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40 under 40: Mike Impicciatore, CHA Consulting, Inc.

40 under 40: Mike Impicciatore, CHA Consulting, Inc.

For Mike Impicciatore, 34, it is all about taking care of clients and meeting their security needs.

As the lead technical security engineer at CHA Consulting, Inc. in Albany, N.Y., Impicciatore is responsible for oversight and professional and technical development of entry-level and junior-level engineers. “More specifically, I assist them in acquiring the necessary skills to meet, and ultimately exceed, existing and prospective client expectations relative to security system designs for their respective security needs,” he explained.

In addition, as the technical leader in the Security and Life Safety group, it is Impicciatore’s responsibility to review, sign and stamp all construction documents completed at CHA. “I perform a strict Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) review on the construction documents produced by our group and work closely with the entry and junior engineers who complete the designs,” he said.

Impicciatore’s day-to-day responsibilities also include working with clients to ensure that CHA’s design meets the project intent, their expectations and the construction budget. “In our company, it is a top priority to be a consultant to our clients and deliver a product with an excellent return on investment (ROI) that can be maintained as easily as possible and will meet their security needs,” he noted.

He has served in his current role at CHA Consulting for the past nine-and-a-half years, and an additional three summer internships. He told Security Systems News that he began college majoring in independent studies, “but after exploration I changed my academic focus and went on to receive a BS in electrical and electric power engineering.

“During my college career I was selected for an internship at CHA and worked closely with an engineer who worked on security projects in the government sector. Working on these projects really piqued my interest in the security industry. I found that taking part in securing/protecting a client’s assets and keeping people healthy and safe is extremely satisfying both personally and professionally and inspired me to focus my career in the security industry.”

Responding to Current Events 

Impicciatore pointed out that trends in security today are often a response to current events. “Unfortunate things happen and there is a physical and/or cyber security reaction to address the problem,” he explained. “Ideally, we want to be proactive on these things. Analytics have been a growing part of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) systems, and now they are more important than ever with our current pandemic. Analytics can now be used in similar ways but for different purposes.

“A current concern of office and building managers is employee compliance with the requirement to wear a mask. The analytics in cameras can now be utilized to detect whether employees and visitors are wearing masks. This can be integrated with the building access control system and deny access to any person(s) not wearing a mask.” 

He noted that this same concept can be used for room capacity requirements.

“If a room surpasses its capacity, an alarm can be given indicating that the room is above capacity or, a safety official can be alerted. More and more manufacturers are expressing the need to be able to read body temperature to determine potential fever in the individuals who access their site(s), thereby reducing potential introduction of illness in the site. This technology is new and upcoming and will always have a lot of moving parts to accurately read a person’s body temperature. I believe these items will be changing the way businesses are run in the future with multiple manufacturers looking deep into this technology.”

New and Innovative Technology

Impicciatore noted that he continues to be intrigued by the security industry “because it is constantly changing, allowing us to come up with new and innovative ways to solve our clients’ security concerns.”

He added that the environment and state of affairs heavily drive security innovation.

“I believe drones are an untapped resource for deterrence and response making them one of the more exciting and promising new technologies," he said. "Drones can be utilized for tracking, guard tour applications and much more. A drone could eliminate the need for dozens of cameras in an intruder situation. Instead of being required to toggle through multiple cameras to follow an intruder, a drone could simply surveille the intruder(s).

“If a facility utilizes an intrusion system to detect an intruder, instead of sending a guard out multiple controlled doors or fences a drone can be sent out to respond to the intruder alert much faster and safer. Drones could potentially save an end user thousands of dollars on their security systems.”

Multiple Keys to Success

During these unpredictable times, Impicciatore believes that there are multiple keys to succeeding right now, both personally and in business.

“Many people during these times are working from home or modifying the way they conduct business in an office setting, e.g., reducing face-to-face contact, wearing masks, frequent hand washing and conducting meetings via any one of the electronic media platforms,” he explained. “These activities have proven effective in succeeding in both the personal and professional arenas.

“During these unprecedented times it is important to reach out to coworkers, friends and family and maintain social interaction; our mental health is very important. I believe increased communication with clients is also very important. Client action plans for their buildings need to be revised to reduce potential COVID-19 transmission. Guidelines for returning to the workplace need to be developed, adhered to and enforced.

He also noted that “it is important that we hold true to our client commitments and deliver our projects on time and within construction budgets. As consultants, we should be proactive and reach out to our internal and external clients to offer security services that will benefit their program and operations that they may overlook during these times.”

Education is Key

Impicciatore believes that education is key in order to attract diverse young people to get involved in the security industry.

“Growing up, we all see cameras, card readers and security guards but personally, I never considered what is going on behind the scenes, i.e., identification of the need, assessing the scope, developing the plan, designing the solution, construction and implementation,” he explained. “Recently I found out there are now fire protection majors, which is awesome! I think if we can get security engineering majors or even engineering majors with minors in security within our colleges, people would become more cognizant of the magnitude of the security industry and the vast opportunities within.”

Shift in the Norm

When asked how he sees the security industry going forward, Impicciatore believes that “the need for cybersecurity and security for critical infrastructure facilities are growing due to the current pandemic. Most companies are doing most of their work remotely through Zoom, Teams, and GoToMeeting, making cyber and critical infrastructure security more important than ever.

“All events with large, in-person gatherings have been cancelled since COVID-19 and are now held via remote sessions when possible. Employees working from home, and conferences being conducted remotely, will minimize business expenses and companies may be reluctant to return to their “normal” way of conducting business. A shift in the norm may be in our future.”


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