Russell K. Mallette, Jr., CPP, says that his shift in career began with a newspaper advertisement he happened to glimpse: “National Security Services Firm Seeks Qualified Account Manager in the Los Angeles Area.”
When Mallette responded to this Los Angeles Times ad in 2005, the door was just opening on his transition from loss prevention officer into security management. “I had no idea exactly what to expect,” Mallette says of those times. But the die was cast. After “two interviews, a full background check, a polygraph exam, and a security clearance…I was an account manager with a national security provider,” he states.
Today, Mallette serves in the position of corporate training and development manager for Universal Protection Service (Universal) of Santa Ana, California, the fourth-largest security provider of manned and security systems in the United States, where he is tasked with streamlining the company’s learning management system (LMS) and training programs. “As part of a growing company, my department must ensure that training and internal certification programs, such as the Universal Certified Security Professional designation, reach not only the large metro areas but rural sites as well,” he explains.
“What I like most about security management is that our commodity is people. Once you learn what constitutes hard-working, eager, reliable employees, you enjoy discovering them and placing them at sites where they are challenged, appreciated, and utilized,” he says. Even before entering security management, he had an interest in protecting people and assets—a passion he first developed while working as a loss prevention and customer service supervisor for Fry’s Electronics’ Burbank, California, store.
Mallette’s next role was as account manager, then manager of business development and account executive for Guardsmark. His duties increased his affinity for security and led to the cofounding of a Web-based background investigations company in 2008, Catalyst Data Services, LLC, of which he is still a part today. Five years later, Mallette became a security director with Universal.
Mallette says that no two days in his job are identical, and variety is not the only reason he would recommend security management as a career. “People assume that in order to serve the public and promote safety and security, you must become a police officer, FBI agent, or join the military. During my tenure, I have discovered that those are the very people who retire to become security managers. They realize ithat security forces handle day-to-day operations, safety considerations, and are usually the first to arrive on scene during incidents and major disasters.”
After joining Universal, he began studying and preparing for the Certified Protection Professional® (CPP) examination. He successfully passed the examination and became board certified. “If not for my networking and affiliations within the industry, and specifically ASIS, I would not have achieved my current status within my company,” he says.
Mallette certainly has become involved and established within ASIS, which he joined in 2011. He currently serves as the ASIS Orange County Chapter Chair.