Steve Hyle, LPC, is vice president, director of national accounts for AFA Protective Systems. He joined AFA in 1997 after starting his career in retail store operations followed by ten years working in various corporate roles in loss prevention. He earned his LPC certification in November 2014 and today serves on the Loss Prevention Foundation board of directors.
Why did you decide to pursue certification?
To become a more knowledgeable and respected leader in my industry and profession. Having spent the initial thirteen years of my career working in retail operations and loss prevention, it was important for me to legitimize the integrity of my knowledge through certification. Having the privilege to work for a highly respected solution provider with over 140 years of proven performance, certification provided me the valuable know how to strengthen my business skills, better understand the business challenges of our retail customers, and improve my overall professional competency.
Was the course what you expected?
It exceeded my expectations in most every respect. It provided comprehensive, in-depth study across all disciplines within the profession and also provided me with valuable lessons to succeed in business and strengthen the quality of my business relationships.
Tell us more about the process of going through the course and taking the exam.
Initially, I set a goal to complete the study within eleven to twelve months. I committed to set aside several uninterrupted hours each week to immerse myself into each course module. This proved to be a sensible approach given the vast volume of content and my desire to absorb as much information as possible. I found the information to be highly engaging and informative-so much so that on many occasions I found myself exceeding my planned study targets and moved forward through the subject matter at an accelerated pace.
What information within the course helped you the most or was most eye opening?
I found the section on mentoring to be highly relevant and impactful to my role as a solution provider. Each and every day, we all have the ability to positively influence the lives of others. Taking the time to develop your skills and knowledge demonstrates a passion for your craft that is visible to others. Knowledge shared unselfishly not only can positively impact the lives of others but also is personally fulfilling and provides a profound sense of accomplishment.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
Throughout the profession, there is a clear and heightened level of respect given for the personal sacrifice made to earn this certification. As a solution provider, you must first be willing to understand and embrace your customer’s challenges before you can provide meaningful solutions to protect assets and people and solve problems. This includes challenges surrounding risk management, store design, life safety, and more. The course brings focus to and facilitates awareness of the challenges in the retail environment and most importantly provides the tools needed to succeed.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
Don’t squander the opportunity to immerse yourself in the course content. Like any self-development exercise, what you get out of it is directly proportional to the effort you put into it.
How has going through the certification process influenced the way you approach your job?
It absolutely has made me a better leader, team member, and solution provider. I think differently about my approach to the business and more thoughtfully about challenges and risks facing the retail loss prevention practitioner.
How would you compare certification to other educational courses you have taken?
It is one of the most impactful and beneficial courses of study I have experienced. This is a must for those who wish to develop not only in their LP career but also in business itself.
Do you think getting certified will help make someone a better LP professional?
Absolutely. It provides a road map to understanding best practices, carefully considering all aspects of a situation, and making good, sound decisions.
Has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others?
As a solution provider with a rich history of proven competency and performance, certification helps underscore our commitment to excellence in our profession.
Would you recommend certification to others? Why?
Yes, for the following reasons: to show respect for the profession and its mission to protect people and assets, to show respect for your business, and most importantly, to earn respect for yourself.
Is there anything else that you would like to share regarding the learning experience?
Reflecting back upon my years in college, I recall those times when I was fortunate enough to enroll in a class that thoroughly captivated my attention and provided a meaningful and rewarding learning experience. Reflecting back upon the LPC course material, I found it not only consistently engaging but also thoroughly beneficial in helping me become a better practitioner in my profession.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
Adam Acosta, LPC, TJX
Casey Alexander, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Lucio Amicci, LPC, Sears Holdings
Shawn Bradley, LPC, Lowe’s
Jenny Byers, LPC, Stage Stores
Miranda Collins, LPC, PETCO Animal Supplies
Sherry Cramer, LPC, Levi Strauss and Company
David Cuva, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Kaimaka Eskildson, LPC, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM)
Nicholas Ferris, LPC, Rite Aid
Douglas Fessenden, LPC, Vector Security
Jessika Fields, LPC, Stage Stores
Amye Goady, LPC, Stage Stores
Frank Gunning, III, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Bryan Halbur, LPC, AFA Protective Systems
Juan Interiano, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Michael Jackson, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Jennifer Keisler, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Michael Mazze, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Joshua Meins, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Sean Odell, LPC, Sears Holdings
Stephanie Ojeda, LPC, Walmart Stores
Emery Orozco, CFI LPC, Rite Aid
R. Bryant Price, LPC, Gabriel Brothers
Ruben Quinonez, LPC, DICK’s Sporting Goods
Erin Reynolds, LPC, PETCO Animal Supplies
Donald Satterfield, LPC, The Home Depot
Steven Smith, LPC, ULTA Beauty
Joseph Trance, II LPC, Stanley Convergent Security Solutions
Dennis Wamsley, LPC, Publix Super Markets
Jason Winder, LPC, Amazon.com
Recent LPQ Recipients
Jeffrey Comstock, LPQ, Southern Imperial
Nathan Dowling, LPQ, Buffalo Run Casino
Matthew Evans, LPQ, Seattle Goodwill
Erin Koons, LPQ, Walmart Stores
Danielle Palentino-Dederick, LPQ, lululemon
Susan Richter, LPQ, AmRest
Steffen Steudte, LPQ, Sears Holding
Jeffrey Tungol, LPQ, Walmart Stores