Industry Knowledge and Credentials

Interview with Raymond J. Sosa, LPC

Raymond J. Sosa, LPC is a division asset protection director for CVS Health, where his team supports over 1,000 stores and pharmacies. With over twenty years of experience, he has led and motivated teams within the retail, financial, and pharmaceutical sectors while serving in a diverse capacity of leadership roles. Sosa also served in the Marine Corps and completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Columbia Southern University.

Why did you decide to pursue your LPC certification?
I decided to pursue my LPC certification for two key reasons—industry knowledge and industry credentials. Though I’ve served in this industry for many years, I was still unfamiliar with some elements of loss prevention before my certification. The LPC was created by LP professionals and industry subject matter experts, and I trusted it would fill gaps in my knowledge. Upon completing the LPC certification, it certainly challenged my knowledge, complimented my existing experiences, and provided further education in functions I had not been exposed to. Secondly, I recognized the LPC held the highest level of industry creditability among LP leaders. As part of my professional development and eagerness to further my career, I was encouraged to join other leaders with this certification.

Was the coursework what you expected?
The course work was what I expected—a well-organized curriculum focused on detailed and relevant information, processes, protocols, and industry standards. The layout of the online material, coupled with Study Gopher notes, quizzes, and exams made for an efficient and productive learning experience.

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Talk about the process of going through the coursework and taking the exam.
The curriculum was well organized into six main courses, which allowed for appropriate planning and scheduling. I appreciated that every course contained relevant industry information, formatted in an easy-to-navigate platform. In addition, the ability to add notes and take quizzes were a great approach to verifying knowledge. Upon completing the course, the leadership team at the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) assisted with credentials to schedule my proctored exam. The testing facility was exactly as expected, and I was able to learn that I passed immediately upon submitting my final response.

Looking at your own background and knowledge, what information helped you the most?
Though I feel I benefited from nearly all the course materials,
I likely benefited most from Course 2: Business Principles, specifically pertaining to building an effective program and financial analysis and accounting. During the time in which I completed the course, I had recently been promoted into a role that allowed me to immediately leverage and utilize this knowledge.

What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum?
The most eye-opening information was Course 4: Safety & Risk Management. Even with my undergrad in occupational safety and health, I was quite impressed with the information and practical processes documented within the course. In addition, the risk management portion provided clear insight into this segment of the industry.

What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
Taking the course has provided multiple benefits, including increased industry knowledge, rapport-building with other LPC leaders, an opportunity to support LPF as an active member of their advisory council, and an amazing opportunity to lead and mentor other LPC students on their paths to further their development.

If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
I’ve recently been granted an opportunity by CVS Health to lead an amazing group of LP professionals on their paths to furthering their professional development. They’ve each received a scholarship from CVS Health to take the LPC course and exam. The key takeaway I would provide to someone currently considering getting certified is the same advice I provided our CVS Health LP professionals, and that was, “Do it!” Our industry is always looking for professionals focused on continuing their educations, sharing knowledge with peers and partners, and giving back to their organizations with increased knowledge and skills. Like every other industry, many competitive individuals are focused on positioning their careers, so own your development and invest in yourself. As you sign up for the certification, discipline yourself to complete one course per month and stay on track to complete the full curriculum in six months. I’ve learned that students who commit to weekly development time find themselves well positioned to retain the material and have increased comfort taking the exam.

How would you compare the foundation certifications to other educational courses that you’ve taken?
I’ve been blessed with opportunities to take other educational courses and industry-recognized certifications; however, none of those experiences encompassed all of the aspects of our industry in a single curriculum like the LPC, nor did they provide the same level of synergism and active partnerships.

How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others?
Though I’ve always recognized my progressive career in loss prevention, the LPC certification helps solidify the reality of a future in this industry. For others encouraged to seek a career in loss prevention, I would hope they recognize the Loss Prevention Foundation’s efforts to elevate our profession and intentions to provide credentials to leaders within the industry.

Would you recommend certification to others?
I would certainly recommend certification to others. As mentioned previously, I currently have an opportunity to lead our LPC certification efforts within CVS Health. This initiative has granted me an opportunity to support others as they pursue the next level of their development. As a leader, the greatest privilege I receive is watching colleagues grow in their personal and professional lives. For some colleagues, LPC certification may be the next step in your development; I would recommend you invest in your development and get LPC certified.

Newly Certified

Following are individuals who recently earned
their certifications

Recent LPC Recipients
Anthony Auciello, CFI, LPC, Farm Fresh | Supervalu
Ryan Ballard, LPC, ULTA Beauty
Jonathan Constantine, LPC, CVS Health
Joshua Crippen, LPC, Whole Foods Market
Christopher Dunn, LPC, Walmart Stores
Jason Goodrich, LPC, CVS Health
Kenneth Gray, LPC, Old Navy
Carter Gulli, LPC, Amazon
Christopher Hagerdon, LPC, Ruler Foods by Kroger
Dave Harben, LPC, Ascena Retail Group
Craig Holcomb, LPC, Kroger
Charles Houde, LPC, TransformCo, formerly Sears Holdings
Melissa Knox, LPC, Albertsons
Jerry Paddack, LPC, Safeway
Robert Parks, LPC, Hard Target Homes
Michael Rubino, LPC, Village Super Market
Duncan Smart, LPC, The Beer Store
Johnathan Timek, LPC, CVS Health

Recent LPQ Recipients
Angela Andolina, LPQ, TJX
Jennifer Bailey, LPQ, Kate Spade New York
Andrea Bonilla, LPQ
Antwon Carson, LPQ, Stage Stores
Richard Collins, LPQ, Army & Air Force Exchange Service
Jack DeBussey, LPQ, The Home Depot
Terrell Foster, LPQ, Rite Aid
Tom Fox, LPQ, TJX
Alisha Hess, LPQ, Goodwill Industries of Central and Southern Indiana
Christopher Kane, LPQ
Kimberly Lund, LPQ, JCPenney
Skyler White, LPQ, The Home Depot

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