VERONICA YANKOWSKI Matawan’s Denise Plourde reaches the finish line at Saturday’s Shore Coaches Battle of Monmouth meet at Battlefield State Park in Manalapan. Greg Howe left no stone unturned this summer as he looked to make a complete comeback from the torn hip flexor that sidelined him from the cross country season last fall. The Raritan High School senior was up and running by the indoor track season, and then came up with a satisfying outdoor campaign that included a 10:00 for 3,200 meters. Over the summer he built on that track momentum. He ran weekly at Lake Takanassee, and on the weekends put in long runs of up to 13 miles to make sure he was in the best condition possible for the cross country season. Saturday Howe’s off-season work ethic was rewarded with a satisfying victory in the first big race of the season, the Shore Coaches Battle of Monmouth, held at Battlefield State Park in Manalapan. Howe defeated a strong field in capturing the Senior Division race in 16:54 over the 5K course held within the park. “I made my move in the last three-quarters of a mile,” Howe said after his win. “I wanted to stay with the lead group and outlast them.” All those punishing miles over the summer made Howe confident he could stay with all of the other contenders and then outrun them at the end. The Rocket went up against some familiar faces including Monmouth Regional’s Erik Brown, last year’s Central Jersey Group II runner-up, and Mater Dei’s Tom Santifort. “Erik and I have been racing each other since we were freshmen,” noted Howe. “We’re friends.” Brown was one of the harriers left behind when Howe put down the hammer in the last three-quarters of a mile. “This is my best time for this course. I was hoping that I’d win it,” Howe said. It was only fitting that the person giving Howe his gold medal at the end of the race was Holmdel’s Craig Segal (whose coach, Bill Loughran, was the meet director). Howe said that he logged his long weekend runs with Segal, who is considered the Shore’s top harrier. Howe’s goals for the 2001 season are to run in the 16:30s at Holmdel Park and make it to the Meet of Champions in November. His first steps toward those goals were promising, to say the least. Brown would post a 17:11.5 and take third, while Santifort was seventh (17:36.5). Mater Dei frosh James McDevitt took seventh in the Freshman Division, run over two miles in 11:32.7. The fastest frosh was Southern Regional’s Joe Simpson (11:07.4). The Rockets’ Kimberly Marshall ran eighth in the girls’ Sophomore Division race. She toured the Battlefield State Park course in 22:51.3. It was yet another Southern Regional harrier who picked up the win, Kegga Schaffer, in 21:10.1. At the Bernie Magee New Jersey Catholic Track Conference Cross Country Invitational, held at Warinanco Park in Elizabeth, Holmdel’s Amy Folchetti made an early statement by winning the Sophomore Division race. She turned in a 21:11.84 for the 3.2-mile course. Folchetti was 19th at last year’s Meet of Champions. Middletown South’s girls finished first overall in the meet, run by class with 126 points. The Eagles won the Junior Division with Tina Morrison showing the way (21:18.3) in seventh place, followed in 10th by Jane Wood (22:07.7). Nicole Lombary was the swiftest Eagle, taking fifth place in the Senior Division (20:35.83). Rumson-Fair Haven’s Christy Planer took the senior run in the best time of the day, 19:37.91. Warinanco Park will host the next big race of the season, Saturday’s Stewart Memorial. This race is also run by class. By tim morris Staff Writer
By Mark Lamport-StokesThe ploy by the United States to draw extra motivation from a stinging loss to Europe at Medinah two years ago could prove to be “a double-edged sword” for them at the Ryder Cup in Scotland, Justin Rose has said.US captain Tom Watson has already pinpointed that 2012 defeat outside Chicago as a focal point for his team, saying the Americans will be driven to make amends for one of their most harrowing experiences in the biennial competition.“It could be very powerful, and it could be exactly the right thing to do – or it could lead to a lot of frustration if they get off to a bad start,” Englishman Rose said of the US tactic.“Either way, it’s a ploy, it’s a tactic that is probably the right one but if the Europeans can get an upper hand, it’s going to feel very similar to what they have faced probably the last 10, 15 years,” the world number five added.The Americans have had very little to celebrate at the Ryder Cup over the past 20 years, losing seven times in the last nine editions with their most recent victory coming on home soil at Valhalla in 2008.At Medinah, they were seemingly poised to clinch a rare win when leading by four points going into the last-day singles, but the Europeans pulled off one of the greatest team comebacks on a golf course to triumph by 14-1/2 points to 13-1/2.