There are more than 38,000 members of ASIS International. Michael Brzozowski, CPP, PSP, is one of only 401 to have achieved both the Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) and Physical Security Professional® (PSP) certifications.
These accomplishments were not on Brzozowski’s agenda when his career began as a teller at a Canadian credit union. What he saw on banking’s front lines made him curious. “I was intrigued by risk and security—and I learned it was an incredibly broad and dynamic industry,” says Brzozowski. “There were a multitude of opportunities in virtually every market.”
During seven years with the credit union he was promoted to roles fighting money laundering and enforcing compliance, and eventually managed the credit union’s security program. Brzozowski went on to manage the security portfolio of INTRIA, an integrated payment-processing and currency-management solutions company. He credits the mentorship he received from INTRIA’s director of corporate governance for helping to cultivate his understanding of risk management on a holistic level.
In 2009, Brzozowski joined his current employer, Symcor, Inc., one of Canada’s largest outsourcers of financial processing, to manage the company’s North American building management systems. Joining Symcor brought more peers into his network who shared their in-depth expertise, increasing his knowledge of physical security, resilience, business continuity, and operational performance. In 2013, Symcor promoted Brzozowski to his current role as risk and compliance manager, in which he oversees incident and change management and large-scale system integration.
Brzozowski has been an active ASIS member since 2009. In 2012, he became coliaison of the ASIS Young Professionals Group in Toronto, and in 2013 was invited to join the ASIS International Young Professionals Subcommittee. He also sits on the ASIS Leadership and Management Practices Council. “ASIS membership has greatly benefited my career by increasing my access to a global network of expert peers and key knowledge resources,” he states.
In 2011, he decided to pursue his first ASIS certification, the PSP, to increase his professional credibility. Immediately after achieving the designation, he set his sights on his next goal—earning the CPP, which he accomplished in 2012. Preparing for both exams included participating in chapter study groups, which he says allowed him to gain in-depth conceptual understanding of the vast outline of materials.
Brzozowski urges his peers not to delay sitting for any of the Society’s certifications. “Set a date, and run to that date!” he advises.
How has earning the PSP and CPP benefited him? “It’s improved my skills, built my confidence in my professional proficiency, and put me on a level playing field with colleagues by giving me the ability to speak the same language, thus earning their respect.”