Lea Tamarack, LPC is a market AP leader for Big Lots. She began her career apprehending shoplifters at Parisian Department Store in Savannah, Georgia, while studying for a degree in criminal justice. She moved with Parisian to Columbia, South Carolina, while working toward her master’s in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina. While obtaining her degree, she found she was hooked on LP. She made LP her career and gained a variety of experience, including department store retail, grocery, dollar, and specialty.
Why did you decide to pursue your LPC certification?
I heard that the Loss Prevention Foundation was working on new LPC material around grocery and volunteered to help develop it. While working with the LPF, they granted me an LPC scholarship.
Was the coursework what you expected?
Having previously completed the CFE and CFI programs, which are vastly different, I was not sure what to expect from the LPC. When I started it, I was impressed that it covered the “lifecycle” of loss prevention, from the basics to building a successful LP program and leadership.
Talk about the process of going through the coursework and taking the exam.
Even after reading this column in previous issues of LP Magazine and knowing not to procrastinate, I still procrastinated. I was talking with a friend who was also going through it, and he mentioned that he had set a date to take the test, to get the motivation to complete the course. I took his method and set a test date, which was the final encouragement I needed to finish the course.
Looking at your own personal background and knowledge, what information in the course helped you the most?
Having worked in a variety of retail LP settings, I have experienced different programs, policies, and procedures around LP, which helped form my own opinions of what were best practices. The leadership content of the LPC course validated those opinions. It was a great feeling to see that my beliefs of what makes a great LP department were the same as what was being taught to hundreds of other LP professionals in this course.
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum?
That the curriculum was so all-inclusive of the LP industry, from retailers to vendors, stores to distribution centers, investigations to leading a department.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
A feeling of confidence of learning more about the LP industry and of successfully completing the course.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
The LPC is a great all-around course to learn the different components of LP all the way up to running a department.
How would you compare the foundation certifications to other educational courses that you’ve taken?
The LPC material is all online and mostly reading. The CFE was a combination of online and printed materials, and the CFI was all online. The LPC has a lot of material and covers more broad topics than the CFE and CFI, so it takes longer to read through all the materials.
How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and others?
Completing the certification reinforced my desire to continue my career in the LP industry. I found it fascinating to learn about components of the industry that I hadn’t had personal experience with before.
Would you recommend certification to others?
This is a great course to show that you have studied the entire LP process, from how to handle instances of theft to how to make a budget. Having the LPC certification shows that you bring this knowledge to the table.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
Orlando Apodaca, LPC, CVS Health
Brittany Basler, LPC, Amazon
Tiffany Bonitatibus, LPC, Fanatics
Helen Dalton, LPC, Albertsons
Misty Davis, LPC, Ulta Beauty
Gerald DeClemente, LPC, Five Below
Joseph DesFosses, LPC, Albertsons
Jonathan Devlin, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Brandon Duggins, LPC, TJX
Donald Gaines, LPC, TJX
Fred Helmes, LPC, TJ Maxx
Ryan Hussey, LPC, TJX
Claudia Joya, LPC, HomeGoods
Jeff Kinder, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Jaime Knapp, LPC, Helzberg Diamonds
Kelly Laurance, LPC, John Lewis
Danielle Lee, LPC, ULTA Beauty
Scott Lox, LPC, Living Spaces
Amanda Lucken, LPC, Home Depot
Carl Marceaux, LPC, Walmart
Anthony Mclean, LPC, Office Depot
Michael Murphy, LPC, Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio
Anthony O’Barto, LPC, Albertsons
Troy Oquin, LPC, Kroger
John Pearce, LPC, TJX
Jon Penman, LPC, Kohl’s
Mackenzie Phillips, LPC, Amazon
Bryan Ramirez, LPC, Goodwill Industries of Seattle
Brad Reeves, LPC, A&P
Jill Rossi, LPC, TJX
Michael Safar, LPC, Walmart
Amber Santiago, LPC, Kohl’s
James Singhaus, LPC, Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio
Gregg Smith, LPC, Five Below
James Webb, LPC, TJX
Bryan Ziegler, LPC, Walgreens
Recent LPQ Recipients
Sherell Burns, LPQ, TJX
Keith Cohen, LPQ
Mike Cuzzetto, Jr, LPQ, Loblaw
Justin DeLaMare, LPQ, TJ Maxx
Jacob LaMotte, LPQ, Meijer
Carl Millegan, LPQ, TDCJ
Xandar Miller, LPQ
Alexander Mszanecky, III, LPQ, Giant Food Stores
Andres Oliveri, LPQ, TJX
Dmarcus Ottey, LPQ, Home Depot
Ivan Pacheco, LPQ, Home Depot
Amanda Peterson, LPQ, Whole Foods Market
Nicholas Rocco, LPQ, TJX
Mark Stewart, LPQ, Giant Food Stores
Isaac Valentin, LPQ, Weis Markets
Donald Weber, LPQ, Home Depot