“I can tell you that all the players I have talked to, every one of them without a doubt, had one thing to say about the Ryder Cup,” Watson said about what came to be known as the ‘Meltdown at Medinah’.“They want to go back and make amends for what happened at Medinah. Our team has that one focus. The Europeans played great in the last round in 2012 and that was a hard loss for the American players and it still sticks with a lot of them.”The hosting Europeans, who have four of the top six ranked players in the world in their 12-man line-up, are being billed heavy favourites for the September 26-28 matches at Gleneagles.Former US Open champion Rose, however, does not buy into the notion of Ryder Cup favourites and underdogs.“We’ve got a good team and we believe in our team but I think the US has a good team with some naturally strong pairings and partnerships,” said the 34-year-old, who will represent Europe for a third time in the competition.“The last two Ryder Cups have come down to one point, each time, so I don’t really buy into favourites, I don’t really buy into all of that stuff.“It’s going to be the team who wants it the most on the week and is prepared to dig deep for it that I think is going to be the team that wins. There will be no false sense of security from the Europeans’ point of view.”Rose is especially thrilled by the prospect of competing in his first Ryder Cup on European soil, having made his debut on a losing team at Valhalla in 2008 before savouring success at Medinah two years ago.“I am really excited,” said the Englishman, who has achieved an impressive win-loss-half record of 6-3-0 at the Ryder Cup where he is unbeaten in the singles, having twice beaten Phil Mickelson.“It’s going to be my first Ryder Cup playing in front of a home crowd and hopefully the energy of that will really spur me on at Gleneagles.”
Dear Editor,From his press conference held at the PNC Headquarters at Congress Place, it is clear that Mr Moses Nagamootoo has much skill at deceit and deception. When he asked the question, “Where is the Guyanese compassion?”, he opened himself to be accused of nakedly playing to the gallery, rather than focusing on the more important questions of the health of the nation’s affairs and the reasons for the political shellacking his party received at the just concluded polls.It would be remiss of me to let him get away with this glaring act of spinning the truth and replacing it with his usual convoluted misrepresentation of the facts. Please permit me, Editor, to list these few facts.Fact 1: This no-confidence motion tabled by the Leader of the Opposition was brought against a Government, not an individual. For the record and emphasis, this no-confidence motion is being tabled against the entire APNU/AFC (PNC-led) Government as a collective, and not against any individual.Fact 2: Whatever happens in Parliament when this motion is concluded will have ZERO impact on the personal affairs of His Excellency President Granger. After all, at this moment he is the President of all of Guyana, legally and legitimately. If the current APNU/AFC (PNC-led) Government of Guyana is to fall as a result of this no-confidence motion, the rules dictate that all current and former Presidents are entitled to a FULL presidential medical and pension package, which means in common parlance almost unlimited funds. So what is this non-sense from Mr Nagamootoo about compassion?We, the Guyanese people, including me, would rain down a ton of bricks on anyone if they attempt to mess with the medical benefits of any former or current President, because such an act would have been unconscionable and very un-Guyanese. But the truth remains: win or lose, Mr Granger’s medical benefits are fully protected and preserved, whether he is in office or out of office. This situation will not change; not now, not next year, not ever.Fact 3: Mr Nagamootoo, in his usually style of empty flambouyance, deliberately chose to side-step the record of his three-year-old APNU/AFC (PNC-led) Government. Instead, he sought to inject all sorts of innuendos, insinuations, words of intimidation, and wild inferences into his statements. And after all those theatrics, he and his team, with their tails between their legs, hid from the scrutiny of the Parliament on November 16, 2018 like cowards. What manner of people conduct themselves in such a milquetoast manner?With the kind courtesy of your pages, please permit my comments.Regards,Sasenarine Singh
