The National Retail Federation (NRF) PROTECT Conference’s Ring of Excellence Award recognizes pioneers in the retail loss prevention and asset protection community whose honor, integrity and character have served as a lasting example for the loss prevention profession. The achievements and outstanding leadership of these honorees have helped shape the industry by contributing to the ongoing growth and development of the loss prevention/asset protection community, creating and enhancing loss prevention best practices, and building strong loss prevention teams.
Inductees to the Ring of Excellence are evaluated based on a variety of criteria, to include distinguished achievement in leadership, the development of new ideas, techniques, or technologies that advance our shared mission, outstanding service to multiple organizations serving the industry, their contributions to society as a whole, and many other ways that they have helped advance—and represent—the best of the retail loss prevention/asset protection industry.
The NRF is proud to announce that the 2017 recipient of the NRF PROTECT Ring of Excellence is Gene Smith, LPC.
Distinguished Service to the Industry
With almost 40 years of experience, Smith has been a key leader in the industry: as a loss prevention practitioner, an executive search consultant for the loss prevention industry, a charter member and president of the Loss Prevention Foundation, and much more.
Smith began his career serving retail loss prevention back in 1978, after being recruited by retailer Montgomery Ward out of college. He worked his way up the career ladder and eventually held various directorships with Federated, Consumers Catalog Showrooms, and Revco Drug Stores. While at Lazarus, a Federated Division, he served as a loss prevention training manager for two years, which is where his passion for professional development, industry specific education, and training began.
As president of North America’s largest executive search and consulting firm specializing in providing human resource solutions for the retail loss prevention, asset protection, safety and audit industries, Smith conducted assessment interviews and career counseling with thousands of industry professionals while also involved in organizational and consulting reviews designed to maximize resources and deliver value. Thanks to this exceptional work, he is recognized as an industry leader and subject matter expert on talent assessment and acquisition.
Serving the LP Community
In 2007, Smith became one of the charter members of the Loss Prevention Foundation, the international leader in educating and certifying retail loss prevention and asset protection professionals. As president, he led the development of the academically accredited and internationally sanctioned loss prevention designations, the LPQ and the LPC certifications, which were developed with the support of hundreds of industry leaders and subject matter experts. With the ongoing mission to advance the retail loss prevention and asset protection profession, LPF continues to develop and support industry-leading educational programs, educating the industry like no other organization of its kind in the world.
Also under his direction, the Loss Prevention Benevolent Fund, a 501(c)3 charity organization, was created to provide financial relief to loss prevention and asset protection professionals and their families in times of need. This industry charity is also part of this year’s NRF PROTECT Conference.
Ongoing Dedication to Professional Growth
Smith is a founding member of the Institute for Professional Certification and Accreditation (IPCA), whose mission is to promote the highest standards for excellence in design, implementation and testing of content for professional association certifications in security management and sciences, justice sciences, cyber security, loss prevention, asset protection and other related disciplines and to encourage excellence in academic programs in these areas through program certification and accreditation.
Smith has not only been focused on assisting loss prevention professionals grow and develop in their careers, he has also been committed to driving more talent to the industry from colleges and universities. He has served on university advisory councils and has help to create numerous degree programs with concentrations in loss prevention Through his efforts, Smith has made countless contributions to the careers of retail loss prevention professionals individually, and to the LP profession as a whole.
Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Ring of Excellence Award, Gene Smith, LPC.