In July, USPA Nationwide Security approved the appointment of Daniel Manning to the position of VP of Operations of the international security conglomerate; a decision that the CEO says has proven to be worth every dime. We had a chance to speak with Dan about his transition from the ranks of corporate security management to the executive level.
Why the security industry?
That’s a great question. I think ever since I was a child, I have wanted to be involved in something bigger than myself. Security is just that, it’s being part of team. Each member of the team needs to preform their duties to ensure that the other members of the team succeed. It is the same in security. If one guard or officer does not do their part, the whole operation becomes at risk. Also, you are always able to help someone in the security field. Being able to help someone each and every day and knowing that your career has meaning is invaluable.
What was your gateway into the security field?
In 2011 I was hired by Harold Levinson Associates, now National Convenience Distributors, one of the largest convenience store distribution centers in the United States, as a security and loss prevention manager. Coming into a role like that with just a college degree and no real-world experience was a trial by fire. I learned a lot there in my first few years, not only about physical security, but about management, operations, and people in general.
What was your main take-away from your time at NCD?
It’s hard to have one main lesson learned from a job that spanned over a decade, but if I must pinpoint something, I will say it would be the concept of thinking like an entrepreneur, even if I didn’t own the company. What I mean by this is that it was ingrained in me, early in my tenure at NCD, by former CEO and current Chairman of the Board, Ed Berro, and his wife Rita, that every member of the organization needed to step up and do what was needed to be done for the success of the business. I think this is something that was instilled in me before my time at NCD though, as growing up, my own parents set an example of what a real work ethic looks like and made sure my siblings and I developed a strong work ethic, and that should we be given a job, we do it right and we do it complete. NCD is also where I met Mike Evans for the first time as well, so I cannot discount that.
How did you find your way to USPA?
That’s a great question. I have known Mike Evans, the CEO at USPA Nationwide Security, since my time at NCD, dating back to 2011. Mike always served as a mentor to me and taught me a lot as I was growing through my career. As our professional relationship grew, I saw the way Mike treated his employees and put a lot of value in that. I remember one instance where Mike and his wife gifted a very new guard who had recently had a baby with hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothes, toys, and all the essentials any new mom would need. It was a very genuine gesture that showed the type of leader he is. We continued to work together through NCD, and in July of this year an opportunity presented itself (maybe the stars aligned) and I was able to join the USPA team and haven’t looked back since.
What is it like going from client to employee?
I thought the transition might be a little more difficult but working for Mike has been great so far. His experience and guidance have really taught me a lot. Mike is a natural coach, something I respond well to, so there is a teaching moment in everything we do. You can never think you know it all, you must look to continually improve yourself and those around you. This will only make an organization stronger.
What are you looking forward to the most about working for USPA?
Kingsman… Kingsman is the 501(c)(3) formed by Mike in 2005. It is such a great organization; you can clearly see the fruits of your labor when a missing person is returned to their family. Being able to help those in need, or those who are powerless to help themselves is tremendously uplifting. This is a crazy world we live in nowadays, so its nice to see there are still some good things being done.
Any advice for young professionals in the security field?
Something I always used to tell guards on day one was they should be present and aware. I think this is a lesson that can apply to anyone though. You need to be present in your environment and aware of what is happening around you. This is how you learn and grow, and more importantly, how you are able to see next big opportunity coming your way.