Just two months after the Guyana Police Force (GPF) cashed in on a total of 200 specially equipped bicycles donated by the Georgetown-based US Embassy, some 168 ranks successfully graduated from a Pedal Cycle Course, which sought to train the officers to maximise the efficiency of these crime-fighting tools.Officials of the Guyana Police Force joined by a fraction of the graduating ranks of the Pedal Cycle CourseThe course, which commenced on September 4 and ended on October 20, focused on much-needed capacity building in cycle repairs, tactical positioning of bikes and training group ride, among other areas.The ranks participating in this initiative comprised 162 Constables, three Corporals and three Lance Corporals, from the various policing divisions across the country.Upon successfully completing the training, the 168 officers of the GPF were awarded certificates and subsequently briefed by their respective Divisional Commanders and other senior officials on the ways in which they can apply their newfound knowledge and skills in relation to the safe use of these bicycles in combating crime.The GPF Pedal Cycle Course was spearheaded by Corporal Kareem Hoosein and Woman Corporal Haley Fraser. Both Hoosein and Fraser were among the 12 officers who benefited from a safe use and efficiency forum, which was hosted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in Nevada, prior to the handing over of the bicycles earlier this year.It was back in August that the US Embassy in Georgetown presented the Police Force with the 200 pedal cycles and accessories as part of the country’s commitment to promoting community policing in Guyana.This contribution, stemming from the US Government’s Big Brother Mission, carries a value of US$145,000.At the handing-over ceremony, US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway underscored the significance of this endowment by saying, “The United States Department of State through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) assists countries around the world in strengthening the capacity of their law enforcement and supports their efforts to promote the rule of law.”
She says there has already been a keen interest expressed throughout the community, and encourages anyone interested in participating to contact her.”We will welcome as many people that can show up. With regards to wind bands, it’s usually the bigger the better, but in the end it’s all about that desired balance.”Rehearsals will begin in the Bert Bowes band room, Thursday, September 13, beginning at 7 p.m.The Community Band’s opening concert will be held on Remembrance Day, Sunday, November 11, with several other performances taking place throughout the year.Advertisement The band will be led by local music educator Sabrina Bailey, a former military musician who holds a degree in Music Education from the University of Victoria.Bailey says she can’t wait to bring more music into Fort St. John, describing the city as the “music capital of the north”.The band is open to anyone with three years of playing experience in a concert band setting, as the group will begin play at the intermediate level, with the goal of advancing participants’ skills, and eventually travelling.- Advertisement -Bailey says the band is a great way for fellow musicians form a sense of comradery.”The program is a great way to bring fellow musicians together. A band is just as good regarding teamwork as a sports team. There is a ton of focus on teamwork and coming together as a group.”The developed community band will focus on a variety of musical genres, from classical marching music, to songs that tell stories. However, Bailey says her Community Band will incorporate a wide range of other musical styles, such as Latin Infusion and swing.Advertisement If interested in joining or just looking for a few more details, visit the program’s official website, or email Sabrina Bailey at email@example.com.
0Shares0000Southampton’s Victor Wanyama, left, evades the challenge of Swansea City’s Andre Ayew during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary’s, Southampton, England, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. PHOTO/PALONDON, December 24- Ronald Koeman has warned Victor Wanyama’s admirers nobody will be leaving Southampton next month.Tottenham failed to prise the midfielder out of St Mary’s in the summer, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was this month forced to deny he is planning a January move. Southampton host the Gunners on Boxing Day, and ahead of that game Koeman has made it clear any bidders will be wasting their time.“They can prepare whatever they like to prepare,” he said. “Don’t spend time trying to buy a player from Southampton because it’s impossible.“They talk about players from Southampton because we have some good players and there is always interest in players. And the ambition of players is about playing Champions League.“We know what we like to do and how we like to do our business. That means in January nobody will leave Southampton.”Saints go into Christmas with just one point from their past five games, and Koeman admits his job could be under threat if that run continues despite the club’s seventh-placed finish last season.“Every manager is under pressure,” he said. “If you sack Jose Mourinho, if you sack Garry Monk from Swansea – then we know.“It’s all about the philosophy of the club, the chairman, and the board. It’s still quiet in Southampton but maybe in one month it can be different.“We know if you are a long time in football what can happen and I’m not worried about that. If it happens, it happens. I do my job, I do my best for the club and do what I have to do, and nothing else.”-By Sky Sports0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
