Roll Call: Jim Volpe, Client Service Manager
Jim Volpe is a Client Service Manager for Summit’s Long Island Regional Office. Leveraging more than a quarter century of experience with Summit, he successfully manages some of Summit’s largest accounts on Long Island and has participated in the planning and execution of a number of major special events at which Summit has provided security services, including the Bethpage Air Show and July 4th Fireworks Show at Jones Beach. TSR spoke with Jim about his time at Summit and his role in special events planning:
TSR: How does Summit’s Regional Team work to prepare for special events?
JV: It depends, of course, on the size and type of event. For example, the Bethpage Air Show and July 4th Fireworks Show each drew hundreds of thousands of people to Jones Beach State Park. At that scale, you have to coordinate a large number of issues: access control, foot traffic, emergency response, bag- checks—a lot of potential issues that we had to take into account when planning the security coverage. Also, we had to collaborate with park officials and county and state law enforcement agencies, which were present at the shows. Planning for those events began months before they happened and involved the entire Long Island Regional Team. We met as a team to assess the event and to determine the number of security officers that would be deployed, where they would be stationed to best control access, the equipment that they would need—a whole list of questions that had to be answered and decisions made before the event. Then the security officers have to be chosen, equipment has to be ordered, training has to be delivered and scheduling has to be prepared.
TSR: How does Summit work with local law enforcement at special events?
JV: Summit maintains excellent relationships with local police departments, state police and other law enforcement agencies in each region. Because of these solid working relationships, we are able to communicate and work effectively with law enforcement agencies to maximize protection—and to prepare for emergency response, if needed—at events at public and private venues. We also have a vast reservoir of retired law enforcement officers who work for Summit, which improves our ability to communicate with local departments.
TSR: How long have you been with Summit?
JV: I joined the company 25 years ago after working in sporting goods sales for a number of years. Co-President Robert Auletta persuaded me to come onboard. I liked that Summit was a family run company and I was looking for an opportunity to grow, so Summit seemed like the perfect fit. During the time I have been with Summit, I have worked in operations; overseen legal and compliance issues; handled contracts, insurance, and purchasing; and helped build lasting client partnerships as Client Service Manager. I’ve been a Client Service Manager for about 16 years now.
TSR: How do you work with clients to build long-lasting partnerships?
JV: I believe in the philosophy that if you can build trust with a client, then everything else becomes easier. Without trust, small issues can snowball into large problems, because it’s harder to address them early. But establishing trust takes time. Sometimes it means developing relationships with clients that transcend the office. You end up going to client family events and developing a personal relationship in addition to the business ones.
TSR: What sets Summit apart from its competitors?
JV: Personalized service. Summit is large enough to provide security coverage for any event or to any client, but the company is organized in such a way as to keep the lines of communication open between the client and executive management. Summit is a local company. Our clients know us; they know our management team. A lot of other security providers have their headquarters on the other side of the country or outside the country. Their clients can’t reach out and communicate directly with their executive management teams or get personalized service. Our clients expect that from Summit. As a company, Summit invests a lot of time and effort into building client relationships because the company realizes the value of building such long-term partnerships. The management team has been built to support that belief and the whole philosophy emanates directly from the Co-Presidents, who have made it a foundational philosophy of Summit.
CATEGORIES: Roll Call