Over the past decade, the loss prevention community has taken significant steps to strengthen the profession, adapt with the changing landscape of business, and underscore the role of loss prevention as a critical component of the retail industry.
Following the birth of the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) in 2006, we watched as the LPF took root and evolved with the development of the industry’s academically accredited and internationally accepted certification programs, LPQualified (LPQ) and LPCertified (LPC) as well as several other initiatives that have helped educate our profession and set the bar for excellence across the loss prevention community.
In addition to world-class education programs, the Loss Prevention Foundation has taken many other steps to assist and elevate the men and women of loss prevention. With the support of our industry partners and the solution providers that support our mission, hundreds have received educational scholarships to advance their careers. Other initiatives have reached into the community through volunteer efforts, support of the men and women of our military, new and developing education programs, and the creation of the Loss Prevention Foundation’s Benevolent Fund, which helps support our extended loss prevention families in times of great need. There are also many new and exciting opportunities that are currently in development that will only further enhance the industry. These programs have touched many lives, and provide a vehicle for industry growth that we should all embrace and be proud to call our own.
Leading the Foundation in these efforts has been Gene Smith, LPC. Many of us have known Smith for years, long before his taking over the reins as president of the LPF. For several decades leading up to his LPF role, Smith had been involved in helping to build the careers of many LP professionals and has himself led several loss prevention departments for various retailers. Smith’s appointment as president of the LPF was a tremendous fit as an experienced and valued advocate for the loss prevention profession, a position he first accepted back in 2007.
On April 3, the LPF Board of Directors has informed us that Smith has officially announced his retirement. Frank Johns, chairman of the board for the Loss Prevention Foundation, released a statement that includes the following:
“During the past 10 years, The Loss Prevention Foundation has evolved from an idea that many thought might never come to reality, into the international authority on professional loss prevention certification. Much effort has been given in creating something that has tremendous credibility and value. Because of that, we all can be proud of what LPF, LPQ and LPC represent.
“Gene Smith has led this organization and its efforts to help elevate the profession. However, after much thought, he has decided to announce his intention to retire. No official date has been set until the replacement is made.”
The executive committee for the LPF board of directors will be assembling a selection committee and will start the process of identifying a replacement, in which Smith will be involved.
”The board of directors thanks Gene for all of the accomplishments made by him in the last 10 years,” the statement from Johns reads. “His dedication and contributions to the industry have been influential in the way that loss prevention does business in the retail world. Gene will continue to support the Foundation through some of its functions and we thank him for that commitment.”
While Smith’s efforts on behalf of the loss prevention community will be greatly missed, we wish him the absolute best in his future endeavors, and sincerely thank him for all that he has done for our profession, and for the many men and women that have benefitted from his guidance, direction, and support.