Oct 16 2017

Roll Call: Paul Pavarini, Client Service Manager

Paul Pavarini is a Client Service Manager (CSM) in the New York City Region, who manages one of Summit’s highest-profile accounts: Columbia University. Summit has been Columbia’s security partner since 1986. A former member of the New York Police Department (NYPD), Paul is certified in FBI Homeland Security Training and multijurisdictional Counter Drug Task Force Training. During his law enforcement career, he developed crime prevention plans, deployed counter-terrorism initiatives at high-profile locations and investigated crimes across New York City. The Summit Report spoke with Paul about his role in managing Summit’s decades-long relationship with Columbia University.

TSR: How did you become part of the Summit Team?
PP: I joined Summit four years ago. I had a prior relationship with Columbia University going back almost five years before that due to my time as a counter-terrorism/crime prevention officer for the NYPD Transit District 3. Columbia University was one of the most critical and important landmarks in the District and I had worked closely with the security team at Columbia for years. When the CSM position for Columbia University at Summit opened, I was in my 20th year with the NYPD and it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. I was also aware of Summit’s reputation as a family-owned business dedicated to service excellence and felt that becoming part of the Summit Team would complement my NYPD experience.

TSR: As a Client Service Manager, how do you help Summit maintain its partnership with Columbia University?
PP: Given that I had been working with Columbia’s security team for so many years prior to joining Summit, I had already cemented good working relationships with the people there. Those solid relationships made it easier to transition to the CSM role at Summit and continue to serve as a strong foundation for strengthening the partnership going forward. However, partnerships are more than personal relationships; Summit maintains its partnerships by meeting client needs consistently and in the most cost-effective manner. That’s what we do, every day. And the client appreciates our work.

TSR: How does Columbia University’s needs differ from other types of Summit clients?
PP: Columbia is an enormous institution, with locations all around the city visited every day by tens of thousands of students, faculty, staff and visitors. We deploy almost 200 security officers at Columbia locations and our officers are trained to interact with students, staff and visitors in a cordial and helpful manner. Columbia students must feel comfortable to approach our officers to report incidents or problems. There are also many international students at Columbia and it is important for them to feel their dormitory is a home away from home. Our rigorous training, supervision and the high quality of security officers we recruit ensures that Summit meets these needs.

TSR: What special challenges does the University present to you as Client Service Manager?
PP: The University presents an almost endless set of challenges that evolve with each passing year. We have to provide security services that are respectful of the enormous cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity of the university’s students and staff. Medical privacy is another factor that we must always maintain when our officers render assistance to those who require it. The University is also a major cultural and intellectual focal point in the city, drawing visits from many high profile government officials, celebrities, intellectuals, authors, prominent academics and speakers from around the U.S. and the world on a regular basis. The campus also sees demonstrations, protests and other large public events. Such appearances and events require complicated security planning, preparation and execution to ensure the safety of those who visit the campus and attend events there.

TSR: What gives Summit an advantage over competitors in serving university clients?
PP: Our quality of service. I feel personally responsible for the service that Summit provides to the University and I make sure that all its needs are met. All Summit employees feel this way. It’s part of being a family-owned business rather than a large, faceless corporation. Summit delivers the highest levels of service to its clients because the Summit Team is composed of local people who are members of the very communities that Summit serves. We all feel like we have a stake in the services we deliver. For our clients, that means they receive the best service from enthusiastic and dedicated Summit personnel. Our clients recognize that. They see it in action every day.


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