The Champions League draw for the 2016/17 season is complete.Leicester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have all discovered who they’ll take on, as excitement rises over the competition.CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW IN FULLIn the wake of discovering their opponents, some players have been quick to jump to social media, with those competing desperate to get started.And we’ve taken a look at how some Foxes, Gunners, Spurs and City players have responded to their group draw… Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after scoring for Manchester City in Europe’s elite competition last season 1
Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ IN DEMAND Real Madrid are plotting a £125million move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. (The Sun)Returned Real boss Zinedine Zidane has been given a £430m war chest this summer and also wants to sign both Kylian Mbappe AND Eden Hazard. (AS)Chelsea are set to offer 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi a new contract worth £100,000-a-week to convince the England starlet to stay. (London Evening Standard)Jadon Sancho and Rafael Varane are at the top of Manchester United’s summer shopping list after Ole Gunner Solskjaer was appointed permanent manager on Thursday. (The Independent)However, Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has insisted the club will NOT insists be forced to sell £130m-rated defender Kalidou Kouliably, who is a long-term target for the Red Devils. (Daily Mail) 3 Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Get ready for another Paul Pogba transfer saga this summer… 3 The agent of Ajax left-back, and Arsenal target, Nicolas Tagliafico has confirmed the 26-year-old Argentine is prepared to “take a leap” at a new club. (Football.London)Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is a reportedly target for Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande. (Daily Mirror)Wolves are set to sign on-loan striker Raul Jimenez in a permanent £25m deal from Benfica. (Daily Telegraph)Arsenal legend Thierry Henry could return to his role as assistant to Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, after his sacking as Monaco manager in January after just three months in charge. (Daily Mirror) 3 Hudson-Odoi reportedly wants to leave Stamford Bridge, but will be offer huge wages to stay REVEALED LATEST moving on LATEST TRANSFER GOSSIP Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Meanwhile, long-term United target Antoine Griezmann is apparently willing to take pay cut to join Barcelona who are ready to trigger his £100m release clause to sign him from Atletico Madrid. (Mundo Deportivo)Bundesliga clubs have been told to forget about a loan move for Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, 18, this summer. (Manchester Evening News)Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld could join Juventus this summer, with the Italian giants considering whether to trigger the £25m buyout clause in the Belgian’s contract before the last two weeks of the transfer window. (Daily Mirror)Arsenal have reportedly made contact with Barcelona over the possibility of signing defender Samuel Umtiti. (Gazetta dello Sport) Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January targets Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti targets Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father LIVING THE DREAM talkSPORT.com rounds up all the latest gossip from Friday’s newspapers and online – and there’s a familiar name making the headlines… again.
Share This!Exciting news Soarin’ Over California fans! The popular, original version of Soarin’ which was originally slated to be shown for a limited time, through June 30, will now be shown at Disney California Adventure through August 31!On their journey over California, Guests who visit this attraction will continue be able to view the sights on this virtual tour of the state while they fly over the Golden Gate Bridge, smell the orange trees, sail over Malibu, and more.The original version, Soarin’ Over California opened in 2001. The attraction was changed over to Soarin’ Around the World back in 2016.So if you miss the original version, and you weren’t going to the park only in the month of June, you’ll have a few more months to be able to experience it.Are you excited to hear that this version will continue to be offered at the Disneyland Resort over the summer?
