deal with these personalities when revealed in the workforce.

The day’s events ended with a networking session in the Exposition Hall. The traffic in the Exposition Hall was strong and steady on the first day of the show, and conversations appeared productive. Many seemed intent on speaking with specific solution providers, and will likely use Tuesday’s opportunities to investigate new products and solutions.

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