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RLPSA Goes Big in Las Vegas

Restaurants of all types descended on Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association’s (RLPSA) 38th Annual Conference at the M Resort & Casino July 30 to August 2, 2017. RLPSA hosted more restaurant companies than ever before and increased attendance from last year’s conference in San Antonio.

This year’s theme was “Results: Reinvented,” which geared keynote speakers, general sessions, and breakout sessions around ensuring restaurant professionals are ready for the changing industry landscape they are facing. The agenda was created primarily from last year’s feedback, and it was stocked with more practitioner-led panels than ever before. The breakouts featured loss prevention, safety, and risk tracks to offer relevant content for numerous roles throughout the restaurant organization.

The keynote speakers presented to a packed room. Eric O’Neill, former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operative and subject of the film Breach, discussed how to identify the insider threat. William Espey, brand visionary with Chipotle Mexican Grill, talked about creating an internal culture that can withstand any crisis. And Shawn VanSlyke, former unit chief of the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, shared an update on counterterrorism and how it affects restaurants as soft targets.

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One of the most popular panel-led sessions was “Results, Reinvented: A Panel Discussion” that featured panelists (shown above) Chris McDonald, senior vice president of loss prevention for Compass Group, North America; Anne Sullivan, vice president of asset protection and risk management for CKE Restaurants Holdings; Rick Walker, restaurant security consultant for Chick-fil-A; and Mark Stinde, vice president of asset protection for 7-Eleven, Inc. They discussed a wide range of topics, including how to manage up/down the internal ladders, always being ready to articulate your and your department’s value, and different strategies for tackling their most difficult causes of shrink.

Breakout sessions covered catastrophic property damage, delivery driver safety, active-shooter training, risk benchmarking, and behavioral safety programs, just to name a few. Attendees left Vegas packed full of strategies for reinventing their results throughout their organizations—information gleaned from the content but also from meeting with multiple solution providers during exhibit floor hours.

An RLPSA Annual Conference wouldn’t be complete without its signature networking event, which did not disappoint in Vegas. Attendees watched the sun set and the infamous strip light up from the 55th-floor open patio at the Palms’ Ghostbar on Tuesday evening.

Save the date for RLPSA’s 39th Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency on August 5 to 8, 2018. For more wrap-up information, including daily video wrap-ups from Las Vegas, visit

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