RLPSA CONNECT – Los Angeles Recap: Partnership and Professional Development at Panda Restaurant Group

The Restaurant Loss Prevention and Security Association (RLPSA) held a regional RLPSA CONNECT workshop on May 16, 2024 at the Panda Restaurant Group headquarters in Los Angeles.  The room was packed with not only big brands but local franchisees as well.

RLPSA’s regional event is all about networking and learning from each other, and with nearly 70 restaurant representatives sharing challenges and solutions with each other, partnership was the theme of the day. The mission of RLPSA’s CONNECT events is to bring together local and national restaurant representatives to build long-term, beneficial relationships to help each other protect people, decrease loss, and increase profits within their individual organizations.

Kurt Leisure, president of the RLPSA, and Rebecca Alexander, Associate Director, RLPSA, welcomed the group to Los Angeles. Presentations included:

  • “Best Practices for Dealing with Escalating Environments” – by Shaun Jackson, Executive Director, Risk Management at Panda Restaurant Group, Octavio Jara, Senior Manager of U.S. Security, McDonald’s Corp, Cristian Iglesias, Manager, Risk Services, The Cheesecake Factory, and Ryan Bauss, Vice President of Training & Awareness, Calibration Group.
  • “Collaboration Between HR/Risk and Loss Prevention Teams for Effective Risk Management” – by Michael Simmons, Vice President, Human Resources, Risk, and Legal, WKS Restaurant Group.
  • “Digital Fraud Trends” –by Wendy Hans, Director, Fraud/Loss Control at AMC Theatres and Brady Harrison, Director, Customer Analytics Solution Delivery at Kount, an Equifax Company.
  • “State of the Crime in the Industry” – by Basia Pietrawska, Vice President, Crime Intelligence Analysis, CAP Index Law Enforcement, Christopher Magana, Senior Manager, Field Safety & Asset Protection, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ruben Olivas, Director, Asset Protection, Whataburger, and Andrew Gonzalez, Vice President-Asset Protection, 99 Cents Only Stores/former LAPD.
  • “Effective Cash Handling Techniques to Minimize Loss and Fraud” – by Louis Burke, Director of Risk Management, WKS Restaurant Group, Monika Shah, Associate Manager Safety, Security and Loss Prevention, Yum Brands/Taco Bell, Elsie Lam, Field Asset Protection Manager, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and John Bezek, Customer Success Manager, Envysion, Inc., and Dawn Lampert, Vice President of Sales at Envysion, Inc.

“These value-packed regional events bring together all types of brands for dynamic partnership, relationship-building, and collaboration,” said Kurt Leisure, president of RLPSA and Vice President, Risk Services for The Cheesecake Factory.  “We are excited that we had restaurant and food service attendees who were not aware of all of the value that RLPSA offers, so we’re thrilled to be continuing to share the unparalleled worth of RLPSA and our programs.”

The day concluded with facilitated discussions about the hottest topics they are tackling, including California’s upcoming workplace violence prevention program legislation.  The discussions were facilitated by Kurt Leisure, RLPSA President and Vice President, Risk Services, The Cheesecake Factory, Daniel Kabler, Sr. Manager Safety &Asset Protection, QDOBA Mexican Eats, and Rebecca Alexander, Associate Director, RLPSA.

A day of learning and collaboration isn’t complete without a networking reception, made possible by the event sponsors.  RLPSA thanks sponsors for this event, including Envysion, Hanwha Vision, IPConfigure, NAVCO, Summit Off-Duty Services, Telaid, Blue Dot Safes, March Networks, LockNet, Kount, Real Time Services, and SafeStreets National Accounts, as well as to Panda Restaurant Group for hosting the event.

Visit www.rlpsa.com for the next RLPSA CONNECT event in 2024.