Spotlight on Leadership

Loss Prevention —
Career, Community and Innovation

May 24, 2013: By Rich Mellor, Vice President, Loss Prevention for the National Retail Federation


If there’s an area within retail that clearly illustrates the three pillars of NRF’s new “This is Retail” campaign, it’s loss prevention.

LP offers retail careers that range from mall security officers to senior executive opportunities at the corporate level, and LP professionals play a major role in preserving the safety of our nation’s communities much the same as sworn police officers.

The field often involves the latest in technological innovation, ranging from the newest digital surveillance cameras to the never-ending battle to keep cyber criminals from hacking into retail databases.

Over the past decade, there has been a recognizable trend in what is expected of LP professionals who seek to rise to leadership positions. It is no longer enough to understand just loss prevention as such. The new era of LP requires knowledge and understanding of information technology, human resources, store design and financial reporting, to name just a few areas. And loss prevention itself has expanded to include emergency response, safety, business continuity and cyber security, with responsibility for protection of company assets, employees and customers alike.

So it should come as no surprise that helping LP professionals who want to advance in their careers will be one of the themes of the NRF Loss Prevention Conference & EXPO, June 12-14 in San Diego. The LP Conference is where the best and brightest in retail loss prevention gather with key partners in law enforcement to network, engage in educational offerings and meet the challenges facing our industry. In addition to the usual panels and speeches on hands-on issues like organized retail crime or new techniques for conducting investigations, this year’s conference will feature sessions on how higher education can help LP professionals advance their careers and how to identify and cultivate the future retail LP leaders within your organization.

The conference also includes speakers who will focus on leadership — that elusive quality that transforms an LP professional into an LP executive. One example of great leadership is Navy Lt. Commander Rorke T. Denver. If you don’t recognize the name you might recognize the face — he was one of the real-life Navy SEALS starring in last year’s Golden Globe-nominated movie “Act of Valor” and has led special forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and a host of other international hot spots. His keynote on “elite leadership” will draw on those experiences to explain the value of training, preparation, teamwork and motivation to sparking and sustaining high levels of performance.

Also on the agenda is FBI Academy instructor Larry Barton, one of the world’s leading experts on threat assessment, who has managed nearly 3,000 cases and written four books on the subject. He’s also a face you’ve seen as a commentator for CNN and the BBC during the Sandy Hook school shootings. He will address how retailers can process and manage threats in stores, distribution centers and those shared and spread via social media, along with how domestic disputes can create havoc in stores.

With speakers like those and more than two dozen in-depth sessions on specific issues, the conference has much to offer LP staff and executives at all levels of the profession. Whether you’re looking to become a senior executive or just move up through the ranks, the message is clear — LP is not just a job, it’s a career.

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