Vector Security Announces 2011 LPF Scholarship Program Winners

In 2009 there were only 10; in 2010 there were 20; and now in 2011 there were 30 scholarships provided by Vector Security to support those who want to increase their retail loss prevention education and career opportunities. “This year we received over 105 applications from those wanting to apply for these scholarships,” said Michael Grady, vector security’s executive vice president. “That’s almost ten times greater than the numbers we received during the first year of the program, and nearly three times the amount we received last year.”

Grady credits this increasing interest and participation to three specific factors. “First and foremost, the growing desirability of the LPF educational programs speaks for itself. They offer a level of loss prevention education which is virtually unavailable outside the LPF. Second, loss prevention professionals are realizing that continuing education is important in a field where their roles are expanding quickly. LP professionals are expected to be sharp, technically savvy business managers, leaders, educators, social scientists, accountants, statisticians, high-level executives and of course… investigators. Third, the loss-prevention industry has received increasing levels of awareness due to the LPF’s great job at expanding the coursework to colleges and universities. That’s attracting a more diverse level of people to their programs and the retail LP industry in general.”

This year’s results were outstanding. Grady states that Vector really didn’t know what the first year would bring. “When we began this program in 2009, we were uncertain whether people would have an interest to respond. The LPF itself was in the process of improving and expanding its programs and we didn’t know if the program would be widely accepted.” That year, Vector got fewer than 20 applicants for the 10 Loss Prevention Qualified (LPQ) scholarships the company donated.

2010 was a pivotal year for Vector. The number of applicants tripled, Vector doubled the number of scholarships, and the program included the recently released Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) program.

That set the stage for 2011. Vector tripled the number of scholarships from its 2009 level, and the LPF coursework itself progressed and became even more valuable to retail LP professionals. The result was that Vector’s scholarship program received its largest level of interest and participation ever.

This year’s winners:

Casey Alexander, Gordman's Stores
Lucio Botello, CVS/pharmacy
Tom Chason, Pursuing opportunities
Andrew Diamond, Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Patrick Foy, J.D. Maurer & Associates
Deborah Giordano, Pep Boys Auto
Cameron Hess, Belk Inc.
Brad Johnson, Cabela's Inc
Renaldo N. Johnson, pursuing opportunities
Neil Jones, Lowe's Companies Inc.
Brandon Mathews, Sears
Jose Mendoza, Michaels Stores Inc.
Mike Otten, Panera Bread LLC
Tyson Robertson, Marshalls (TJX Companies)
Kenneth Williams, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Brian Clark, Sears
Marcus Collins, Lowe's Companies Inc.
Sal D'Amico, Walgreens Co.
Laura J. Guerry, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Thaddeus C. Hugues, Fred Meyer Inc.
Tiffany O'Brien, Staples Inc.
Ken Parsons, Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.
John Reid, Michaels Stores Inc.
Louis Senecal, The Zellman Group LLC
Martha Skokowski, Luxottica Retail
Amy Stephens, Macy's Inc.
John F. Watson, Lowe's Companies Inc.
Keith Weiner, pursuing opportunities
Monty Whitlow, pursuing opportunities
Kathy Wood, Kohl's Corporation

But according to Grady, it’s not only the number of applicants that has changed. “The level of interest from candidates located outside the direct retail loss prevention community has grown significantly. We had ex-military and ex-police candidates, college students and people who are between jobs seeking scholarships this year. That’s a great testimony to the attractiveness of the retail LP industry as of late, and we made sure to include those types of individuals in this year’s selection.”

 He closes by saying that those who maintain a continued interest in the scholarship program and demonstrate a real work ethic in the way they pursue opportunities are receiving additional attention. “The fact that we are experiencing an increasing level of interest from the public and are expanding our contributions accordingly is great; but we are dismayed by the fact that we are disappointing people, most of whom are good scholarship candidates. When we see people continually applying for scholarships, that means they’re engaged in the process, and that helps them rise to the top.”

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