In a merger completed just over a year ago joining two of the largest office supply product companies, Boise Office Solutions and OfficeMax, a lot of things changed, but one thing remained constant for the new organization’s loss prevention program—teamwork.According to John Voytilla, vice president of global loss prevention and chief security officer at the new OfficeMax, the most important component of the loss prevention department is its people.“Technology, auditing, and investigations, those are all very important mechanisms that support the work of loss prevention, but it’s our team that truly makes our LP program so successful,” Voytilla says.- Sponsor – Beginning with its hiring practices, the OfficeMax loss prevention team seeks out the best people and then works to keep them through employee development. By placing a premium on employee retention, the OfficeMax LP team has enjoyed a level of continuity that many other retailers don’t often experience.“Our team’s stability is a product of the program’s quality and comprehensiveness,” he says.Voytilla attributes the OfficeMax LP team’s success to five key areas: training and development, business integration, integrity, communication, and technologyTraining and Development—Building LP LeadersSince September 11 and the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, competition to find qualified LP staff has increased as more companies have ramped up security efforts. Although finding qualified individuals is difficult, Voytilla does not budge on his hiring standards.“Team is the most important component of our loss prevention program. In fact, it is our differentiator. So we look for and develop people who can take ownership and lead the way in loss prevention. We want people who can ultimately help evolve our program,” says Voytilla.One of the reasons associates stay according to Voytilla is the LP program’s dedication to training and improving the team dynamic to achieve success.Their strategy includes setting up “think tank” meetings twice a year. The think tank groups discuss and debate organizational challenges, such as inventory shrink analysis and action, business assessment and visit planning, and improvement of store operational execution. The groups then develop a strategy based on their discussions. Loss prevention directors are on hand solely as facilitators.This type of brainstorming creates a sense of ownership says Voytilla. Follow-up through regular conference calls ensures that ideas won’t die before they are implemented and keeps teams focused on their core business objectives.Tracking Performance. Performance reviews and succession planning are other key elements of the OfficeMax LP training and development strategy. Twice a year, loss prevention management meets to discuss each team member’s performance. They debate strengths, opportunities, and growth potential, while discussing the needs of the individual and the organization.To assist in this process, OfficeMax’s LP program provides members with formal training and guidance regarding how to move up within the LP structure. The formal program includes a description of core technical and leadership skills required at each level of professional development.Team members, with the approval of their direct supervisors, complete an individual development plan (IDP). Supervisors evaluate the associates on an ongoing basis, providing feedback and suggesting changes to the individual’s IDP. Once a team member achieves the required core skills, they are evaluated for promotion.Directors find special opportunities to challenge top performers and encourage growth says Voytilla. Take Shannon Hunter, territory loss prevention manager in the Midwest, who was recently asked to temporarily fill the role of loss prevention director in the western territory—a role he has been in for more than ninety days.“You can’t simulate being a director,” says Hunter. “The challenge of running a territory loss prevention program plus communicating at a high level with our vice president has broadened my capabilities. It’s the best way to learn and grow.”Often, these opportunities cross over LP territory lines into other departments. Associates might be asked to write corporate policies or manuals, create reports for field use, develop new loss prevention programs, or test new equipment. “Every assignment builds and hones our team members’ experience,” says Voytilla.The OfficeMax LP team also supports a learn-by-doing approach. Senior team members are encouraged to mentor newer associates, and team members help train new district loss prevention managers (DLPMs).Building New Leaders. Voytilla points out that the OfficeMax LP team is not only interested in developing team members, but also leaders. OfficeMax LP management receives specialized training each year at an annual weeklong leadership summit designed to develop and harness their skills. Seminars include situational and results-based leadership, improving communication, and the Gallup StrengthsFinder® program, which focuses on personal development and honing leadership skills, interviewing and advanced phone interviewing, which LP field personnel used to close several cases in remote store locations without the expense of traveling.Training and development also is in full force on the frontlines at the store level. Using OfficeMax’s intranet web site, the LP team reaches employees by posting LP awareness materials, internal and external theft alert signals, and tools to assist with store training. DLPMs use the same material from the site to train personnel during store visits.Business Integration—Merchandising and Operations Welcome LPOfficeMax’s LP team has become an important partner with operations and