Recognizing & Honoring the NRF LP Council, the NRF’s LP Leaders

& The Chairs of the Council Itself Over 25 Years

In honoring the NRF LP Council at our upcoming ‘Live in NYC at the NRF Big Show Event & Reception’ on Jan 15th & 16th, the D&D Daily will be publishing three series of articles over the next six weeks highlighting the three leadership groups that have helped define and develop the U.S. LP/AP community.

 

We’ll first recognize the three leaders who actually steered from the helm of the NRF as the Vice Presidents of Loss Prevention, then the last 25 years of chairpeople who led the group of volunteers sitting on the council, and finally the current council members themselves and what their thoughts are about the state of our industry and where it’s headed. 

 

For over 25 years these executives have been the voice of retail LP/AP and helped develop thousands of executives who dedicated themselves to this industry. 

 

Their stories are all unique yet very similar and speak to their passion for the industry and their commitment to building a strong, focused industry effort in the midst of retail’s competitive nature and daily struggles. These executives have defined who we are as an industry and hearing their stories and efforts may help you with guiding it in the future regardless of how different it’s going to be, because one theme you may end up seeing is that while our tools and technology change rapidly, the overall human issues remain virtually the same from generation to generation. Therein lies the lesson.

Three Series of Articles on LP/AP Leadership & Community Over 25 Years

25 Years of National Retail Federation’s Loss Prevention Leadership
The Industry’s Ambassadors – Educating – Guiding & Leading Our Cause in DC

25 Years of LP Council Leadership
Chairing the Council – Volunteering their time to help build an industry

The Current NRF LP Council Members
Today’s Leaders Teaching Tomorrow’s

 

NRF LP Vice Chair and  Council Member Melissa Mitchell

Director, Asset Protection and Retail Supply Chain, LifeWay Christian Stores

1. What value has being on the council afforded you?
The opportunity to sit with my peers and talk about the issues facing our industry has been educational, enlightening, and motivating.
 
2. What’s the role? As a council member what do you do – what’s involved?
I am a Vice Chair, as well as, the Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee. As a Vice Chair, I help to make decisions that impact the council and the national conference. As the Chair of the Awards Committee, I facilitate the process to vet nominations for the 3 awards, Ring of Excellence, Law Enforcement Partnership Award, and LP Case of the Year Award, presented at our national conference.

3. What’s the value the council and the NRF LP effort adds to the LP/AP industry and to the retailers?
The council provides a forum to problem solve and have an exchange of ideas on current issues or potential situations that will ultimately benefit LP/AP industry and retailers.
 
4. Why should an executive get involved?
Getting involved means having an opportunity to influence different aspects of your industry, which means a chance to make things better. I know that our industry is what it is today because others before me got involved, and I feel compelled to try and make our profession and this industry better for the others who will come after me.
 
5. How does the council impact the Protect conference?
The council has the opportunity to represent the needs of the LP/AP practitioners in the field and to have a positive impact through the training and education that is presented at the national conference.
 
6. Is there a specific committee you sit on – what’s it accomplishing and what are the objectives?
I chair the Awards and Recognition Committee. Our goal is to drive nominations for the awards, vet the nominations to ensure that each meet the criteria for the award, and ensure that the process is consistent and has integrity.
 
7. What’s the role of the council from a big picture prospective and how does it make a difference? Leadership and influence. I view the main objective of the council as having influence in our industry as well as with the NRF.
 
8. What are some of the issues the council wants to address and help solve?
This is a changing target. We cannot have a single focus, rather, we need to be working on addressing the issues of the day. Right now diversity within our career field, security threats and how to change the existing LP/AP programs to fit the changing retail environment all come to mind.

 

Former NRF LP Council Chair Gary Johnson

Adjunct Faculty at Miller-Motte Technical College, Advisory Board Member for ALTO USA 

Former Executive Committee Member on LP Council 2013-2016

Former Chairman on LP Council 2011-2013

Gary Johnson, a 30+ year veteran of Loss Prevention industry, began as a College Intern in Osco Drug Stores LP program. He quickly rose to Agent and then LP Coordinator for the Chicagoland market before joining Pier I Imports as District LP Manager. Next, Gary went to NYC where he was appointed the Director of LP for Barnes & Noble and stayed for nearly 13 years before becoming Vice President of Asset Protection for A&P Supermarkets. Then he was appointed to the newly created VP of Loss Prevention role for The Vitamin 

Shoppe. Gary holds a BS degree in Law Enforcement Administration and dual minored in Security Administration and Sociology. He’s a board Certified Protection Professional earning the CPP designation from ASIS in 2000.

