From a high school English teacher to an ASIS International triple board-certified security management executive, Robert A. Carotenuto, CPP, PCI, PSP, has made his mark.
After a five-year teaching stint left Carotenuto wanting more diversity in his career, he was inspired by his grandfather’s love of the arts to take a position as a security officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). Indeed, he was the MET’s first officer to be promoted through the ranks to security manager. In 2010, after 16 years at the MET, Carotenuto joined the New York Botanical Garden as its director of security. Today, he is the Garden’s associate vice president of security.
Carotenuto says that each morning typically begins with a meeting with supervisors to review the day’s activities. Carotenuto then tours the 250-acre facility. “I check to make sure all is safe and secure, but I also want to be a presence and touch base with my staff posted around the grounds,” he explains. “It gives me an opportunity to see activities that might not have been communicated or safety issues that can be corrected before visitors arrive.”
Carotenuto, who reports to the vice president for operations and security, leads a team of security professionals and two extraordinary dogs, Hawk and Chi. Communication is a top priority. “At the Garden, we want to speak with one voice so that all departments communicate the same message to our visitors,” he noted. “Our goal is the seamless visitor experience, which means our visitors receive the best customer service, all the while staying safe and secure,” he says.
After attending his first Annual Seminar and Exhibits in 2002, Carotenuto joined ASIS. That same year, he earned the Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) board certification. He went on to earn the Professional Certified Investigator® (PCI) designation in 2013, and the Physical Security Professional® (PSP) in 2014. Carotenuto concedes that he was motivated to earn the certifications by both a desire to learn and personal achievement. “I felt so proud to stand with fellow triple certificants at the Seminar and Exhibits in 2014 because I knew what the achievement meant,” Carotenuto recalls.
Carotenuto believes certification conveys security professionals have met a baseline of skills and knowledge. “I promote certification to all of my staff and the students I teach as a way to grow both personally and professionally. I also encourage them to get involved in their local ASIS chapters.”