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40 under 40: Scott Ashworth, head of safety and security, Overtime

40 under 40: Scott Ashworth, head of safety and security, Overtime

SSN 40 under 40 Class of 2022

YARMOUTH, Maine—Scott Ashworth, 38, is the head of safety and security at Overtime, which builds disruptive new sports leagues aimed globally at the next generation of sports fans and athletes. Find out what inspired him to pursue a career in the security industry, what being a "40 under 40" winner means to him, what appeals to him about the security industry, and more. 

SSN: Describe your roles, duties, and tenure at your current job. 

Scott AshworthASHWORTH: Most of my responsibilities are focused on captaining a complex security program for Overtime Elite. The basketball league consists of six teams of 70 of the highest-ranked basketball players in the world between the ages of 16 and 19. The six teams play in multiple venues across four states, including Georgia, New York, North Carolina, and Arizona. Games are streamed live on Amazon Prime and YouTube.    

The Overtime Elite security program is a 24/7 operation protecting all athlete residences, OTE offices, OTE Arena, and off-site operations. My team is comprised of approximately 100 professionals from contract security, law enforcement, and emergency medical disciplines, all working collaboratively to ensure the safety of our athletes, staff, and fans. Additionally, the team is present and responsible for maintaining comprehensive safety plans on organizational travel domestically and internationally.  

I am incredibly proud of one program our team has architected and owned: the Overtime Elite Crisis Management and Business Resilience Program. This program includes top-notch processes and procedures that guide leadership at the highest levels of the organization to manage unforeseen incidents that could negatively affect the  business.    

Last year, we were also able to extend our program to support Overtime's newest league, OT7, a seven-on-seven football league. In 2023, with the significant growth of OT7 and the introduction of OTX, Overtime's new Boxing feature, the security team will do its part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.

SSN: What inspired you to pursue a career in the security industry?

ASHWORTH: Early on in my educational journey, I attended college for business marketing. I quickly discovered that my passions were not aligned with the career my educational path was preparing me for. I then worked to identify what turns my career path should present. After some soul-searching, I asked my 8-year-old self what he wanted to be, so I did that. I got a job as a police officer in metro Atlanta, and the ball was rolling.    

After almost a decade of working in law enforcement and reaching the rank of lieutenant in investigations, I decided to enter corporate security. I merged my two desires to work in business and protect communities; this time, my society would be a business community.    

A thing's purpose is vital to what I do and why I do it. There is no more valuable purpose than ensuring a professional group of persons, property, and brand safety and security. This greater purpose fuels my desire to do my job excellently and give back to my professional network at every turn.    

Talent is great, but are you obsessed with your craft? 

SSN: What does being named a winner of SSN's 40 under 40 mean to you?

ASHWORTH: It's truly an honor to be named one of SSN's 40 Under 40. To be recognized by my peers in the industry and those who cover the security profession is an excellent reminder that the hard work and intentional effort I put forth are leaving a positive mark. So many phenomenal professionals in the security industry are making great strides to move our industry and the whole business community progressively. Being highlighted as a next-generation leader from such a qualified pool is an incredible feeling. 

SSN: As a young leader, what appeals to you about the security industry?

ASHWORTH: The security industry is unlike any other field in business. There is an advantage to developing efficiencies and effective processes in business and protecting those advantages over other companies to maintain market dominance. This is not the case in the security industry.

We protect people and property, and we share all of our trade secrets. Professionals in the security world are always searching for new ways to innovate new approaches to maintaining safety and security while ensuring those under protection can live life seamlessly and without undue worry. Then we get on our soapboxes, turn on the megaphones, and tell everyone the secrets.    

Additionally, teamwork in the security industry stands out as one of the more rewarding traits. Every day, we work across disciplines, whether in physical security, executive protection, loss prevention, technology, and the dozen other specialties, to drive success to one centralized mission, protection. There is a high level of purpose in our choice of profession, and everyone who operates in this space should be incredibly proud.

SSN: With the hiring, recruitment and retention challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, how can the security industry engage young talent?

ASHWORTH: Hiring in security and the difficulties associated with attracting young security talent is a topic I have written about often. Security mandates are created to promote adequate protection while revealing as little evidence of that protection as possible. We are all Batman - staying in the shadows until called upon and disappearing after control is returned. In board meetings, our successes are overshadowed by the marketing's newest ad campaign that brought in $80 million to the company or the sales department setting a new record for quarter numbers.    

We lose so many young candidates, not because they don't want to do the job, but because they didn't know it existed. During three years in business school, I was never informed of a division that all major companies have, which makes up a significant size of their workforce and deliver necessary direct results to organizations functioning.    

So, here's where the change begins. As security professionals, we should continue to operate on a level where we protect with little evidence, but promote our industry to those sitting in classrooms, opening up textbooks, and preparing for a lecture. These aren't individuals we need to protect from what threats present in the world to maintain a blissful ignorance. These bright minds are looking for this exact information. Infiltrate business programs and lesson plans to ensure these tomorrow scholars can see our mark and desire to make their own.


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