Skip to Content

Security Systems News welcomes the “20 under 40” Class of 2018 winners

Security Systems News welcomes the “20 under 40” Class of 2018 winners Integrator and End User categories have been combined into one group

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security Systems News is proud to recognize another class of promising young professionals with its “20 under 40” awards. Among this year's honorees are professionals from large security companies—including ADT, Securitas Electronic Security and G4S—as well as stand-out end users such as KeyBank, Harley Davidson and the Cleveland Indians.

“We were really impressed by this year's 20 under 40 award winners,” Paul Ragusa, editor of SSN, said. “Each of these professionals has shown innovation and dedication to advancing the industry—they have all earned this award.”

The Class of 2018 is the first time that Security Systems News has chosen to bring its formerly separate classes of “20 under 40” Integrators and End Users into one unified group, further emphasizing the value of this year's winners.

One of the benefits in profiling young professionals is seeing the outlook from the current and future leaders of security. They have a unique vantage point to speak on topics like the key technological trends of the industry and what can be done to get more talented young people into the business.

Several of this year's award winners highlighted the potential in artificial intelligence.

Others mentioned the ongoing trend of “doing more with less;” that the security technologies users put in are dependent on their budgets and as such, users try to get as much value as possible.“Technology is a big capital investment; but, technology also demonstrates a great return on investment in the end,” Jesse Johnson, corporate security lead, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, said.

“I know we're in a large push now to supplement personnel with technology that makes sense, and I just don't see that going away. As the technology continues to progress, we're going to leverage it more and more, on all facets—access control, video, video analytics,” Johnson continued.

According to Brandi Wilson, Wells Fargo security manager, there will be more interplay between cyber and physical security to come. “The cyber and physical security crossover will continue as we move forward, as criminals continue to get better at hacking into systems,” she said. “The next five years these risks will grow, including on the physical side.”

When it comes to finding new talent, Cummings said VTI has an entry-training program for engineers with no security experience. “So we are looking at starting them off at the ground level and training them up in our industry as opposed to going out there and finding the most experienced people for the job, which can be a challenge.”

Shannon Beritzhoff, branch manager of First Alarm, said that attracting young and promising employees to the security industry isn't the real problem. “It's not a shortage of getting talented people through the door, it's a shortage of keeping them,” she said.

This year's honorees also show the multitude of different paths that key professionals take in joining the business. John Bekisz Jr., now the systems integration manager at Securitas Electronic Security, started as a first responder. Brandi Wilson was a bank teller before moving into security and eventually her current role at Wells Fargo. Jennifer Theobald was working as a restaurant server while going to school when she was recruited to the security industry.

Security Systems News will be honoring its “20 under 40” Class of 2018 award winners with a special reception at its TechSec Solutions conference, Feb. 25 and 26, 2019, at the Delray Beach Marriot in Delray Beach, Fla.

The complete list of winners, linked to their individual profile articles is included below:


John Bekisz Jr., Securitas Electronic Security


Shannon Beritzhoff, First Alarm


John Butrim, ADT Security


Joshua Cummings, VTI Security


Michael A. DeVita III, Securadyne Systems


Kevin Didden, MTA


Vince DiGennaro, Cleveland Indians


Greg Ghirardi, KeyBank


Jesse Johnson, Harley-Davidson Motor Company


Curtis Kindred, American Defense Systems


Colby Meshey, Pentagon Force Protection Agency


Brandon T. Niles, Acadian Monitoring Services


Michael Petrone, Briscoe Protective


Ashley Raisanen, WH International Response Center


Markus Scott, NVMC Solutions


Steve Sinclair, G4S


Kevin Sopha, University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department


Dave Sweeney, Advantech


Jennifer Theobald, Rapid Security Solutions


Brandi Wilson, Wells Fargo


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.