Over the years, Gary has been actively involved as an advocate for the loss prevention Industry and served on the ASIS Retail Security Committee, the LP Magazine Editorial Board, and the LP Foundation’s Benevolent Committee. He has also been extremely committed to the NRF’s LP Council efforts and held various volunteer and leadership positions including:
 
● Council member
● Council Vice Chairman
● Council Chairman
● Executive Committee
 
Committee appointments
Awards & Recognition Committee, Chairman
Legislative Committee, member
Conference Planning committee (now Content Committee)

1. What value has being on the council afforded you?
Being on the Council has provided tremendous upside to me personally as well as the retail companies who employed me. It’s afforded unfettered access to our Industry’s thought-leaders and experts and an inside track on benchmarking, emerging trends, and new technologies. Being a Council member provides a valuable platform to voice opinions, shape our profession, and become an advocate for professional retail loss prevention. Most importantly, I have cultivated many personal relationships and life-long friendships.
 
2. What’s the role? As a Chair what do you do – what’s involved?
Serving as the Council’s Chairman and representing our Industry has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. Before that, though, I served as a Vice Chairman and “learned the ropes” from Chairmen like Bill Titus and Dan Doyle and NRF executives like Rich Mellor and Joe Larocca. I see the role of Chairman as two-fold; first, providing directional guidance for initiatives while building consensus that those actions will serve our retail members. Secondly, and sometimes more demanding, the Chair influences and encourages Council members to become actively engaged.
 
3. What’s the value the council and the NRF LP effort adds to the LP/AP industry and to the retailers?
Wow! Over the years the Council has done so much to lead efforts at advancing our profession; a couple significant examples come to mind:
 
● The Council, working with the NRF LP Leaders, highlighted the ORC epidemic plaguing our industry, utilized the media to gain exposure, and worked to foster new crime legislation.
● The Council played a role in assisting in the creation of educational tools like the Active Shooter guide, Return Fraud Survey, and ORC Survey. These tools are important, not only to train, but because they are used by the media when reporting on retail loss prevention.
● Protect – our annual LP Conference! Over the years, under the steady-handed guidance of your Council, Protect has developed into the premier Loss Prevention event; for education, networking (private and public sector) and exposure to loss prevention solutions.
 
4. Why should an executive get involved with the Council and what did it mean to you?
As with any volunteer organization you get out of it what you put in. The Committees allow numerous avenues to have your voice heard, take a stand, and make a difference. I have seen firsthand the impact that motivated and energized members can make. Being on the Council gives you that platform to really make a difference... if you are actively involved.
 
I have said before that “Loss Prevention is not a spectator sport” so please do not ask to join the Council if you are not going to be fully engaged. You are a Spectator if you can’t commit to attending Council meetings, or if your Company workload prevents you from participating in committee work, or you aren’t comfortable offering ideas, opinions and suggestions. You’re a Spectator if collaborating via conference calls or completing benchmarking surveys is a chore, or you’re unwilling to share your subject matter expertise by presenting at Protect.
 
And...being a Spectator is okay! Just don’t take up a valuable chair on the Council until you are ready to be all in. There is no trophy for just showing up.
 
5. What role did you play with the various committees – what did they accomplish and is there one you’d like to see – a new one?
My committee work centered on Conference Planning (now named Content Committee), Legislative, and Awards & Recognition, and each offered memorable and rewarding experiences, like:
 
--- being part of the Legislative Committee delegation going “to the Hill” to meet with and advise lawmakers on the huge financial drains ORC and eFencing pose retailers.
 
---or helping deliver newsworthy Speakers to Protect Conferences like Stuart Varney, Sheriff Grady Judd, Chief Bill Bratton, Rourke Denver, Peyton Manning or (many years ago) Retired General Norman Schwarzkopf.
 
--- and, I am especially proud of the Awards & Recognition Committee. It started as a simple suggestion from former Chair Dan Doyle and I was given the latitude to develop a robust Program that recognized the fantastic work of our law enforcement partners, our own retail LP Teams, and of course, our Ring Of Excellence inductees. Melissa Mitchell, who now heads up the Awards & Recognition Committee, continues to raise the program to new heights.
 
Over the years, I have had the honor of presenting numerous awards, but none have been more personally gratifying then presenting a Ring of Excellence award...actually, it’s the private call to them when they learn they are being inducted to the Ring of Excellence that’s most memorable. The pride, the honor, and the humbleness they have when being recognized for their life’s work leaves me speechless.
 
As for new committees – Two come immediately to mind
 
1) Retail Violence – we need to work with law enforcement, legislatures, the LPRC, and other retailers to improve the safety of our stores for customers and employees alike. For starters, criminal penalties should be increased if you kill someone in a retail setting!
2) Digital Currency – we need to get the brightest LP and financial fraud people focused on protecting Retail now; before critical mass. Fraud, lack of regulation, vulnerability, hacking, anonymity. LP needs a plan before Consumers demand this currency!

NRF LP Council Member Van Carney

National Director of Safety, Security & LP, Domino's

 

Van has over 34 years of loss prevention, security, safety and auditing experience. In his current role, he leads a distinguished team of men and women protecting the brand, it’s businesses and the people that make it happen. He is on the National Retail Federation’s Security and Loss Prevention Advisory Board. Van is a board member of the Restaurant Loss Prevention Security Association. Van holds a Master’s in Management and Organizational Behavior and an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of the FBI’s Domestic Security Executive Academy and is a member of the FBI’s Domestic Security Alliance Council. Over the years, Van has provided guidance to franchisees and team members in areas of crisis management, employee safety, store security and exception base reporting.

