You Are a Good Guy, Gene Smith

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As I think a lot of you know, Gene Smith, president of the Loss Prevention Foundation, recently announced his retirement. I have had the pleasure to know Gene for a very long timesince his first days in retail security at Montgomery Ward fresh from college at Eastern Kentucky. Regardless of his growth in his career and his accomplishments, some things remained constant over those years. Gene believes:

  • The more you give of yourself with no expectation of return, the more will come back to you from the most unexpected sources.
  • You should always seek to be trusted, admired, and respected as a person and a professional.
  • You should invest time and emotion necessary to maintain a high-quality home life.
  • You should treat others with kindness, courtesy, and compassion.

A very impressive career and personal resume, dont you think?

At the recent NRF PROTECT loss prevention conference, Gene was recognized as the recipient of the Ring of Excellence award. I, along with several hundred others, witnessed this ceremony and heard Genes remarks afterward. Now we pass along Genes acceptance speech to the many thousand readers of the magazine.

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A special thanks to the entire NRF team for making this such a memorable occasion. This is truly the greatest honor that one can receive in our profession because it requires a vote by your peers. And thank you to the NRF advisory council, past Ring of Excellence members, and others for your support. I am humbled.

First, it is not I who has accomplished all of those things; it was usall of you, all of our partners, solution providers, our board, volunteers, and my mentor. Someone asked me recently if I had a wish for our profession what would it be? I pondered that question, and here is my answersorry, I have more than one wish.

  • I wish more of you would take adult learning more seriously, formal and informal opportunities.
  • I wish more of you realized it is your responsibility to educate yourself and not your employers.
  • I wish you would all invest more time in a continuous learning plan. By doing so, you will maximize your career opportunities.
  • I wish you all would find your passion and follow it, but I caution you not to put all of your efforts into one skill set.
  • I wish you all would become avid readers, not just on LP but also on business, leadership, and technology.
  • I wish all of you would find a true mentor and embrace becoming one as well.
  • I wish more of you would maximize this wonderful learning opportunity more, for it is you who are cheating yourself if you do not.

In closing, many of you have said such wonderful things over the past several months about how I have enriched all of your lives. But it is I who has truly been enriched from all of you. A quote from my all time favorite person, Abraham Lincoln: Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in. Thank you all. It has been my pleasure to serve and support all of you.

You are a good guy, Gene Smith.

From all of us, thank you.

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