In 2001, Kevin Stranahan, CPP, PCI, PSP, was serving as a police officer for the New York City Police Department. He was planning to relocate to Connecticut to escape the steep living expenses of the big city, and he found himself facing the prospect of pivoting his career path.
While attending a concert at the Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, Stranahan found himself subconsciously auditing the property’s security.
“I did some research and discovered hospitality security to be a good fit for my skill set. It allowed me to still focus on keeping people safe, while also honing my business management skills,” says Stranahan.
Stranahan interviewed at Mohegan Sun and was promptly hired. From 2002 until 2008, he held supervisory security roles at the Mohegan Sun and for Omni Hotels in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2008, he assumed the role of security coordinator at St. Vincent’s Health Services in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Now a security manager, he oversees a team of nearly 50 proprietary security officers.
“My team comes from incredibly diverse backgrounds, including career firefighters, customer service professionals, retired correctional officers, and former military officers,” Stranahan remarks. “Each one of them has unique talents and perspectives that they bring to the table.”
Stranahan appreciates the collaborative insights his team members provide. Even after all that he has achieved, he continues to pursue learning opportunities.
He says he believes the education programs that the Society offers are his most valued member benefit. “ASIS education offers me the chance to continue the mission of learning, of networking, and becoming a more competent and confident resource for others.”
The desire to cultivate and share knowledge is what motivated Stranahan to complete the ASIS certification triple crown, a feat accomplished by fewer than 200 people worldwide. He attained his Certified Protection Professional (CPP®) certification in 2015, his Professional Certified Investigator (PCI®) certification in 2016, and his Physical Security Professional (PSP®) certification in 2017.
“I was motivated by the challenge of finding out how difficult the exams were, but more importantly by the need to better understand relevant domains within the security management field as a whole,” Stranahan says. “I never wanted to feel like I’d stopped learning.”
As a triple-certified security professional, Stranahan considers himself a diversified asset for his organization. “From a security management standpoint, I have a better grasp on how something happening in one department can impact things in another,” he says. “The knowledge I’ve gained informs my approaches in how I manage people and processes within my role. I’m better able to explain security issues to people who don’t share my security mindset.”
He offers the following advice to anyone who intends to follow in his footsteps: “Develop a plan and commit the time. Be patient until you feel confident that you understand the reference material backward and forward. Then, you are ready to test. You may have to put other things on hold to make the time and investment worth it. I did.”