What value has being on the council afforded you?
The loss prevention and security industry is ever changing. Being part of the NRF’s Loss Prevention Advisory Council has allowed me to work with experts in the field who are as passionate about the industry as I am and who want to continue to improve the industry. Bob Moraca, VP of the NRF Loss Prevention Advisory Council, as attracted a diverse group of loss prevention and security professionals in numerous segments of retail. This talented group of men and women come together several times during the year to discuss the issues, concerns and problems we face in the industry. These meeting and numerous conference calls create a forum to share ideas that can be implemented to improve our specific hurdles we face. In addition, the Advisory Council holds emergency calls when crisis issues occur to share information and best practices. Lastly, there are many loss prevention and security conferences held each year. The NRF’s Loss Prevention Protect is one of the best. The council works very hard to create a conference where the loss prevention and security professional can learn from subject matter experts in the field during various presentations and attend an expo to learn new security industry technologies and to meet key solution providers. It’s an honor and privilege to serve on the NRF’s Loss Prevention Advisory Council.

 

NRF LP Council Member Kevin Colman

Group VP, Asset Protection, Macy's

1. What value has being on the council afforded you?
Mostly exchange of information
 
2. What’s the role? As a council member what do you do – what’s involved?

Discuss what is important to the industry; strategize on messaging to senior management. CO Chair diversity council
 
3. What’s the value the council and the NRF LP effort adds to the LP/AP industry and to the retailers

Common voice across business models for legislative pressure and industry relevance

4. Why should an executive get involved?
Great place to learn and better yourself as an AP exec
 
5. How does the council impact the Protect conference?

Involved in all of the decisions on speakers/ hot topics/ and sessions
 
6. Is there a specific committee you sit on – what’s it accomplishing and what are the objectives?

Diversity. Laying the ground work for diversity of thought initiative in AP hiring
 
7. What’s the role of the council from a big picture prospective and how does it make a difference?

Legislative and messaging to the rest of the retail world
 
8. What are some of the issues the council wants to address and help solve?

Violence risk; new technology
 
9. Where is it going in the future? What does that look like?

Depends on the leader.

 

Former NRF LP Council Chair Bill Titus

Chair/Vice Chair LP Council 2005 - 2011
Currently Principle for Titus Consulting

Honoring the LP Advisory Council
 ● Council value:
      ◦ Personal - Members are great role models that helped me understand how to participate with leaders in the Loss Prevention industry and how to influence change in this group.
      ◦ Professional - What better way to learn from the most successful professional in the industry.
      ◦ Contribution to Profession - Ability to meld councils and your competencies to influence and grow professional impact.

● Chair role:
      ◦ Motivate council involvement

      ◦ Develop and facilitate council priorities     
      ◦ Represent Loss Prevention with the retail, law enforcement and government.
     
      ◦ Ensure conference provides industry professionals learning and growth opportunities

● Executive involvement:
      ◦ Giving back to the profession
      ◦ Increased visibility of your company which improves retention and recruiting of top talent
      ◦ The satisfaction of working with and meeting professionals at all levels of their careers as they contribute to the industry
      ◦ The ability to mentor senior level professionals to assist movement into the vice chair and chair levels.
 ● Council impact:
      ◦ With NRF staff and council sets agenda based on prior year feedback, council priorities and availability of knowledge based industry leaders to provide content and presentation.
 • LP Council Influence:
      ◦ The LP advisory council is one of a few LP Industry groups that retailers, especially Loss Prevention practitioners look to for emerging trends, solutions, new technologies and rising starts in the industry

 

NRF LP Council Chair Dan Faketty

Vice President Asset Protection, Southeastern Grocers

1. What value has being on the council afforded you?
 
 Being an NRF Loss Prevention Council Member has afforded me the opportunity to discuss problems, issues and trends that have impacted the companies I have worked for. Additionally, it’s allowed me to receive feedback on how to address the same with proven, industry-wide best practices that are shared between retailers, solution providers and industry experts. As example, acts of violence in the workplace such as active shooter(s), terrorist threats etc. are top of mind within organizations. Being part of the council I was recently invited to attend a meeting with industry professionals, to include the FBI Counterterrorism Division, to discuss trends and, more importantly, countermeasures to prevent these occurrences.

2. What’s the role? As a council member what do you do – what’s involved?
 

The role that council members play is entirely up to the individual. Active participants are generally involved in a minimum of one, if not more, of the seven functional committees, all of which have specific goals and objectives. This allows participants to discuss company-specific problems that they may be encountering and receive feedback on recommended solutions either directly through the NRF or from member companies that emphasize best practices. The learnings during this process are invaluable to our members! It also puts the Loss Prevention leader in a position where they can communicate industry trends to their executive leadership team, complete with recommendations on what others are doing to resolve or mitigate problems.
 