merchandising. “Many companies’ LP teams can only dream of having a symbiotic relationship with their merchandising departments. We took a simple approach to the traditional battle; our answer was to become united,” says Voytilla. “We get involved with merchandising on the front end to devise plans and strategies around design and placement rather than on the back end after vital decisions have already been made.”Solving Sales Issues. Over the last two years, a main objective for OfficeMax merchandising was to place more ink cartridges and high-value electronics items, such as PDAs, digital cameras, and computer memory upgrades out on the floor. Previously, OfficeMax stored these items in a secure lock-upOther annual meetings offer technical and professional training, such as interviewing and interrogating skills, exception reports, and computer skills and planning led by WicklanderZulawski & Associates. Two important training seminars recently completed by the OfficeMax LP team covered behavioralWhile that helped prevent external theft, it also negatively impacted sales because products could not be easily viewed or accessed by customers.To come up with a solution, the LP team partnered with merchandising and operations to develop a win-win strategy that safely brought these items to the sales floor to grow sales while reducing theft.The first part of the strategy involved installing a new electronic article surveillance (EAS) system in certain stores to protect ink cartridges. The test ran several months while cycle counts of the ink were compiled monthly. When inventory counts were completed, shrink had decreased.The data from the EAS-enabled stores was then compared to the data in the non-EAS stores, and the results were indisputable. With EAS, stores could sell ink on their sales floors, and the extra revenue from the ink’s improved product placement could pay for more EAS equipment. In addition, the positive results from the test allowed the LP team to secure a capital appropriation to install EAS in the remaining OfficeMax stores during the first half of 2004.By putting a new EAS infrastructure in place, the LP team achieved several key objectives. First, the Office Max merchandising department contacted its electronics vendors, challenging them to begin source tagging. The request netted stunning results—all but a handful of OfficeMax’s electronics vendors’ SKUs are now source tagged, including ink cartridges.Second, the LP team purchased Spyder wraps from Alpha Security. All Office Max stores with a new EAS system received 200 Spyder wraps, which allowed merchandising to place more live product on sales floors.As a result of this success, the LP team now regularly reviews SKU profitability reports to assess vulnerability and shrinkage to determine whether LP programs need to be expanded to other SKUs.“The LP team’s successes with merchandising illustrates that it’s not about saying we can’t do something, it’s about finding a way we can do it, and do it profitably,” says Voytilla. “This approach has been successful because our corporate team gives us the resources we need, and they challenge us to continually improve our operations.” In the summer of 2004, the LP team conducted another test, placing digital memory upgrades into merchandise display boxes also known as Alpha keeper boxes. The new display boxes, made of polycarbonate material, are used to display high-theft electronics items on the sales floor. Each box houses a coil that triggers the EAS alarm system if the item is stolen.Similar to the ink test, the results demonstrated to OfficeMax’s merchandising department that it could safely place high-theft electronics on the sales floor, thereby increasing sales and decreasing shrink. Feeling confident with the EAS infrastructure in place, OfficeMax merchandising used the LP team’s findings and rolled out floor displays for the digital memory upgrades in fall 2004.LP Part of OfficeMax Fabric. Loss prevention at OfficeMax is woven into the fabric of the company’s business at all levels. LP team members are involved in hiring and promotion decisions for district and store managers as well as offering performance review feedback for retail associates.The high degree of LP integration at OfficeMax means that key initiatives, such as training, merchandise display standards, EAS, and awareness programs, share the spotlight in store business plans. During store visits, LP team members partner with district managers to review these important areas.“When district managers or operations deliver the same message as the LP department, it becomes that much clearer,” says Voytilla. Ultimately, he’d like to see stores become “LP self-sufficient, so that the LP team becomes a problem-solver and a developer of people instead of an auditor.”Cross-Training the LP Team. Part of the OfficeMax LP team’s success comes from its emphasis on cross-training its members to gain stability and flexibility by testing their skills in new environments.Recently, long-time LP director, Ulysses Williams, was offered a director position in human resources. Williams took the job, saying it strengthens his overall development as a retail professional.“My loss prevention experience has served as the foundation for my success,” says Williams. “For example, in loss prevention, team members are constantly faced with the questions of who, what, where, when, why, and how. Learning to find answers to these questions first and foremost helps to provide permanent solutions rather than quick or easy fixes. I still use that approach in my current job.”