If you glance quickly at my education and experience, you might not think that becoming an expert in Event Security is the most obvious place for me to end up. But on closer inspection, you'll find it makes all the sense in the world.
Molecular Biology & Biotechnology:
From a very early age I wanted to study nature in some form or another. That path led me to study molecular biology at the University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto in Canada. While completing my graduate work I published a number of peer-reviewed papers and had some success. But I realized the day-to-day work wasn't for me.
Business and Entrepreneurship:
I decided to change directions and in pursued an MBA at the Rotterdam School of Business in the Netherlands. Before the end of the program in 2004, my partner Peter and I launched what would become the country's first North-American style chain of coffee houses. After a few years of hard work, countless cups of coffee and being featured in a number of national print publications, we decided it was time to move back home to Canada.
We followed our overseas success with a number of exciting ventures, including taking over and fully renovating a hotel, building and launching a bar, a sports nutrition store and a skateboard shop. Every new venture brought with it invaluable experience in facing challenges by using my existing skills and strengths whenever possible and by developing new skills to fill in the gaps.
In 2012, I decided it was time for a new adventure. The existing businesses were sold and we moved to Toronto. This was a fresh start with no real plans. The idea was to explore and try different things and figure out where to go from there.
When I first arrived, I took work as a security guard in nightclubs. This was an easy option for a couple reasons. a) I had worked as part of campus security during my undergraduate studies many years earlier, and b) I had obtained my security license a couple years earlier when we opened the bar. During that time I managed the security staff and helped several guards with the training required for licensing. While my actual "security" experience was minimal, my customer service skills and professionalism more than made up for it.
While looking for additional work, I inadvertently came into the Event Security world. I signed up with a company and started as one of hundreds of guards working at concerts and music festivals and professional sporting events. Supervisors and managers quickly took notice of that professionalism and customer service. Within weeks I moved from basic, remote posts to controlling dressing room access for superstars like Beyonce, Trent Reznor and Ozzy Osborne. Within two months I was supervising deployments and was being courted by the three major Event Security companies in the province.
I currently do all the hiring for one of those Event Security companies in Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America. In overseeing the hiring and management of large deployments, I see what skills allow an Event Security Professional to excel and have identified areas of training that are lacking in most companies and individuals.
I've joined Udemy and developed my first course in order to fill some of those gaps and to help people pursue an exciting career direction they may not have otherwise considered.