3. What’s the value the council and the NRF LP effort adds to the LP/AP industry and to the retailers
 

I can’t stress enough the value, from an educational standpoint, that a council member can obtain by actively participating in any of the seven committees. Any one of the seven impacts our industry and are actively supported by NRF. Examples of the current Loss Prevention committees include:
 
● Legislative: Identifies and establishes legislative priorities at a National level
● Investigators Network: Improve collaboration with Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement
● Content Planning: Advance LP professional development, develop content for NRF Protect
● Awards & Recognition: Recognize LP and Law Enforcement Professionals across the U.S.
● Education & Research: Explore research topics, develop evidence based best practices
● Diversity: Promote inclusion and diversification of cultures in the LP profession
● Women in LP: Encourage and provide opportunities for women through shared learning
 
4. Why should an executive get involved?
 

There is no better place fora Retail Loss Prevention professional to learn and make a difference! Additionally, by actively participating you can rapidly become a subject matter expert on a wide variety of topics as you learn and share from industry leaders. For example, on any given day an NRF Loss Prevention Committee member could be meeting with hundreds of LP professionals through the Investigators Network, testifying on Capitol Hill to advance legislation, participating and shaping the agenda for NRF Protect conference or even identifying the top Law Enforcement Officer of the year. Again, in addition to making a difference in the industry, the value and learnings an individual can bring to their organization is immeasurable.
 
5. How does the council impact the Protect conference?
 

The council, and specifically the Content Planning Committee, sets the agenda for Protect. In addition to identifying workshops, actively participating in selecting keynote speakers, making recommendations on venue, etc., the Council provides support to all attendees and reviews survey information after the conference in order to make recommendations for improvement. This is critical as the committee’s attitude is one of continuous improvement. As recently as last September the Advisory Council met and one of the topics discussed was survey responses from the June conference. During the meeting NRF Analysts presented survey results complete with comments which were critical to improving content for next year.
 
6. Is there a specific committee you sit on – what’s it accomplishing and what are the objectives?
 

I currently chair the Loss Prevention Council so I do not sit on any one committee. My role now is to work closely with the three Vice Chairs and NRF Leadership to provide support and recommendations. I am also called upon to weigh in, from a practical application standpoint, on how identified problems in the industry are acted upon.
 
In previous roles I have sat on the Diversity, Content Planning, and Education and Research committees. Perhaps the most notable accomplishment was the work done a few years back when I Chaired the Education and Research Committee. The goal of this committee is to explore research topics and develop evidence-based practices and recommendations. At the time the committee felt strongly that we needed a benchmark survey on higher education. Put another way, feedback from council members told us that they wanted to know what the higher education levels were in our industry by position and if higher education, mainly degrees, had an impact on an LP Professionals career advancement, promotional opportunities, and even pay. In response to that feedback, the committee partnered with Northern Michigan University. The university dedicated resources to our cause, and after the survey was completed and sent out, we had 88 companies who contributed their data. This demonstrated to us a strong level of interest. In the end, the research was formalized by NMU and distributed through NRF. This research was the first of its kind on this topic and a powerful read. On the committee at the time was Howard Stone, Karl Langhorst, Scott Glenn, Steve Welk, Ray Cloud, Professor Robert Hanson (NMU) and myself. A great group of professionals who did great work!
 
7. What’s the role of the council from a big picture prospective and how does it make a difference?
 

Simply put, the mission of the LP Council is to improve the knowledge, standing and influence of Retail Senior level LP Professionals in our industry. By the way, that’s straight out of NRF Loss Prevention Council Charter!
 
8. What are some of the issues the council wants to address and help solve, where is it going, and what does it look like?
 

Retail is changing at a pace never before seen in our history and Loss Prevention professionals must adapt with those changes. Additionally, how the council executes its mission (improve knowledge, standing and influence of the Senior Level LP Professionals) will be critical to everyone’s future success. While some have said these changes mean “doom and gloom” for Retail Loss Prevention professionals, I would argue it’s just the opposite. With online exposure, data security risks, natural disasters and even terrorist threats top of mind, those willing to evolve their thinking and take on non-traditional Loss Prevention roles and responsibilities to target these problems will excel! One thing is certain - the NRF Loss Prevention Council is ready and prepared to tackle this challenge. If you want evidence, simply look at the NRF Protect conference held in 2017. This conference, driven mainly by educational content, was attended by more than 2,500 Loss Prevention professionals and rated by those in attendance as one of the best in our history.

 

NRF LP Council Member James Cosseboom

Manager, Investigations & Corporate AP, Ahold USA

Jim is the Manager, Investigations and Corporate Asset Protection for Retail Business Services, LLC. an Ahold Delhaize company that supports the Ahold Delhaize brands within the United States. These brands currently include Stop & Shop, Hannaford, Giant Food, Giant/Martins, Food Lion, bfresh and Peapod. He has been with the company for close to twenty-nine (29 years) and has held a variety of positions in the company primarily in the Asset Protection Department.

What value has being on the council afforded you?
I am relatively new to the council and am still learning my way however my participation so far has exposed me to LP/AP leaders from a greater cross section of retail whether it is big box, specialty or food service. In any interaction that I have had with other council members regardless of their type of retail operation, I have learned something useful for either my personal development or to add value to my organization.

