'20 under 40' 2014—Kristin Hebert
Kristin Hebert, 34
Dealer and Vendor Relations, Acadian Monitoring Services, Lafayette, La.
What inspired you to get into the security industry?
I was always fascinated with the medical industry, but my heart was always in technology and gadgets. After high school I went to Louisiana Technical College in Lafayette and got an associate’s degree in industrial electronics. Unlike my fellow classmates, who were all holding out for the big jobs, I went straight to work. The first job I got was at Argus Security, and I was hired by Merlin Guilbeau [now executive director and CEO at ESA]. He gave me a chance—a young kid out of college with no experience, but tech savvy in general terms. That was in 2000, and I worked my way up through the ranks. Then in 2005, Blaine Comeaux [president at Acadian Monitoring Services] said he had [a job] for someone experienced in the industry. So now I’m doing what my heart was set on, technology and electronics, but also working for the largest privately owned ambulance company in the country [Acadian’s parent company, Acadian Ambulance]. It’s a weird twist, but I’m kind of fulfilling both goals.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
For young people to rise through the ranks, self motivation is important. But it’s also important to have mentors to lean on. You have to become a sponge and soak up every bit of knowledge you can, and not be afraid to ask for guidance from anyone, whether they’re higher or lower than you on the totem pole.
Where, in terms of technology and trends, do you see the security industry going next?
IP has converged greatly in my fourteen years in the industry. Whole home and business automation is now a reality, and I think they’re going to take it even further and integrate even more products that we may not think about on a daily basis. IP is also going to continue to push forth the video and access control sides of the business.