Certification Profile: Darin Dillon, CPP
He admits that he got into the security field by mistake. Thirty-five years ago, Darin Dillon, CPP, replied to a classified ad in his local newspaper and landed a job as an installation and service specialist with Rollins Protective Services. That position became the basis of his employment master plan. "I have found security to be the coolest and greatest industry on the planet," he says.
Today, Dillon is business development manager with Convergint Technologies, a position he has held for the past 13 years. He looks forward to the moments when he can "solve a problem, meet a new person, share a new concept, or help someone in this exciting industry."
Dillon focuses on developing business and implementing complex electronic security for Fortune 1000 companies, hospitals, universities, and government municipalities. Because his position has a variety of responsibilities, "each day is a surprise," he says.
After arriving at his Houston, Texas, office each morning, Dillon sorts through his emails, texts, and voicemails and reacts accordingly to changes in his projects' priorities. But his most important responsibility? "It's my job to provide unparalleled customer service to those who count on our team for their global electronic security needs."
His quest to be viewed as a valued partner by these customers led Dillon to pursue the Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) designation in 2002. "Many of my clients had attained their CPP certifications, and I wanted to be tested to the same proficiency level they possessed," he says.
Dillon cites three factors that motivated him to study for the test over two years: "I wanted to know what my clients knew, I wanted to prove that I was in this industry for the long haul, and I wanted to stand out among my peers." His perseverance paid off when he received a passing score. Looking back, he says, this accomplishment catapulted him to where he is today.
A member of ASIS International for more than 25 years, Dillon has taken advantage of the educational and networking opportunities available to him. But he believes his CPP opened doors that would not have been available to him without the certification.
For example, he says the CPP allows him to jump into many conversations with others who are certified. Armed with the CPP, Dillon finds that other CPPs quickly take notice and conclude that he "knows what he is talking about."
Convergint Technologies has supported Dillon's participation in ASIS activities and encourages all colleagues to attain at least one ASIS certification. Dillon is convinced that achieving certification is worth the effort. "It will be the best learning experience, will allow for continued advancement, and will provide access to a new network of individuals," he says. "Just do it!"
Being involved in great experiences with genuine people has given Dillon a deep appreciation for his career. He advocates a similar path for others: "For those who like to see how businesses are run and products are manufactured, a career in the security industry provides access to the coolest companies and the opportunity to assist in solving their problems and address their daily concerns."