'20 under 40' 2013 - Jesse Rivest
Jesse Rivest, 34
Regional sales manager, Affiliated Monitoring
How did you get into the security industry?
I was finishing up at Eastern Connecticut [State University] and I had studied computer science. Really my goal was to get into computer networking because I thought that was what I wanted to do. I worked with a headhunter and started getting interviews, and one of them happened to be at a company called Visonic. It really wasn't a networking position, but for some reason it piqued my interest because a lot of the other opportunities were temporary jobs. I just sort of grew with the company and went up through the ranks. I started doing technical service and matured into a position they created for me called field sales engineer.
Who or what in the industry has inspired you most in your security career?
Three individuals have really had a huge impact on me. One is Scott Jensen, who hired me out of college and really gave me the opportunity to learn about the technology. He is really strong on the technical side. … Then Bill Lyon came in and took over as president of Visonic and gave me an opportunity to grow that wasn't there before. He groomed me from a technician to a successful salesman, successful enough to where it got the attention of Stanley Oppenheim [owner and founder of Affiliated Monitoring]. … Stanley is just a wealth of knowledge. If you sit in a room with him, you're going to learn at least 10 things. He's had so many incredible accomplishments.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
A lot of it involves technology. I don't know if it's enough [to attract young people to the industry], but it's a start. I think that security has gotten a bad rap where everybody thinks its just a dialer and transmission. They don't really see the value. I think adding value to what we sell, the experience as a whole, is important for young people. Watch the technology trends. Technology and new products will attract a younger demographic.