Careers in Security with Devin Brander

Employee Spotlight: Devin Brander

Devin Brander is an account manager in OPS Security Group’s headquarters in Philadelphia. 

Devin started his career with OPS as a part-time/flex officer in 2017 while studying at West Chester University and working in the hospitality sector. By May of 2018, he was the supervisor at Whole Foods—an armed position. That same year, he won the company-wide employee of the year award in leadership. In June of 2019, Devin was promoted to account manager. 

As an account manager, Devin handles the day-to-day operations of his sites while managing site supervisors, assisting with scheduling and call outs and addressing any concerns that arise. He also occasionally works an executive protection detail, an armed position that requires additional specialized training. He works with tenacity to ensure that his clients are happy and his sites operate smoothly. He credits this attitude with having worked his way up through the company.

We had a chance to catch up with Devin to learn more about his trajectory from a frontline employee to a manager. Here’s what he had to say:

What drew you to working with OPS? Did you originally think you would work here long term?

DB: “I was always drawn to security. I’d worked as a bouncer and part-time for OPS doing event security while in college, but I didn’t really see it as a career. But the more I worked for the company, the more I appreciated the culture and vision and direction of where the company was going, and the more I considered it a viable career path. I started to volunteer to fill open positions and eventually started to fill in for account managers when they went on vacation. I jumped on any opportunity that I could to  help the team out and fill in. 

With a lot of companies it’s like ‘how do I take advantage of employees?` At OPS, it’s more like ‘how do I help my employees succeed?’ There was always lots of support. My managers had an open door policy and I noticed that the company had confidence in me. So in the end, one of the biggest things that attracted me to continue working for OPS was witnessing how much they care about their employees. 

Whether it’s my peers or superiors, I look up to all of them and I’ve learned something from all of them. Whether it’s Dean’s compassion or Mitch’s tenacity I feel inspired on a daily basis.” 

Can you tell us about your involvement with the military?

DB: “I’m an active member of the Air National Guard. It’s a good supplement to a career, while not being a military career in itself. I became more interested in the National Guard through my involvement with OPS. A lot of other employees have served in one branch of the military or other. It kind of goes hand in hand with a career in protection and security. 

OPS is very understanding and supportive of the military. If people are called to active duty it’s not going to impact their job. They understand if you get pulled away. 

I’ll actually be doing some training later this year for the Air National Guard. They are going to take into account my progression that I would have made if I was still in my role when I return. So let’s say someone is gone for six months or a year, they’ll take a look at where you would have been if you hadn’t left and place you there when you get back. I think that’s really cool.”

What certifications do you have?

DB: “I got my ACT 235, OCAT-Baton, PATH and CPR all in house at OPS before the state determined it needed to be taught by a third party. I help test incoming employees looking for armed work on their shooting skills and safety knowledge.” 

Where do you see yourself going with OPS in the future?

DB: “I imagine having more oversight, a bigger leadership role. I’d like to stay in operations but continue to move up through the department.”

What qualities do you look for in aspiring managers in the field?

DB: “First and foremost, I look for accountability for both work and mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, I think what says a lot about a person is how they handle them. 

Next, I look for decision making capability. I’m a very accessible person, but if you are coming to me for every bump in the road, then I’m not empowering you as a leader. And I may not always be available to respond to a pressing issue. My employees need to be able to make decisions and inform me after the fact. It’s like ‘this happened, here is how I handled it.’ 

Finally, I look for reliability. Extra points if you are not only prepared for your shifts but willing to help out and work flex shifts as needed. When I was a frontline employee, any time the company needed me, if I could be there, I was there!”

This interview is part of our “Careers in Security” blog series designed to help our employees think bigger about what’s possible with a security position.

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