What’s the role? As a council member what do you do – what’s involved?
So far I have tried to absorb as much as I can from the other council members as to the previous successes and opportunities that the council has experienced. The meetings have a great deal of participation from the members and I have made an effort to add feedback and comments as appropriate. This coming year I intend to become involved in one of the committees.
 
How does the council impact the Protect conference?
The council offers ideas and provides feedback on on past Protect conferences to ensure that the conference not only retains its status but grows in value from year to year. The conference committee along with the NRF staff does yeoman’s work in pulling together the conference itself.
 
What are some of the issues the council wants to address and help solve?
The council, under the leadership of Bob Moraca and current Chair Dan Faketty, has been looking at partnerships with other organizations to both help retailers make their stores safer places to shop as well as to combat Organized retail Crime. To advance these goals joint meetings were held this past fall with Macerich and the FBI to explore possible partnerships in the future.
 
Where is it going in the future? What does that look like?
I believe the future is to have the widest breadth of retailers involved in the council to lead efforts to protect retailers from the ever changing threats to our ever evolving businesses. Contrary to media reports Retail itself is not dead but rather many retailers that have not evolved have died and it is our job as LP/AP professionals to evolve in our approaches at the same time.

 

Rich Mellor
Defining Leadership for the Industry

VP of LP & Senior Advisor - National Retail Federation - 2012-2014
NRF Council Chair - 2002-2005
Divisional VP, LP - Helzberg Diamonds - 1999-2011
Divisional VP, LP & Security - The Bon Ton Dept Stores - 1997-1999
Regional Director of Security - Macy's - 1996-1997

During the early 1980s I attended my first Security conferences and specifically conferences hosted by the National Retail Federation. I was asked to participate in a few conference assignments by my mentor and Council member Joseph Roessler, a former Chairman and member of the Ring of Excellence. He connected me with other notable leaders of the Security industry, the NRF Security Council and, in 1988 sponsored me to join what would evolve into the NRF Loss Prevention Advisory Council. Over the course of 12 years I was mentored by so many of the council members which expanded my knowledge, refined my loss prevention skills and rounded out my business savvy. The experience was of enormous value to me and the companies I served.

 

In 2002 I accepted the role of Chairing the LP Advisory Council serving 2 terms, partnering first with Dan Butler and later with Joe LaRocca at the NRF. It was a time of change in loss prevention and the challenges were stacking up with every passing month. The industry at large needed the kind of education and refinement that served each of us on the council so well. The task ahead of us was to open the doors to inclusion and for the council to be more engaged in the development of others growing, the next generation of loss prevention professionals. During the early months of 2002 we embarked on growing the number of council members from fifteen to thirty LP executives to help us communicate more effectively through the resources of the NRF and begin a sequence of outreach programs through sub-committees, each lead by a council member.
 
 In the years leading up to my role as chairman I had the good fortune to serve on the NRF Council on Diversity which continued as I served as chairman of the LP council. A major concern recognized by the council and the NRF staff was the LP industry lacked diversity of gender and race and it was a shortfall in building professional LP teams skilled in interactions with our customers across a diverse retail landscape. The LP council immediately established committees focused on an outreach to bring new attendees to the annual LP conference and for them to join in networking opportunities with peers. The early efforts of council member, Laurie Sorenson leading the Women’s LP Caucus was a huge success and soon followed by the Latin Caucus and the Diversity Committee with similar success. In just a couple of years the annual conference grew in attendance by forty percent and became more representative of the retail community.
 
 Other initiatives with equal success but with slightly different charters were the Investigators’ Network, dealing with organized retail theft and Emergency Planning committees where the reach was beyond the LP industry. These required building partnerships with Law Enforcement, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Department of Homeland Security as it was gearing up in the aftermath of events of September 11, 2001.
 
 As my term as chairman concluded and Dan Doyle took over to further the growth and professionalism of the LP Industry I returned to my seat as a council member which continued until 2011 when I had the extraordinary opportunity to join the NRF as Vice President of Loss Prevention. Needless-to-say the experience gained as chairman of the LP Council was the best training for what would come next. It was rewarding to work across the industry, working closely with and continuing to learn from the LP Advisory Council in overseeing the annual LP conference and representing the retailers’ interests with law enforcement agencies, government resources and the media.
 
 The challenges changed to on-line fraud, mobile payments and renewed threats of terrorism, active shooters and cyber-attacks, all serious threats to business continuity and to the safety and well-being of retail’s employees and customers. Gathering facts, assessing vulnerabilities, seeking out best practices and helping the retailers is the focus of “NRF PROTECT”, now under the leadership of Bob Moraca.
 
 I cannot adequately express the true value of the partners I have come to know and learn from in my years of association with the NRF and the LP Advisory Council. I encourage those pursuing a career in loss prevention to take full advantage of the resources at the NRF and participate in group discussion. Success is in the wisdom of many!

