LPM Magpie Awards: Ed Tonkon, Excellence in Partnerships

The LPM “Magpie” Awards offer a means to celebrate industry accomplishments on an ongoing basis, recognizing the loss prevention professionals, teams, solution providers, law enforcement partners, and others that demonstrate a stellar contribution to the profession. Nominate your peers at Excellence[at]LPportal.com.

Ed Tonkon, President, Zebra Retail Solutions, Zebra Technologies Corporation

“As a fourth-generation retailer, I have retail in my DNA,” said Tonkon. “And of all the retail functions, I have always admired how LP professionals share the strongest collaborations. Together, they’re committed to improving the safety of the stores, reducing total retail loss, and adding value to their companies. That’s why it’s so important to find solutions that contribute to the success of both our business partners and the industry in general. Solutions must solve immediate needs with sustainability and include thought leadership. Over time, your customers will then see you as a trusted advisor keeping them up to date on emerging retail trends and the next generation of solutions in areas of greatest need.”

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Tonkon also works closely with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas to support the annual RILA Student Mentor Program. As part of the program, students work with a retail loss prevention team to uncover significant insights into their business. Results are then shared at the RILA Asset Protection Conference and published in LP Magazine.

Speaking to the next generation of solution providers, Tonkon emphasized the importance of giving back. “It should never be a about you—but because of you,” he said. “At every business I have led, there has been a common element to the success of the organization—surrounding myself with exceptionally talented leaders and building a customer-first culture with people passionate about the business and the service we provide.

“People will want to be around those who inspire, support, collaborate, offer recognition, and give credit rather than those with inflated egos and self-serving approaches. If you make it about you, you’re not going to get very far. If you bring them results, they’ll keep coming back.”

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