Throughout his 30-plus years in the industry, Jay (Chuck) McCormick, PSP, has pursued many facets of security integration and assumed many roles in security management. He says continuous learning, certification, and a great mentor were important factors in his upward career trajectory. McCormick credits his mentor, Bob Falconi, CPP, with advancing his career by at least 10 years in the six months they worked together. "His mentoring in program management has proven invaluable to this day," he says.
In his current position as technical solutions engineer for ESCO Communications, McCormick's tasks vary greatly from day to day. His ability to handle diverse assignments has been enhanced through his Physical Security Professional (PSP®) certification, which he attained in 2011. "That certification turned my career around," he attests. "I have the credibility and skills that go beyond 'that security guy,'" he adds. "I am able to speak with clients, present at conferences, and perform my functions with a high level of confidence."
That confidence was put the test when McCormick served as program manager on a four-person national accounts team. A large client summoned the team to discuss its displeasure with an underperforming branch. After hearing the complaints, three members of the accounts team acknowledged the concerns and left the meeting, leaving McCormick to discuss the resolution. Unexpectedly under the microscope, "I pulled from my experiences and molded a solution," he recalls. By breaking the issues into manageable pieces, McCormick was able to show a flow chart from another project he was managing that hit every major point on the client's list and commit to getting the work done. He credits his certification for helping him to understand the objectives for a physical protection system and to design risk treatments that provide a higher ROI for the client. "What was memorable," McCormick says, "was that I was able to talk the talk and turn a hostile situation into a partnership."
McCormick is studying to add the Certified Protection Professional (CPP®) to his resume. "Obtaining a certification is not an end, but a beginning to becoming more knowledgeable about your craft and career," he says. Persons who meet the requirements should be willing to set aside a significant amount of time for study. "This is not something to be taken lightly," McCormick advises.
ESCO encourages others to pursue ASIS certifications. The company supported McCormick in his position as chair of the ASIS Indianapolis Chapter. "ASIS has been branded as the preeminent security organization," he says. "Being connected to ASIS can only benefit me as an individual as well as the company I keep."
McCormick admits that safety and security are lifelong passions. He became a State Certified Fire Fighter at age 16 and moved into electronic security at age 20 before launching his security and life safety career. "Helping others to live productive, safe lives is what draws me to this career…and making a difference is what keeps me here."
Profile by Mary Alice Davidson, Principal, Davidson Communications.