Eric Rode has over fifteen years of experience in loss prevention, holding positions at a district and regional level with Sears Holdings, rue21, and Office Depot. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas–Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center and holds several industry certifications including the LPC and CFI. Rode lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area with his family.
Why did you decide to pursue certification?
I had already completed the CFI and was looking for ways to further expand my overall professional expertise. The LPC was appealing because it offered training in a wide range of topics that would help further expand my professional growth. The good folks at Vector Security were kind enough to award me a scholarship, and I jumped at the opportunity. I became LPC certified in 2014.
Was the course what you expected?
I expected a broad range of material to be covered in the course, and there is, but what impressed me about the course is the depth and detail in each module. There is a tremendous amount of information presented. The material is also highly relevant, so you don’t spend time pushing through topics that are less meaningful or relevant in order to get to the “good stuff.”
The biggest contrast I see between this and formal classroom courses is the ability to go at your own pace. That was great since it enabled me to study around my professional and personal obligations. Having the material available on my iPad was helpful, and I spent quite a bit of time studying while in airports and on planes. Once I was ready, I scheduled the exam and took an afternoon off to test.
The exam was challenging, and I was sweating bullets throughout the test. But the study materials prepared me, and I felt pretty confident. It was still a great feeling of relief when the message appeared that I had passed.
Looking at your own personal development, what information within the course helped you the most?
There were some topics in the course that were in areas where you don’t get as much exposure in a traditional LP role, like logistics and some of the operations and financial topics. I learned quite a bit that I didn’t know about 3PL and the overall logistics process. To have a better grasp in those areas has helped me to better support my business partners and to better understand their needs and priorities.
I believe what I learned from the course helped make me a better business partner. Any time you expand your knowledge, you increase your ability to impact results and relationships, and that is how we add value to our organizations. It has made me a more well-rounded professional who is able to better understand more than just my own role in an organization.
How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others?
I believe that having certifications like the LPC and the LPQ demonstrate that there is an industry standard for training and expertise in our profession. That shows someone who is new to the profession that there is a pathway to career growth and professional milestones to work toward. Having the LPC designation has benefited me professionally as it demonstrates a quantifiable measure of knowledge and expertise in our industry. All things being equal, I think certification gives you an edge. It speaks to a level of commitment to develop and grow as a professional and demonstrates a certain level of expertise.
I would encourage anyone who is serious about loss prevention as a career to invest in their development, continue to learn, and expand their expertise. The LPC is a great avenue to do that, but studying and achieving the certification is just the beginning. The commitment to ongoing learning and development after certification is critical in order to keep that expertise and skill set sharp.
As the corporate landscape has changed over the years, it has become less and less realistic to rely on a company to provide us with all of our training and career development. Individuals have to take responsibility for the lion’s share of their own development and in loss prevention and asset protection, and the LPC is one of the best investments you can make in your career development.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
Kimberly Adams, LPC, Walmart
Adam Ainsworth, LPC, DownEast Outfitters
Max Alonso V, LPC, Walmart
Roberto Alvarez, Jr., LPC, Walmart
Alexander Bell, LPC, Walmart
John Burroughs, III, LPC, Walmart
Ardis Charbonneau, LPC, Walmart
Kory Ciesielski, LPC, Walmart
Kristine Collins, LPC, Walmart
Stephen Dubeck, LPC, PETCO
Jeremy Elwell, LPC, Walmart
Matthew Evans, LPC, Walmart
Victor Figueroa, LPC, TJX
Michael Geloso, LPC, Walmart
Abraham Gonzalez, LPC, CFI, Bloomingdale’s
Brian Guay, LPC, Rite Aid
Paula Harris, LPC, Walmart
Penny Harvey, LPC, Walmart
Erin Heald, LPC, Walmart
Robert Higgins, LPC, Walmart
Matthew Hilfers, LPC, Walmart
Arlis Hoover, LPC, Walmart
Matthew Hovland, LPC, Walmart
Matthew Johnson, LPC, East Carolina University
Jason Krongaard, LPC, Walmart
Craig Ledbetter, LPC, Walmart
Nicholas Lenox, LPC, Walmart
Sherry Liken, LPC, 7-Eleven
Sandra Marshall, LPC
John Miks, LPC, Walmart
Barney Molnar, LPC, Amazon.com
Vahplahn Moore, LPC, Sears Holding
Constance Morris, LPC, Walmart
Recent LPQ Recipients
Mark Ashmore, LPQ, 7-Eleven
Colton Cantrell, LPQ, Walmart
Marcia Foertsch, LPQ, 7-Eleven
Jetmir Hoxha, LPQ, Bloomingdale’s
Estrella Jackson, LPQ, Walmart
Jillian Kristiansen, LPQ, City of Murphy, Texas
Kelsy Liddell, LPQ, Rite Aid
Christa Matthews, LPQ, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Charanjit Mehta, LPQ, Walmart
Daniel O’Callaghan, LPQ, Walmart