'20 under 40' 2012 - Laurie Jackson
Laurie Jackson, 29
VP gaming sales
North American Video
How did you get into the security industry?
This was originally a family business, where I started more than 10 years ago, so I learned from the ground up. I came in answering phones and I went to customer service and was eventually put into sales, and I found that is what I really enjoy. In 2008, the family business sold to The Halifax Group, which is a private equity firm out of Washington, D.C. They brought in a professional management team that involved me in the development of our business strategy from day one. Today as VP sales, I am responsible for our gaming sales team and a member of our senior leadership team.
What can be done to attract more young people to the industry?
I think it’s just going to happen over time now that everything is going toward IT. That whole analog aspect is eventually going to phase away and you’ll notice that a lot of the people involved in these big IT companies are very young network-based guys. So you’re going to see a lot of younger faces in rooms now over the next five years just because the old stuff really doesn't exist anymore.
Who in the industry has helped you most in your security career?
It would be very hard for me to single out one because there have been a lot of people, starting with the former owners, Cyndi Freschi (my sister) and Ron Freschi. They were instrumental in mentoring me in the surveillance industry and showing me the ropes of running an integration business. Then once the new management team came in via The Halifax Group, they appointed Jason Oakley, our CEO, who’s been fantastic. I’ve been learning the new, corporate, growing-a-business mentality from Jason.