The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) has tapped two asset protection industry veterans in Rhett Asher, vice president of strategy at ThinkLP, and Paul Jones, director of loss prevention and e-commerce fraud at The Vitamin Shoppe, as the first to serve as chairpersons of its Retail Advisory Committee. This move reinforces the organization’s effort to connect retailers and criminal justice, encourage collaboration, and actively reduce shoplifting and shoplifter recidivism through education and the support of responsible criminal justice reform efforts while reducing theft and improving safety in stores and communities alike.
“Rhett and Paul are not only two of the original committee members, they are long-time believers in the power of education and the value of actively reducing shoplifter recidivism. I am delighted with the level of collaboration between the veteran retail asset protection leaders assembled on this committee as we work to alter how the nation thinks about shoplifting prevention in this age of criminal justice reform,” noted NASP executive director Caroline Kochman.
Jim Lee of the LP Media Group added, “Having these two well-known leaders and veteran consensus builders assist NASP in keeping the momentum going and the collaborations moving forward is invaluable. We have already seen that there is indeed power in these key asset protection leaders speaking with a collective voice delivering a universal message.”
Asher is a passionate leader, effective motivator, and consensus builder whose 30-plus year career in retail management and industry service includes executive and VP roles at RILA, NRF, FMI, the Loss Prevention Foundation, and the National Food Service Security Council. A champion of NASP’s work throughout his years with the key retail industry associations, Asher continues to provide valuable leadership and strategic guidance.
Jones, a 35-year veteran of the asset protection industry, has been part of the NASP family since piloting education programs for juvenile offenders in the early 1990s as a regional director at Mervyn’s Frank Johns. Shortly after joining the NASP Advisory Committee, Jones secured a grant from eBay that allowed NASP to launch the “Say No to Shoplifting” campaign and website.
Asher stated, “As an original NASP advisory committee member and a huge educational advocate for our industry, I am honored and excited to have been nominated by my industry retail council peers to co-lead this group and continue to build the NASP mission awareness while working to mitigate the influx of repeat offenders in our stores.”
Paul Jones observed, “My passion and belief in the need for private solutions to assist retailers in communities goes back 20 plus years. I am very passionate about finding effective ways to fill the gaps in criminal justice left by stagnating resources in the face of growing crime.” Jones added, “Using education as an alternative intervention before we engage the hammer of criminal justice helps retailers, offenders and communities and I believe it’s a must do, and not a ‘nice to have’.”
Jones’ passion extends beyond shoplifters and into the core of our young people. “Progressive retailers are going to understand the wisdom of getting as far out in front of the offenders as they can—in schools, in community centers, in little leagues,” he says. “This way, potential offenders will be taught early on the lessons we now wait years to teach them.”
About NASP: Incorporated in 1989 as a non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3), the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention is the nation’s leading provider of shoplifter education programs. Trusted by more than 4,000 criminal justice professionals in 2,000 jurisdictions around the U.S., NASP’s offense-specific education programs have a court-documented recidivism rate of less than 3%. NASP’s mission is to raise public awareness about the harmful effects of shoplifting on youth, families and communities, unite public opinion toward constructive solutions, deliver needed programs and services and engage community action in prevention efforts to improve the lives of those affected and reduce the number of people who become involved. All NASP efforts are driven by one overarching goal – to reduce shoplifter recidivism.