 

NRF LP Council Member Gregg Smith

Senior Director of Asset Protection, Five Below

1. What value has being on the council afforded you?
Being on the council has provided me with the opportunity to give back to the LP community, one that has done so much for me in the past. It and has also helped expand my network and in doing so has enable me to stay on top of the latest and greatest in the industry.
 
2. What’s the role? As a council member what do you do – what’s involved?
 Being on the council takes some effort but does not take a lot of time. Throughout the year we will have a few meetings as well as a few conference calls. The council builds the agenda’s together based on current events and forward thinking strategies and technologies. Each of us are expected to contribute to the agenda

topics. Being a council member is about contributing experiences, thoughts, viewpoints and current strategies of your departments. It’s about information sharing to benefit the industry.

3. What’s the value the council and the NRF LP effort adds to the LP/AP industry and to the retailers?
The Advisory Council helps to direct the NRF LP efforts. The NRF provides our industry with the opportunity to collaborate, share best practices, and is a one stop shop for the latest in innovation and technology.
 
4. Why should an executive get involved?
Getting involved is about giving back to the community and helping others in the same industry achieve success. As a support function in the retail industry it’s important that we help each other especially our future leaders and in doing so we also end up learning.
 
5. How does the council impact the Protect conference?
The Council and the Protect Content committee, which I am a member of, decides the tracks of the agenda as well as the content. We select the presentations as well as the speakers for each of the session.
 
6. Is there a specific committee you sit on – what’s it accomplishing and what are the objectives?
Currently I am on the Protect Content Committee. Our main objective is to elevate the value add of the conference every year. It’s about making sure that the content is relevant to today and the future. It’s about making sure that the tracks are diverse and that there are quality speakers. Its also about have a diverse vendor population with a wide variety of offering to meet the needs of our diverse group of retailers.
 
7. What’s the role of the council from a big picture prospective and how does it make a difference?
 The role of the council is to steer the direction of NRF LP community. It’s about providing support as well as a resource to our industry to help the leaders of today stay current and provide the leaders of tomorrow with the opportunity to learn and grow.
 
8. What are some of the issues the council wants to address and help solve?
The one constant is that there are always going to be challenges. Our role is to try to stay ahead of them so that others can learn from and share. Today’s challenges are about navigating in a fiscally challenging environment. It’s about doing more with less. It’s about better utilizing existing technologies as well as introducing new technologies. It’s about utilizing data to identify and focus on what’s important and it’s about streamlining efforts.
 
9. Where is it going in the future? What does that look like?
The future for NRF Protect and the council is about staying relevant. It’s about being aware of today’s challenges and those of tomorrow. It about providing an opportunities for those in our industry to learn and grow and to share with others.

 

Former NRF LP Council Chair Mike Keenan

Managing Director, Retail Loss Prevention for TAL Global

The professional and personal development value of being a member of the NRF’s Loss Prevention Advisory Council is something every LP leader should experience.
 
 ● It provides the opportunity to help shape the industry. The topics you choose to focus on often move the industry in that direction and not just strategies and technology. For example, in my early days on the Council we recognized the value of evolving from “Security” to “Loss Prevention/Asset Protection” which was a lot more than just a name change. From there we evolved to “business professional with an expertise in Loss Prevention/Asset Protection”. And the evolution continues...

● It provides the opportunity to network with your peers in the same verticals as well as in other retail business models. The knowledge I gained from other LP professionals helped me create effective loss control and safety programs for my own companies. Plus, I have developed lifelong friendships that are priceless.
 
 ● It provides you with the opportunity to work with vendors as more than just salespeople. I believe that vendors are very important partners in our industry. By working together over the years, we have created and enhanced products, both hardware and software, that has made us more effective in our jobs.
 
 ● It provides you the opportunity to work with the NRF Staff. I learned how to put on all aspects of a national conference which helped me to better run my own meetings.
 
 In addition, being the Chairperson for the NRF’s Loss Prevention Advisory Council was an outstanding experience for me. It required learning how to balance the ideas and opinions of many LP leaders and vendors, as well as, the NRF Staff and bring them to life in a conference attended by LP professionals at all levels. Overall, it was a very worthwhile investment of my time that helped me develop professionally and personally on many levels.

 

NRF LP Council Member Richard Hollinger, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law, University of Florida

When I was nominated to the board by Dan Doyle many years ago, some wondered what role an academic would play among LP executives. Since I was working on the National Retail Security Survey and my dishonest employee research this access to working practitioners offered a unique opportunity invaluable to help develop the NRSS into the bellwether study that it remains today since 1991. My close friends on the Board have allowed me to fine tune the questionnaire over the years to make the NRSS the valuable tool that it has become. None of this would have been possible without the personal relationships that membership on the NRF LP Board has permitted. In addition I have been able to add an outsider’s perspective to the summits and meetings which I hope have been helpful to the retail industry.

 

NRF LP Council Member Jon Shimp

Vice President, Risk Management, Louis Vuitton Americas

Jon joined Louis Vuitton Americas as Director- Loss Prevention in May 2008 and was promoted to VP of Asset Protection in 2013.  In this role, he initiated the loss prevention program for the company and created all loss prevention, security and safety functions.  Under his leadership, Jon’s team has implemented a shrink reduction and an awareness program to help minimize losses. His department is also responsible for all investigations for fraud/theft and to develop strategic state-of-the-art loss prevention technology and physical security initiatives for all stores, warehouses, workshops and offices. 

