TRENTON, NJ… Linda Doherty, President of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), cheered the success of the Northeast Regional Conference on Loss Prevention yesterday at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, NJ. The NJFC partnered with the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association (NJRMA) , the Delaware Food Industry Council, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association and the Food Industry Alliance of New York State for the Conference which featured Director of the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Christopher Rodriguez as well as a Digital Disaster Workshop led by Ronald Plesco of KPMG.
Director Rodriguez shared his vision as the new Director of OHSP and extended his attention to members of the audience on numerous homeland security issues during a collaborative question and answer session. Mr. Rodriguez also focused on the importance of tackling the growing threat of cyber-crime and the expertise his new Cyber Security Advisor David Weinstein will bring to the fight. Doherty said, “The retail industry of this country is currently under siege from online hackers with what seems like a system compromise occurring every other week.”
Highlighting the cyber security discussion, Ronald Plesco presented a digital disaster workshop which focused on how the advancement of technology is fundamentally changing cyber warfare and the targets hackers prey upon. Mr. Plesco provided real-life examples of instances where user identity and company security had been compromised through intrusions across a wide array of channels including cell phones, email accounts and wifi access points at public locations like hotels. The workshop helped the security professionals in attendance build an understanding of the foundations and contingency plans they will need to put in place when their organization suffers a data breach.
At the event, James D’Arcy of the Great A&P Tea Company was honored with the joint NJFC and NJRMA Loss Prevention Professional Award for his outstanding contributions to the loss prevention industry as chair of the Loss Prevention Conference Planning Committee, Vice Chair of the NJFC Loss Prevention Committee and for creating the NJFC Loss Prevention Scholarship Program. Loretta Taylor and Michael Salvatore of the New Jersey Office of Homeland and Security and Preparedness received the Retail Law Enforcement Achievement Award for their dedication and exemplary performance and outreach efforts on projects with the NJ retail community.
The conference also featured an introduction of the new NY/NJ Organized Retail Crime Alliance (ORCA) by Lieutenant Mike Gaudio of the NYPD, an investigation of a recent coupon fraud case highlighting the need for cooperation between retailers and law enforcement by PA State Police Corporal David Coyne, and a look into civil liability from Martin Sisselman, Partner of the law offices Sisselmam & Schwartz.
During the lunch reception, NJFC announced the four recipients of this year’s Loss Prevention Scholarship Program, a program that was instituted last year as the first in the country to fund continuing education for NJFC loss prevention associates through the Loss Prevention Foundation. Scholarships were presented to Joe Russa of Cuellar Shoprite, Nicholas Colalilo of Wegmans Food Markets, Justin Gantz of Zallie Supermarkets, and Enoch Okezie of Ravitz Family Markets. Scholarships were donated by Security Resources, Inc., Eastern Security Corporation, Agilence/Corrective Education Company, and Cambridge Security Services.
The New Jersey Food Council represents 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in NJ.