'20 under 40' 2014—Tim Ferrian
Tim Ferrian, 34
Director of sales and marketing, Pro-Tec Design, Minneapolis
What inspired you to get into the security industry?
I joke that it was my hatred of the restaurant industry that got me into security. I used to own and run restaurants. It was a good learning experience; I interacted with a lot of people, plumbers, lawyers, schoolteachers, and people of different educational backgrounds, different needs and wants. I had to learn how to connect and communicate with all of them, to quickly establish my credibility and figure out how to serve their needs. I really enjoyed that, but I got tired of missing Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. … The restaurant life was not the life I wanted. My father was the director of security for a major utility, and he introduced me to Tom Hagen [president and CEO of Pro-Tec].
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
[Associations and certification programs can be helpful.] Getting involved with industry associations such as SIA, ASIS or local associations such as the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety. …Industry certifications can be extremely beneficial. Becoming an Axis Certified Professional or Comptia Security+ certified are [two examples.]
Where, in terms of technology and trends, do you see the security industry going next?
Our business is focused on making life easier, that’s the trend—[systems that solve problems] more immediately, more easily, that save time. …We offer a unified, centralized experience. [Another trend for us] is looking at using surveillance for operational purposes. One example is local cities starting to use their surveillance systems as labor multipliers. Instead of sending public works staff out for an entire day to handle snow removal, they can use cameras on intersections for pinpointing problematic areas. This allows them to use their staff more efficiently, spending time where it’s needed, not looking in places it’s not. Another example is using discrete cameras in hospital rooms to monitor and manage the storage and administration of narcotics.