Weston Pate, LPC, is a zone manager, asset and profit protection (APP) for Kmart in the New York/Connecticut area. He is responsible for implementing the APP team’s 5 Play strategy in his zone and leading a team to increase profitability in the stores. Pate has been with Kmart five years and has served in various roles with increasing levels of responsibility.
This is another in a series of interviews with working LP professionals who have earned their LPQ or LPC certifications from The Loss Prevention
Foundation (LPF). Hear in their own words why they pursued certification and how it benefited their careers.
Why and when did you decide to pursue certification?
I decided to pursue the certification program to expand my knowledge of the asset protection business and industry as well as assist in furthering my career. I became LPC certified June 30, 2016.
Was the course what you expected?
The course was more detailed than I expected it to be and truly highlighted the route that the loss prevention industry is taking when it comes to how we should conduct business.
Tell us more about the process—going through the courses and taking the exam.
To be honest, at first I procrastinated getting through the coursework. I soon found that there was a lot more material than I had originally expected, so I got to work attempting to complete two chapters a day. I studied for the exam by taking the final exam multiple times and focusing on the areas where I missed questions. Come test day, I was nervous, but felt confident that through the course and the study aides, I had what I needed to pass.
Looking at your own personal development, what information within the course helped you the most?
I truly think that seeing how Sears Holdings asset protection and profit team aligned with the route the rest of the industry is taking was great. I really took away some of the vocabulary and equations learned in the course, and I’m applying them to my current work.
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum?
I believe the most eye-opening experience was how far loss prevention has come as an industry and the many ways that we continually work to improve ourselves and those around us.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
I think that one of the biggest benefits I have seen is the ability to speak to certain parts of the business better, such as supply chain, and I also have seen interest from my peers and my direct reports now that they see the LPC credential on my signature. I believe this has been a great benefit because if others take the course, then they too will be better equipped to drive better results.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
Do not procrastinate. If I could name one thing that I wish I could re-do from the course, it would be to buckle down a lot sooner and get the work done.
How has going through the certification process influenced the way that you approach your job?
I believe it has given me different perspectives to look at and was a great reminder to always build partnerships. Partnerships are critical to all parts of the business, and to drive excellent results you have to be able to develop partnerships in all that you do.
How would you compare certification to other educational courses that you’ve taken?
It’s very comparable to my college coursework and takes the same level of discipline and self-motivation to complete. This is something that you have to motivate yourself to do, and the feeling you get once you have completed the coursework and final exam is amazing.
Do you think getting certified will help make you a better LP professional?
Yes, I do. I feel that it helps you align yourself with the rest of the industry and gives a great refresher on critical components of the asset and profit protection business.
Do you think certification offers a professional advantage over those who have not been certified?
I do believe that certification provides an advantage. The certification sets you apart from others who may have similar experience and education and shows your dedication to being an LP professional.
How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others?
Ever since becoming an asset protection manager, I have seen this as a career and a career that I love and truly enjoy. This course just solidifies my commitment to making this a career.
Would you recommend certification to others?
Absolutely! I believe that this course will help any asset protection professional drive better results as well as give them a competitive advantage when it comes to career opportunities.
Is there anything else that you would like to share regarding the learning experience?
This course is truly a learning experience. I honestly believe it is comparable to my college coursework experience in terms of content, amount of coursework, and knowledge gained. I would highly recommend this course to all LP professionals.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
David Henderson, LPC, CFI, O’Reilly Auto Parts
Chad Hixon, LPC, CFI, Maurices
Dustin Hudgins, LPC, CFI, Payless Shoe Source
Robert McLaughlin, LPC, CFI, McCoy’s Building Supply
Steven Nixon, LPC, Lowe’s
Weston Pate, LPC, Kmart
Daniel Renauer, LPC, Walmart Stores
Michael Reynolds, LPC, Rite Aid
Bryan Rice, LPC, CFI, Urban Outfitters
David Rozhon, LPC, Sears Holdings
Kristen Scott, LPC, CFI, Office Depot
Tobias Steckler, LPC, Belk Department Stores
Mark Swistak, LPC, CFI, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet
Recent LPQ Recipients
Mohammad Ali, LPQ
George Brown, LPQ, Academy Sports + Outdoors
Christine Danielson, LPQ, Brookstone
Melissa Dickinson, LPQ, 7-Eleven
Devin Engel, LPQ, Brookstone
Eric Gorajec, LPQ, Beall’s
VesnaIkanovic, LPQ, Lowe’s
Alastair Kinloch, LPQ, Screwfix
Brandie Manzo, LPQ, PETCO Animal Supplies
Gregory Sharp, LPQ
JerradStamm, LPQ, Watermark Retirement Communities
David Wallace, LPQ, Staples
Charles Widner, LPQ, Noblesville Police Department