The member of the month is Anthony Gibson. Anthony is a Security driver for a major Pharmaceutical Company in the Northeast, and is Tier One Certified.
Why did you choose security driving as a career, and how did your career start?
Answer: To be honest, I found the opportunity in the Sunday Classified want ads. The write up was in line with my work history and seemed to be tailor made. It was uncanny how well the requirements for the position lined up with my background. I still have the listing from the paper. Needless to say I wasted no time making them aware of my nearly 20 years of professional driving experience. I had served a select group of livery operations that led to a host of corporate and private assignments. I also held the security, emergency medical and related experience the employer preferred. After nearly three months of interviews, background, and reference checks my persistence and patience resulted in an enjoyable and rewarding career serving a clientele that is best described as a class act both personally and professionally.
Describe a typical work day.
Answer: There is some routine, but every day is different. I liaise primarily with the principals, their key administrative staff, internal/external security partners, and site or event specific personnel.
I am often asked if I am on-call. Some things do come up last minute and can often be accommodated, but itineraries focused on needs for secure ground transportation are typically well known in advance and aide significantly in planning both work and personal agendas. We all know this is not the norm so I cherish any and all work/life balance as it is not uncommon to put in a 16+ hour day.
A colleague once shared with me his take on my typical work day… ‘I do whatever they need, wherever they need it, for the length of time that they need it, as long as it is legal, ethical, moral, and not against company policy’. That seemed right to me. I just added one more – safe.
What parts of the job do you find most rewarding?
Answer: Most rewarding is the fact that each day is unique. This is without question a key component to what I enjoy doing for a living. I once worked in broadcast news and later as an emergency medical technician. These are two lines of work where often no two minutes are likely to stay the same. I am at my best behind the wheel or on location and fortunately my time behind a desk is kept to a minimum. I also enjoy the public relations side and interaction with a global customer base.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the EP/secure-transportation profession?
Answer: It is my privilege to be associated closely with some of the finest people in this industry. What is unsettling is the number of candidates with little to poor education and experience. Anyone considering secure transportation and the business of protection first need to recognize honestly, if they are a good fit. They should have the right demeanor, congealment of experience, and innate talent to assess and adapt. Those who are successful in the EP and secure transportation fields exceed at such traits and have the recognition and respect of their peers and clientele.
Do you or did you have a mentor or advisor?
Answer: My close friend and colleague, Dennis Ferrell, CPP converse regularly on security and industry related matters. In fact, he was responsible for introducing me to Tony Scotti and later VDI. Dennis is respected widely and is a trusted resource.
Do you have advice to offer someone just starting or wanting to get into the EP or secure-transportation profession?
Answer: There was a comment by Joe Autera, CEO at VDI in one of many classes I attended that has remained a favorite. It was “…education, not entertainment”.
There is no question that you will find yourself around notable people, interesting locales, impressive properties, events, yachts, aircraft, etc. And inarguably no shortage of amusing and attention getting aspects that permeate the world of EP and secure transportation – and at times it can be a lot of fun. Just be sure of your training and education venues and keep in mind it is a very serious venture where safety and the protection of life and property is paramount.
Do you use technology for secure transportation? If so, what type of technology?
Answer: We have on-board vehicle AED units to address medical emergencies. We have used a dash cam at times and are always looking to incorporate technology where it makes sense.
Is there any particular vehicle you favor? If so, why?
Answer: For many years we found the full size Infiniti QX SUV to be a nice fit. Its capabilities were tested and worked when needed. I’ve often said Infiniti should have cut me a check for all the QX’s they sold as a result of my praise and support of that model.
At present I drive the Lexus LS460L. This sedan is on the ISDA executive vehicles list and we are very pleased with the comfort, quality, and performance. We are also looking at the Mercedes GL series. It stands out along with several other SUV options and, if needed has an adult friendly third row. I always favor a minimum two vehicle set-up.
Do you have input into the type of executive vehicle?
Answer: Yes. I know that for a number of secure transportation providers this is not the case. Practitioners sometimes need to adapt to whatever vehicle was or is selected. I am thankful for and appreciate the productive dialogue and mutual respect that surrounds our vehicle selection process.
What do you feel are the skills needed to work in the corporate environment?
Answer: I recently advised a new colleague that he would never need to feel like he was walking on eggshells at our company. This quickly became apparent to him after just a few interactions with the executives. There is a shared enthusiasm and respect on both sides. Foster that approach and you will do well.
Briefly, what are the challenges you face working with the C suite?
Answer: As any corporation expands there exists an increased potential for a balancing act when managing a secure ground transportation agenda with the views of others new to your arena. An added challenge is when long standing colleagues with whom you are comfortable transition away. These are just a few factors that require well-honed and continual lines of communication to stay on track.
What do you do for fun away from work?
Answer: I really enjoy the atmosphere of the ball park and have great access to both the minor and major league games. The company of friends and time on the porch with a nice scotch and a good cigar is also on my list of relaxing past times as well.
How can people best reach you? Anthony’s LinkedIn Profile