LPM Magpie Awards: Cheryl Blake, Excellence in Partnerships

The LP Magazine “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.

The ability to influence change is a product of drive, creativity, and determination, but it also requires a unique ability to create a shared vision that others will understand, respect, support, and pursue. Each Magpie recipient reflects that standard of excellence, representing the quality and spirit of leadership that makes a difference in our lives, our people, and our programs. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our latest honoree.

Excellence in Partnerships, Cheryl Blake, Vice President, Loss Prevention Portfolio, Appriss Retail

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“Partnerships are not transactional—they are investments in the future,” said Blake. “When building business partnerships, go into the relationship with the number one goal of serving as a true partner. Listen to what they need to accomplish and then ask additional questions to make sure you understand that specific need. Honesty is a critical part of it—be sure to give options that help meet their goals. If you don’t have the solutions they need, offer other directions they can take.”

Blake planned to join the public sector upon graduating college. However, while waiting for the right opportunity, she answered an ad for store detective, which was the beginning of her journey into loss prevention. Being a totally different experience than expected, she loved the variety and the potential, which led to a life-long venture. She climbed the career ladder holding positions with increasing responsibility before eventually transitioning to the solution provider side of the business.

“I am at a 50/50 point in my career, with 50 percent spent on the retailer side and 50 percent as a service provider,” she said. “It’s very gratifying to know that I was part of the transition from ‘security’ to ‘loss prevention,’ as well as how we went from ‘vendor’ to ‘service provider’ to ‘business partner.’ The evolution of our industry has been astounding, and I am very proud to be a part of it.

“Service providers often have a depth of experience and can be a great resource, understanding what’s been working well in the industry—and the things that don’t. Many have been practitioners as well and have insights into areas outside of their current company’s offerings. When you have questions, call them up and pick their brains. Nothing makes me feel more like a partner than getting those calls.”

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