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Leading ORCA Way
One of those industry-leading initiatives Kevin helped found is the New England Organized Retail Crime Alliance (www.neorca.org). NEORCA was one of the first gatherings of its kind with law enforcement and loss prevention professionals gathering each year to join forces and help fight retail crime. NEORCA celebrates it’s 10-year anniversary in September, partly thanks to Plante.
NEORCA has grown and evolved throughout the years from simply an organized retail crime (ORC) assembly to more of a Loss Prevention expo, demonstrating that while ORC is a large component of what we do, it’s just one component of an entire strategy.
Although Kevin’s LP career hasn’t led him to manage an ORC team, it’s a passion he devotes his spare time to due to his passion for the LP field. It’s this perspective that has helped NEORCA become so successful; combining education about ORC initiatives with the intricacies of crimes against retail.
All in the Family
Back in 1989, Plante started in loss prevention the way most LP folks did: as a college kid catching shoplifters but not realizing it was an actual career. “It was always a lot of fun to catch the bad guys,” he reminisced. Plante’s first team of LP coworkers was a strong 25 deep and they were more than just coworkers, they were friends; even family.
This bond with his fellow coworkers and love for the work kept Plante in the LP field where he was first introduced to ORC in the early 90’s where he worked for a department store retailer that sold anything from suits to blenders. And people were stealing it all. At that time period, there wasn’t much distinction between ORC and regular shoplifting. Plante decided to change that by attending meetings of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) Loss Prevention Committee.
Plante found RAM to be very useful with access to accomplish goals legislatively as well as an ideal forum for networking with law enforcement professionals. To re-energize the committee, Plante was appointed as Chairman and he took it on with full stride to help expand its reach within his community but also to further the LP presence amongst law enforcement.
Organizing and Acting
From his interaction with RAM and his appointment as Chairman, Plante and the RAM LP Board of Directors formed the New England Organized Retail Crime Alliance (NEORCA) to help fight ORC with renewed vigor. Plante shared how ORC has to be made less desirable for people to do it. Plante firmly believes that legislation is necessary to enforce the penalties necessary to deter crime. Plante believed by getting RAM and the newly formed NEORCA involved, he could make that happen by mobilizing a force in the Northeast to get some legislative attention.
Plante’s energized committee is helping the association’s membership by providing consultation for smaller retailers for free for those who can’t afford it. The group spreads networking help and trusted connections to meet their needs. Kevin has enjoyed working with Jon Hurst, President of Retailers Association of MA as well as Ryan Kearny, General Counsel for RAM and Andi Shea, Membership Director for RAM. He also attributes his success to the LP Committee Board: Brendan Fitzgerald at BJ’s Wholesale Club, Jason Adams, at Apple, Shannon Lenahan at Wegmans, Matt Taylor at Walgreens, and Allan Peterson at Target.
True to form, Plante credits his success for the conference to Ryan Kearney, General Counsel of Retailers Association of MA for driving the ORC retail crime bill and Andrea Shea for being shoulder to shoulder with him planning the conferences.
“We are always challenging ourselves to find the best way to bring people together once a quarter to talk about valuable goals and objectives,” said Plante. “Things that matter to them, LP, Law enforcement, legislation, create agendas that matter, and then host unforgettable conferences.” So far, he’s done that for nearly 10 years.
Fighting the ORC Fight…x 10
Plante has been integral in fighting for continual improvement in the ORC legislation. Even after it taking almost 10 years, Plante is excited about the enhanced penalties for retail crime. Plante supports a national ORC group for sharing data and information about problem people or locations. Although Plante does see some distinct challenges with the initiative:
For the Underdog
Plante not only gives tirelessly of his time and talents to further the LP industry, he’s also an active volunteer for many philanthropic causes as well. Plante is a current volunteer for P.A.W.S., a non-kill cat shelter. He has also spent time volunteering for a center that helps survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. Whether it’s fighting to keep shoplifters out of retail stores or fighting to help those that can’t defend themselves, Plante is a no-nonsense guy that actually proactively fights for what’s on his mind and heart.
Soundly or Fitfully?
When asked about how Plante sleeps at night, his response is typical for one with a good heart and mind for the masses.
Plante responds saying a handful of things keep him up, including how society is trending in general starting with the legalization of marijuana. With two young adults at home, Plante feels decriminalization is a society issue that may only lead us down a slippery slope of irresponsibility.
Along that same context, Plante also worries about desensitization of our youth. “I am a firm believer in the parents responsibilities to teach children how to behave and when our society is saying smoke a joint or even go ahead and shoplift and retailers can’t stop you, where does it end?” said Plante.
“At what point do the good citizens wonder, why should we do the right thing all the time?” asks Plante. “If these same citizens have trouble paying their mortgage, paying or car, when will they stop doing the right thing?”
Of course, in Kevin Plante fashion of gratitude, he wanted to thank two key people within the industry. One of those individuals is Rob Shields, the person who provided him his first opportunity at Staples. “I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today with Rob,” said Plante. “He gave me my first big job with serious responsibility and he was my mentor both personally and professionally.”
Another individual Plante mentioned with tremendous influence on his career is Walter Palmer. “Although I have never worked with or for him, he introduced himself to me 18 years ago and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him about how to survive in the corporate world and keep it all in perspective,” Plante said.
About the author:
Amber Bradley, founder of Calibration Group, LLC, is a brand-positioning expert with extensive experience across multiple business disciplines, including marketing and public relations. Amber’s proven success in creating multi-tiered, strategic marketing and communication campaigns continues to yield unmatched results for solutions providers, as well as retail loss prevention and operations professionals.
Amber also serves as Executive Director for the Restaurant Loss Prevention and Security Association (RLPSA), and is a contributing editor for the D&D Daily, a daily e-news outlet specializing in providing the most relevant news for retail loss prevention, safety and security professionals. For more information about Calibration Group, visit www.calibrationgroup.com..
An Interview with Kevin Plante, Director, Loss Prevention Reporting and Analytics at CVS Health
By Amber Bradley
It’s rare to describe the typical high-ranking, industry-veteran loss prevention executive with such flowery language as kind-hearted, sincere and truly altruistic. But it fits Kevin M. Plante, LPC, to a tee.
Plante is the Director of Loss Prevention Reporting and Analytics at CVS Health and truly his passion for fighting ORC…but also making the world a better place.
Plante has more than 25 years of loss prevention and store operations experience in the field and corporate environments in retail operations such as Staples, Pep Boys and BJ’s. He’s certainly accomplished his share of successful LP technology implementations, operational audit programs, and led numerous teams to shrink victory.
But that’s not what drives him.
Plante’s self-described “true calling” is to grow the loss prevention profession by teaching and mentoring others while pushing the industry forward through many other valuable initiatives.
The ORC Resource Center is sponsored by Auror
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