“Seeing one of our team members that is well-rounded enough to make that kind of transition makes us proud,” says Voytilla. “It also gives the OfficeMax human resources department a loss prevention perspective.”In another example of cross-functional talent, the OfficeMax LP team gained the services of Gerald Smith, formerly a district manager in the San Francisco Bay area, who now serves as director of LP for the western territory.“I sought to broaden my experience in retail loss prevention by integrating my operational expertise,” explains Smith. “During my short tenure in this new role, I have enjoyed the intense training, various challenges, and continual support from other LP team members. It’s also rewarding to be able to interject new ideas from my operational background into processes and plans that make our team more effective in the field.”Voytilla never passes up an opportunity to bolster his team’s experience by promoting from within his ranks. At the end of 2004, Perry Resnick, previously the LP director of the southwest territory, moved into the role of vice president, field loss prevention, retail. In his new capacity, Resnick drives loss prevention strategies and execution in the field.In addition, Nancy Erickson was promoted to senior director, logistics loss prevention, where she oversees loss prevention activities throughout OfficeMax’s entire supply chain.“People like Gerald, Perry, and Nancy are what we look for—talented individuals who possess great leadership skills. Experience is one thing, but finding people with a knack for leadership takes our department from good to great,” says Voytilla.Open Communication and IntegrityVoytilla says the OfficeMax LP team maintains direct and honest communication lines between field and corporate levels, district manager partners, territory partners, and corporate partners. The team schedules regular business meetings to discuss objectives and exchange feedback. Continual two-way communication helps the team make sound business decisions.“The organization won’t improve if we just tell people what they want to hear. Executives are looking for real feedback to improve the business,” says Voytilla.One of OfficeMax’s core values is integrity, and that is reflected in the LP department.“We empower team members to say what they believe in,” says Voytilla. “We are expected to deliver brutal loss prevention facts to our partners, peers, supervisors, and subordinates in a professional manner with the ultimate goal of benefiting the company.”High-Tech Loss PreventionTechnology gives OfficeMax loss prevention faster and more complete reporting options, and helps the department keep up with, or even stay ahead of, new theft tactics.Exception Reporting. A DLPM can run a report for an entire district to immediately determine what stores are completing the most inventory adjustments, or known theft. Thanks to a partnership with OfficeMax’s IT department, exception reporting created in the SAP system is specifically designed for the LP field team to analyze. Now, when LP identifies problem stores, team members can drill down to when adjustments were made and what SKUs caused the majority of the loss. This information allows the LP team to start investigations. After stores take inventory, the LP team generates category and article shrink reports that zero in on the exact causes of the shrink. These reports are used at the store, district, and territory levels to create future shrink action plans.Field members are equipped with state-of-the-art laptops and use Aspect Loss Prevention’s point-of-sale investigation software program that reviews sales and refund data to identify unusual transactions or trends. LP members use the program to run exception reports, and initiate and resolve cases. These reports are then analyzed on a weekly and monthly basis.“Thirty-seven percent of OfficeMax’s shrink cases in 2004 were identified using the Aspect program,” says Voytilla.Public View and Digital CCTV. Technology is not limited to providing better reporting. It also helps the LP team become more efficient at the store level. “Public view is used to deter shoplifting by having visible TV monitors in the live ink cartridge aisle and near store’s front entrances,” says Voytilla. “Our stores used VCR and multiplexer technology for their CCTV systems. Now we’ve implemented digital CCTV in several stores and we’re conducting further testing in additional markets.” The biggest reason for the switch to digital? “We can now monitor our stores remotely and link the digital CCTV feed with point-of-sale and exception reporting.”Radio Headsets. Store-level technology also benefits from OfficeMax’s “boundless service” culture. Every store associate uses a radio headset. Then, each store’s sales leader communicates with associates on a regular basis, directing them to customers who need help, suggesting add-ons to purchase, offering selling tips, and observing the store overall.Loss prevention uses the radio headsets to help deter shoplifting and reduce the chance of losing a customer who may need assistance. The headsets also are used to communicate monthly shrink topics, track suspicious customers, and assist with front-end procedures.The LP team’s success with these types of technological advancements creates opportunities to conduct more tests and broaden their expertise. Currently, they are looking at special software that links to the EAS system to remotely monitor program execution, review exceptions, high alarm activity, and assess training issues.One Step AheadIn 2005 and beyond, OfficeMax will continue to place a high priority on loss prevention. An emphasis on hiring, training, development, and retention continues to give the OfficeMax LP program an edge over its competition. It also helps OfficeMax stay one step ahead of internal and external theft. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now