Collins has over 23 years of loss prevention and retail experience with Sears, Old Navy, and her current employer, Petco. After beginning her career as a sales associate, she’s held many roles, including store manager, loss prevention manager, corporate investigator, and the most challenging role, mother of three. Collins holds a degree in criminal justice.
Why did you decide to pursue your LPC certification?
While preparing my annual performance review for this past year, I decided obtaining the LPC would be a great objective for 2017. I truly believe the only person responsible for your continued growth and development is you. There is no better investment than one that provides both personal growth and professional development.
Was the course work what you expected?
Yes, the course work is challenging and requires dedicated study time. It covers most areas relevant to the loss prevention field, and I enjoyed the background and historical information that was provided; I felt it added relevance to the process.
Talk about the process of going through the course work and taking the exam.
Working my way through the course work was initially a little more challenging than I expected. It really forced me to go back and review subjects I was not as familiar with or have not had as much experience with. Commitment to the training materials will prepare you for the actual exam. However, being able to apply your learnings in a practical application will be critical to a successful outcome on the final exam. I found it most helpful to look over all of the material first, take the chapter quizzes to determine what areas I needed additional focus on, and then study until I could pass each chapter exam 100 percent.
Looking at your own personal background and knowledge, what information in the course helped you the most?
While I have been exposed to almost all of the subject material provided, I would say there were areas that I did not have the depth of knowledge required to pass the test without the provided study materials. This certification requires a deeper dive into all operational areas impacting the loss prevention field.
What was the most eye-opening information that was part of the curriculum?
For me, I benefited a lot from the accounting and logistics material. The pharmacy section was also interesting as this is one of the areas with my least amount of exposure.
What benefits have you seen from taking the course?
One of the benefits it provides is the ability to expand my knowledge base while refreshing my previous studies. It is also a great reminder of the different aspects of the industry the loss prevention field impacts. I think sometimes we forget the other avenues open to those of us in the loss prevention field. Being reminded of this is especially critical in this ever-changing job landscape. This course material not only validated my experience but also prepared me to take on new challenges wherever my career should take me.
If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be?
Study. Not only is it important to understand the material provided, but also the ability to apply it in a practical application will be the key to the certification process. Work-life balance can already be a task for most, so careful consideration should be given to dedicated study time. The biggest takeaway I had is partnerships, both internal and external to your organization. There are a lot of moving parts to a successful long-term loss prevention plan. You need good working relationships with all the players and must know how to successfully leverage those partnerships.
How would you compare the foundation certifications to other educational courses that you’ve taken?
This was the first online certification I have obtained. I am hoping it prepares me for my next adventure as I undertake the CFI. I believe that the LPC indicates you see value in personal growth and education and helps you stay relevant in a competitive loss prevention market.
How has certification changed your expectations of loss prevention as a career, for yourself and for others?
The LPC process is a great reminder that loss prevention impacts all areas of operations. If you want to have a seat at the table to influence members of your organization, you must have an understanding of how loss prevention impacts the whole business. Certification indicates we are prepared to support our organizations, increase profitability, and build partnerships to drive initiatives critical to a successful loss prevention program. I think the LPC is a clear indicator of this understanding.
Would you recommend certification to others?
Absolutely. This course provides for personal growth and development. The course is an investment for both the employee and the employer. It requires not only a monetary investment but also time and commitment to the course material. The LPC is a great investment.
Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.
Recent LPC Recipients
Lucio Amicci, LPC, Sears Holdings
Charles Bailey, Jr., LPC, CFI, Vector Security
Shawn Bradley, LPC, Lowe’s
Darlene De Francesco, LPC, FedEx
Tyler Grandy, LPC, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Michael Hawkins, LPC, Lowe’s
Aaron Henderson, LPC, CFI, Penske
Bruce Herritt, LPC, Walmart Stores
Slade Jordan, LPC, Walmart Stores
Arron Knight, LPC, FleetPride
Lincoln LeFebvre, LPC, Home Depot
Alan Lott, LPC, 7-Eleven
Kevin Mgrdichian, LPC, Sears Holdings
Jennifer Ponicsan, LPC
R. Bryant Price, LPC, Gabriel Brothers
Bryan Shepherd, LPC
Steven Smith, LPC, ULTA Beauty
Christopher Weaver, LPC, Walmart Stores
Ashley Winkelmann, LPC, 7- Eleven
Recent LPQ Recipients
David Chartrand, LPQ, Goodwill Industries of Seattle
Michael D’Antonio, LPQ, Stew Leonard’s
Gregory Dolcich, LPQ, Security Resources
Nathan Dowling, LPQ, Buffalo Run Casino
Christopher Gipson, LPQ, 7-Eleven
Ciera Hilton, LPQ, Protos Security
Robert Jevarjian, LPQ, Stew Leonard’s
Erin Koons, LPQ, Walmart Stores
Kate McGorty, LPQ, L.L.Bean
Brian Naughton, LPQ, Nordstrom
Danielle Palentino-Dederick, LPQ, lululemon
Pankaj Patel, LPQ, Indigo
Kelley Portner, LPQ, Rite Aid
Barbara Weaver, LPQ, Best Buy
Mandie Wells, LPQ, KPH Healthcare Services