Women in Security: Specifically Speaking with Jeanine C. Lovejoy

Principal/Owner, The Consulting Group
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Your consulting company began as an environmental design firm and branched out to include security consulting in 2006. How would you describe your approach to security specification projects, and can you name a few projects you’ve worked on?

Our approach to any project is similar to one taken by an architect. We look at each project individually with an open mind; listen to a client’s wants, needs and desires and budgetary constraints. This process includes interviews, an assessment of the project parameters with management, facility engineers, IT, custodians and when applicable, faculty. We assess each and every aspect of a potential project, including risk management, project location, crime prevention, asset protection, environmental issues, maintenance, existing systems. We develop a scope, budget and schedule, and we produce concise, comprehensive drawings and technical specifications for public or private bid. We seek client approvals all along the process, and we see the project from inception to completion. Our projects include military bases, schools and colleges, municipalities, retail.

You require that all of your engineers be certified on the security products you specify. That’s pretty unusual. How do you accomplish that, and why is that beneficial to your company and your clients?  

Coming from an IT engineering and operations background, it has always been my philosophy to know my products and understand the impact on the entire network (OSI) from Layer 1 to Layer 7. We attend trade shows, and based on what we see and like, we … will send our engineering staff to seminars, training sessions on all levels from concept, installation and maintenance and receive certification in these products. This is important for several reasons. We understand the product and how it interfaces to all other products and can specify the proper equipment together. We offer construction project management services to clients as part of our scope of services to make certain that projects are built to approved plans and specifications and no substitutions are not made in the field unbeknownst to clients. That means our clients are assured that they get what they’ve paid for. Because most security projects include an overlap between traditional facilities and IT, knowing our products gives our clients a reassurance on both sides that the systems we design will work for bo

Tell me about the pro-bono work that your company does.

To ensure that we keep up our certifications, we often take on pro-bono projects. We will design a system with equipment for the client, complete with specifications and then execute on them as if we were an integration company. My company has a Class A contractors’ license so we are able to obtain the insurances and sub in 1099 C-7 or C-10 as needed.  One of the projects I’m really proud of is one we did for The Gorilla Foundation, which protects Koko, a gorilla who has learned sign language.  We were called to consult and design a system. We then offered our services and got donations from three camera and software manufacturers. The all-IP system includes IR night conversion to view Koko actually talking in her sleep using sign language.

This month, Security Systems News is doing a special report on women in security. Do you notice more women in the industry in the past five years? Do you make an effort to hire women at your company? 

It’s unfortunate that I don’t see many women in IT, physical security or even my environmental business. The women I see are more on the integration or sales side of the business, not engineering or installation. I am beginning to look towards retired military women as a resource.  I do find many women in this vertical and am always interested in supporting women and our efforts in this field.