 

In 2015 Jon was promoted to Vice President, Risk Management.  In this newly expanded role Jon continues to oversee Asset Protection and has added both Internal Control and Inventory Control to his areas of responsibility.  Most recently in January of 2016, Treasury was added to his scope as well. 

Prior to joining Louis Vuitton, Jon was the Director of Loss Prevention for the luxury brand Chanel with previous positions at Abercrombie and Fitch, Donna Karan International and Polo Ralph Lauren.  Jon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware.  In 2014 Jon was honored as a winner as part of the “The Top 20 under 40” within the private security industry by Security System News.  Jon currently sits on the NRF LP Council and is Co-Chair for the NRFORC/Investigators Network for the US.

 

1. What value has being on the council afforded you?

Networking, learning from my peers and a great opportunity to mentor younger generation and spend time within my industry at PROTECT.

2. What’s the role?  As a council member what do you do – what’s involved?

Key thing is participation on calls and meetings, ensuring connection and activity and getting the generation behind me excited about being in this industry.

3. What’s the value the council and the NRF LP effort adds to the LP/AP industry and to the retailers?

It can’t be measured for me as its too important; not sure I think our industry gets the recognition without it, but at the same time it is as everyone wants to be a part of PROTECT and understand the NRF/AP industry.

 

4. Why should an executive get involved?

Real question is why not get involved if you can?  It’s absurd if you still live in the cloak and dagger world, its critical to share best practices.

5. How does the council impact the Protect conference?

The LP Council drives every single aspect of what attendees see, from the food/hotels, to the content to the speakers; everything you see are months of commitment from the team.

6. Is there a specific committee you sit on – what’s it accomplishing and what are the objectives?

ORC Investigators Network Chair, give tools to the regional leaders and really promote them and our industry cause on how extensive this issue really is.

7. What’s the role of the council from a big picture prospective and how does it make a difference?

Be the eyes and ears of the industry + promote change and attitude.

8. What are some of the issues the council wants to address and help solve?

ORC Activity, Legislation on Credit Cards, cybersecurity.

9. Where is it going in the future? What does that look like?

I see change, technology driven, data driven change.

NRF LP Council Member John Velke

SVP Risk Management, Total Wine & More

 

John Velke is a 40+-year veteran of workplace investigations beginning as a store detective at Lord & Taylor and working his way up to a Divisional Vice President there by the age of 29. He served as the Vice President of Loss Prevention at Fred Meyer and later assumed the same role for Parisian, Proffitt’s, and McRae’s stores, then owned by Saks Incorporated. In 2008 he went to Total Wine & More as their Vice President of Loss Prevention & Safety. He served on the Illinois Attorney General’s task force on computer crime, Oregon’s Board of Public Standards and Training, the Citizens Crime Commission, the Food Marketing Institute’s Loss Prevention Council, and the National Retail Federation’s Loss Prevention Council. During his career he has conducted and supervised several thousand private sector investigations. John holds a degree in criminal justice and has frequently served as a guest lecturer at colleges and universities.

What value has being on the council afforded you?
Participating on NRF’s Loss Prevention Advisory Council has been one of the most rewarding experiences during my professional career. It has been a pleasure working with a group of individuals who all share a passion for our industry and are committed to professional development. While we face many common problems; attracting and retaining talented individuals; budgetary constraints; ORC, to name a few, we also operate across a wide spectrum of retail formats; have a variety of “other” responsibilities; and come from different backgrounds and experiences. This diversity provides a terrific forum for learning from each other, sharing ideas, and recognizing trends. Another benefit we all get is that we play an important role in the development of the annual conference, now called Protect. This conference is widely regarded as the best conference for Loss Prevention / Asset Protection leaders and influencing the content and presentations helps me justify sending executives to the conference because I know their learning experience will deliver value to each of them individually and to my company.

 

NRF LP Council Member Chad McIntosh

VP of Asset Protection & Risk Management, Bloomingdale's

Chad McIntosh is the Vice President of Asset Protection and Risk Management for Bloomingdale's. Chad is an accomplished Asset Protection executive with over 35 years of experience as a strategic partner with corporate leadership. Chad previously worked for Stores Asset Protection for Macy's Central which operated 238 stores in 18 states. Chad has retail Asset Protection experience with various retailers that include Neiman Marcus, The Home Depot, Polo Ralph Lauren as well as Macy's Inc. He is a graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in Business Administration.

1. What value has being on the council afforded you? 

Being on the council has always been an aspirational role I’ve always wanted to play in an industry we love and have a passion for. I think it gives me an advantage in shaping and driving the AP program for my organization as it allows me to stay ahead of emerging trends and learn from other experts in Asset Protection.

