Hedgie Bartol, LPQ, LPC, a familiar face in the asset protection industry, has joined Auror as the new senior director of retail business development. He brings with him more than 25 years of retail loss prevention experience, a passion for making a difference, and a special knack for making people smile. We chatted with him about his move to Auror and how his career could have taken a “funny” turn.
LPM: Before we get into the story, what’s this about you almost going to clown college?
BARTOL: I got a full-ride scholarship in my senior year of college to go to Ringling Brothers Clown College in Florida. I have a degree in theatre arts, and I enjoyed the physicality of clowning and what it meant to be able to bring a smile to people’s faces. I guess I thought it was a valid career choice at that time!
I decided not to go in favor of getting into the workforce, but I still enjoy making people laugh and making people happy. It’s something I bring to my work every day.
LPM: So, why Auror?
BARTOL: A desire I’ve held for a long time is to make a difference in society, as far as impacting crime. Organized retail crime (ORC) has been a fascination for me, and the more I learned about its impacts, the more I saw that something more needed to be done to address it. It’s a much bigger problem than what the average consumer may think.
So when I saw what Auror was offering and how it’s transforming how retailers address ORC in their stores and communities, I was fascinated. The Auror philosophy around retail incident reporting and ORC investigation software is industry leading and game-changing.
LPM: What are you looking forward to the most?
BARTOL: I’m looking forward to sharing the benefits so many leading retailers and law enforcement agencies are achieving, and the movement that is building here in North America. I’m also looking forward to working with a bunch of great people. Through the interview process I saw the way everyone was working towards a common goal and committed to that vision and to each other, while always keeping the end customer in mind.
LPM: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing retailers right now?
BARTOL: It’s the sharing of information and the ability to share across borders and markets. Until now, there just hasn’t been a scalable solution for that. But with Auror, you can pursue and prosecute ORC groups by putting together evidence of all the many offences they commit.
ORC is only getting worse and more aggressive, putting store associates and consumers at great risk. So to have Auror, which offers a tool for all sides—from retailers to law enforcement to ORCAs—is truly phenomenal.