Perhaps because I am of a certain age, I must confess that the passing of contemporaries has a profound impact on me. Over the past few weeks and recent years, the loss prevention industry has lost several well-known—and well appreciated—members of our community on both sides of the Atlantic.
In this issue of the magazine, we acknowledge the passing of Bob MacLea, who retired in 2016 as senior vice president of loss prevention for TJX Companies after 41 years with the company. Many of you knew Bob both as a quality LP executive as well as a superior human being. In the spring edition of LP Magazine Europe, there is a moving tribute to Ray Winter, group head of risk management at the Theo Paphitis Retail Group who died in January. I didn’t personally know Ray, but from the many anecdotes and remembrances expressed in that article, I was moved and wish I’d had the honor of knowing him.
From the many, many comments from friends about these two gentlemen, it sounds as if they were cut from the same cloth. If they didn’t know each other, I’m guessing that they would have found much in common had they met.
Those of our advertisers over the years who worked with Bonnie Dodson, the East Coast ad representative for the first thirteen years of the magazine’s existence, may not know that she just lost her husband, David, at the early age of sixty-two to pancreatic cancer. Our hearts go out to Bonnie for her loss.
I don’t know if our industry is different from others, but I do know that the retail security industry is known for the very close ties and friendships among LP executives on both the retail and vendor sides—even between professionals at competing companies. I noticed this back in the early 1990s when I first came into the loss prevention industry. Since then I’ve observed the mutual respect and friendships that are displayed at industry events and other occasions that bring LP professionals together.
Along with these recent passings, I’ve also experienced the joy of seeing my younger son marry—a whole other set of emotions. I do not have experience with grandchildren but have observed friends who are giddy with joy over their children’s children.
All these musings have led me to feel that certainly I—and I suspect many of you—have not often enough expressed appreciation and, yes, even love for those in our companies and throughout the industry who have a positive impact on our lives.
In today’s #metoo environment, I realize this can be a touchy subject in the business world. However, I think it important to say “thank you” and “I appreciate you” to those in your organization and elsewhere in the industry who are important to us personally and professionally. Certainly, I know that I can do better.
Whether you offer a hardy handshake or gentle hug, or you are more comfortable sending a handwritten note in the mail or (heaven forbid) picking up the phone, I think we as people first and business associates second would benefit greatly-as would the greater retail loss prevention community.