2. What’s the role? As a council member what do you do – what’s involved?

Being a council member is like any other voluntary organization, you get out of it what you put in to it. Being involved in a committee allows you to make a difference in one of the important aspects of Loss Prevention today.
 
3. What’s the value the council and the NRF LP effort adds to the LP/AP industry and to the retailers?
I think the value the council bring has been the professional standards and developmental programs we have been able to provide. We are always focused on our future and that of the emerging leaders in the LP/AP industry.
 
4. Why should an executive get involved?
If you want to help guide our industry this is the place to be. Loss Prevention is not a spectator sport you’ve got to get in the game.
 
5. How does the council impact the Protect conference?
The council drives the impact conference content from topic development, speaker engagement and presentation review. Once Protect is started our role turns to ambassadors for our industry and the NRF.
 
6. Is there a specific committee you sit on – what’s it accomplishing and what are the objectives?
I am fortunate to sit on the Women in LP Committee. The committee started as way to attract women to our industry. It has been led by several accomplished women in our industry like Joan Manson, Denise Wynn and Rosamaria Sostilio. Much of what this committee has been able to accomplish has been adopted by the other communities within the NRF. The development calls and mentor program are examples of that.
 
7. What’s the role of the council from a big picture prospective and how does it make a difference?
In partnership with the NRF we are focused on professional standards and use the committees and Protect to drive those standards.
 
8. What are some of the issues the council wants to address and help solve?
 We have two major opportunities in my mind; working with stated and federal legislators to improve laws to impact ORC and developing programs that make the job of a store detective safer.
 
9. Where is it going in the future? What does that look like?
 I think the future is in developing programs and processes that make LP/AP a relevant part of the retail landscape we can’t be solely focused on crushing crime in today Omni Chanel world. How do we find ways to add value and improve profits.

 

Joseph LaRocca - The Executive Who Truly Gave LP a Voice at the Table

​Director, Loss Prevention - The Disney Stores - 1995 to 2004

Vice President & Senior Advisor - National Retail Federation - 2005 to 2012

President - RetaiLPartners - 2009 to present

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laroccaj

Twitter: @laroccaj

The National Retail Federation’s Loss Prevention Advisory Council is composed of volunteer LP/AP leaders throughout the retail industry and plays a vital role in discussing common problems confronting the retail industry and shares new ideas on products and program results. The Council has a long history of, and perhaps best known for working with the NRF to develop content for the LP Conference, now known as NRF Protect, each year.

At the urging of my friend and mentor Mike Keenan, I joined the LP Advisory Council in 1999 while serving as the Director of Loss Prevention at The Disney Stores. He framed up the role of the Council as a way for LP leaders to lend their experience and voice, to strengthen industry programs and communication efforts that build trust between peers and partners.

In 2005 I was invited to work for the NRF as their first VP of Loss Prevention in Washington D.C. - a great honor. My role was to serve as an in-house liaison between the industry, public sector partners and most importantly our LP Advisory Council volunteers. Our focus was the growing loss prevention/security concerns in retail, especially the rise in organized retail crime.

As organized retail crime was growing at breakneck speeds, Council members developed the LP Legislative Committee, Joint Organized Retail Crime Task Force and Homeland Security Committee, while the NRF Investigator’s Network swelled to over 1,000 members nationwide. Retailers, mall developers and law enforcement groups assisted the NRF in sharing data and going public with highly visible cases to apply pressure through local, state and legislative bodies. These efforts were directly responsible for Congressional hearings, extensive media coverage and changing the pace of national e-Fencing activities.

Beyond the committee activity, the Council created valuable information tools such as the Organized Retail Crime Survey, Return Fraud Survey, Background Check Survey and the DHS Active Shooter Program used throughout the private sector today. The LP Conference was enhanced during this time with the addition of the NRF Fusion Center, providing a networking venue with law enforcement. Additionally, the LP Awards program was established in 2004 with the Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Award, then enhanced with the LP Case of the Year and Ring of Excellence.

It was a privilege working directly with Advisory Council Chair’s Richard Mellor (Helzberg Diamonds), Daniel Doyle (Beall’s Inc.), Laurie Sorensen (Macy’s) and William Titus (Sears). Each of the Council committee chairs and members left behind a fingerprint of success on the overall LP program and provided invaluable counsel to me personally.

So you might be wondering how to get involved in these types of programs or committees, right? START HERE: Volunteer and Be Fearless! Locally you can attend meetings such as Organized Retail Crime Associations (ORCA’s), International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) or community crime prevention events to attend. At the national level, attend the upcoming NRF Protect Conference next year in Dallas. Volunteer to speak, work behind the scenes and network. Never be afraid to introduce yourself at the appropriate time, ask questions and pass out business cards.

Editor's Note: Joe LaRocca was the first Vice President of Loss Prevention for the NRF. Prior to that, it had mostly been a shared responsibility with Operations executives who managed the processes, did a great job, however were not exclusive to the industry, nor were they subject matter experts in the field. So Joe's 2005 start date represents the beginning of the formal full-time trade association efforts for the Loss Prevention industry. In effect, Joe blazed the first trail and gave LP a voice and a direction.

 

 

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