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40 under 40: Brendan McFall, Northland Controls

40 under 40: Brendan McFall, Northland Controls

YARMOUTH, Maine—After graduating from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Brendan McFall, 30, began his career in 2014 as the Executive Assistant for Northland Control’s CEO Pierre Trapanese. Since then, he has taken on several different roles at Northland, working his way up as a Project Manager, Technical Project Manager, Technical Engineering Manager and now East Coast Operations Manager.

In his current role, he supports Program Managers, Project Managers, Project Coordinators, Application Engineers, and Technicians with Security Installations throughout the Americas. “I’m responsible for measuring and managing the team’s productivity and workload, and while also accountable for their revenue forecasting and profitability,” he said.

Outside of Northland, McFall remains active in the wider security industry and is “passionate about helping young professionals advance in their career,” he said. “I previously served as the chair of the Security Industry Association (SIA) RISE Steering Committee in 2018, joined the Professional Security Alliance (PSA) Leadership Committee in 2019 and became a board member of the Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST) in 2020.”

Return to Work

With businesses now requesting employees to come back to work, McFall said Northland has consulted and implemented customized Return to Office solutions – often integrating HR/Vaccine Tracking Applications with a customer’s Access Control System. “These integrations allow for automatic provisioning/deprovisioning of access based on attributes such as Vaccination Status, Covid Testing, completion of applicable training, etc,” he explained. “I foresee continued interest in these types of integrations to ensure compliance with local regulations.”

He continued, “To take it a step further, I think these types of integrations will persist long after the last COVID vaccine. The systems that we install and maintain everyday capture tons of valuable data. After the initial exposure of integrating Access Control Systems with various applications such as Vaccine Trackers, companies will begin thinking outside of the box for ways they leverage the data these systems hold. Integration with other building management systems to create Smart/Healthy Buildings is one such idea, as is the increased interest in Space Utilization Metrics. Manufacturers, Integrators, and End Users who are early adopters of these technologies will benefit by providing value back to businesses from systems that have been traditionally deemed cost centers.”

McFall noted that the key to success in today’s market is to leverage remote work to bolster your team’s talent.

“The “Great Resignation” is providing employers with unprecedented access to topflight talent. COVID-19 and stay at home orders have led to a great deal of introspection,” he explained. “As a result, candidates are now looking for jobs and companies that are aligned with their new priorities. Organizations that are agile, flexible, and have a strong culture have been able to reap the rewards and add tremendous talent to their ranks. We’ve added more remote employees within this past year than the previous seven combined. As a result, we’ve strengthened our already robust team with some of the best security professionals in the industry!”

Future Outlook

Looking at new technology trends, McFall agrees with SIA’s #1 Megatrend from 2021 and 2022, which is Artificial Intelligence and Analytics. “Currently, many of the systems we use day to day as security professionals provide alerts after an event has taken place – incident response teams tasked with viewing video footage after a Door Forced Open Alarm,” he said. “It’s asking a lot of Analysts in Security Operation Centers to monitor live video from every camera feed and detect threats before an action has taken place. However, new analytic capabilities are being developed and deployed every day to allow us to prevent incidents as opposed to responding to them.”

Overall, McFall is “absolutely thrilled” with the industry’s outlook. “The one thing that excites me more than tech is people,” he noted. “Even in just my short tenure in the industry, I’ve already seen it grow leaps and bounds in terms of diversity. When I attended my first industry trade show seven years ago, at a visceral glance, the attendees all looked strangely similar. Now, whenever I’m at an exhibition or scrolling through my LinkedIn Feed, I’m seeing events and groups targeting and highlighting Young Professionals and Women in Security. This progress is what continues to excite me.”

In terms of getting more young, diverse professionals involved in the industry, McFall said it is important to find a way to get involved with a group/organization that you are passionate about. “Some examples could be joining SIA’s RISE Group or Women in Security Forum, applying for a leadership position within your local ASIS Chapter, or even attending events that benefit industry related non-profits such as FAST or Mom’s in Security Global Outreach. All of these organizations do a great job highlighting and uplifting people of various backgrounds. Once you’ve widened your professional network and gleaned what you can, I then challenge you to bring some of those lessons and energy back to your company and find a way to make your own impact or difference.”


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