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40 under 40: Jennifer Maguire-Hocevar, Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS)

40 under 40: Jennifer Maguire-Hocevar, Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS)

YARMOUTH, Maine—Jennifer Maguire-Hocevar 38, has a clear objective in mind in her role as Senior Director of Operations, Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS).

“My primary focus is promoting top-notch communication and inspiring teams to outperform expectations,” she said.

Maguire-Hocevar, 38, is a 14-year veteran at UAS, a Paoli-Pa.-based national provider of integrated security services, protecting over $15 billion in commercial assets.

“As Senior Director of Operations, I am responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the National Installation and Service Departments, as well as identifying and implementing process improvements to increase efficiency of department operations to ensure an optimal customer experience,” she explained.

Career Path

Maguire-Hocevar felt a need for a career change, which led to her pursuit of a role in the security industry.

“Prior to starting my career at Universal Atlantic Systems in 2008, I was a Certified Dental Assistant. I took some time off after having my third child,” she noted. “When I was ready to return to the workforce, I decided to pursue a role that was more of a professional challenge where no two days are alike. That path led me to accepting a position at Universal Atlantic Systems as a 3rd Shift Central Station Operator, my steppingstone into the security industry.

“Being on the front line and taking actions on all types of priority signals provided me with invaluable experience and created an appetite to learn more about the industry and explore other departments. Within one year of working at Universal Atlantic Systems, I transferred to the Installation Department in a role as an Installation Coordinator, where I learned about system designs, different technologies and managing small to large projects from start to finish. It was at this point in my career that I developed a passion for security and project management.”  

Maguire-Hocevar added that the “ever-changing” advancements in technology provided her with the opportunity to “learn something new every single day, which allowed me to improve and refine processes to better serve customers and support our internal teams.

“This also contributed to my professional growth as I eventually became the Manager of Installation and then Director of Operations and most recently, Senior Director of Operations. I have had superb mentors within Universal Atlantic Systems that inspired me to achieve greatness, and my No. 1 professional and personal goal is to be that person for others.”  

Cost Savings and Convenience

Maguire-Hocevar cited cost savings and convenience as two of the top trends in the security industry today.

“Now more than ever, cost savings and convenience are extremely important to business owners, and they are looking to their security vendors to provide them with technology solutions to achieve this,” she explained. “Video verification is just one example of a cost-saving solution. This technology allows Central Stations to verify a burglary in process and, in return, results in a faster police response, thus increasing the chances of stopping the act in progress and recovering assets.

She continued. “Additionally, video verification eliminates false alarm dispatches, which saves on false alarm fines that can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. Relative to convenience, there is increasing interest in technologies that keep the end user in control, such as apps that enable business owners to view their cameras or arm and disarm their alarm system directly from their cell. Since we are in the age of being able to order and track things right from our phones without ever having to speak to a person, I can see this ultimately changing the way security companies conduct business based on the ease of use that consumers desire.”

Video analytics is the most promising new security technology today, according to Maguire-Hocevar, “as the technology continues to advance and become more accessible. Cost savings, operational efficiency and safety compliance are vital to business owners, especially during these unprecedented times, and analytic solutions have the potential to help identify and address issues in real time.”

Controlling Factors

During these unprecedented times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Maguire-Hocevar pointed out the importance of “controlling the factors that are within your control” as a key to success both on a business and personal level.

In the security industry, there are many uncontrollable factors that can arise from equipment shortages to shipping delays which can affect our ability to schedule service or meet previously committed deadlines,” she explained. “The one thing that is always within our control, however, is communication. Timely and effective communication no matter if the news is good or bad is always the way to go, whether it’s communicating an update to a customer, your peers, your employees, your managers or even those in your personal life. Now more than ever, with most companies transitioning to a hybrid work model, keeping the lines of communication open is crucial, and as leaders, coming up with innovative ways to ensure our staff stays connected is key.”

Speaking of control, when asked for her views on the security industry going forward, Maguire-Hocevar noted that due to advancements in technology, consumers now have the capability to control their thermostats, lighting, television, etc., all from their phones. 

“I believe the industry will move in the direction of this theme by merging multiple systems and creating one platform for end users to view and control all their systems,” she said.

Versatile Industry

Maguire-Hocevar noted how critical it is to highlight the versatility of the security industry in order to attract more talented, diverse young people.

“Many people believe security is limited to installing systems or providing guard services, when in fact it is a versatile industry that incorporates a wide range of skill sets including, but not limited to, technical support, customer service, sales, and finance” she stated. “Partnering with schools and offering co-op opportunities as a recruiting technique would raise awareness to the career paths available within the security industry. As a result, this hopefully would capture the interest of more talented, diverse young individuals.”


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