Leadership Solutions

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Heather O'Brien

Content Expert Faculty, Security Executive Council

With 21 years experience in the contract security services industry, Heather O’Brien recently retired her position as the Southeastern Regional President for Universal Protection Service, LLC. While at Universal Protections Service she ran a rapidly growing region with 14,000 security professionals operating in 13 states, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. During her tenure Heather managed the acquisition of her former company, Security Forces, Inc., as well as managing organic growth and strategic acquisitions that quadrupled her region over the last 3 years.

Joining Security Forces, Inc. in 1997, Heather began in Operations then served as a Business Development Manager. She moved through the positions of Vice President of Corporate Accounts and Executive Vice President before being promoted to her role as President in November 2008. Battling an industry driven to treat a service contract like a commodity, Heather creatively developed strategies for adding new business, increasing wages and improving profit margins. Her rapid upward advancement, work ethic, leadership by example, and dedication to the growth and improvement of the company made her a Charlotte Business Journal recipient of the 40 Under 40 Award in 2012. Additional professional recognitions include being recognized by the Charlotte Business Leader receiving awards as both a “Mover & Shaker” and “Woman Extraordinaire” in 2009.

Heather recently joined the Advisory Board at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and is the Past Chairman for National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) where she served on the board for 14 years. She has held numerous local and area chapter board positions for the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and actively supports its Southern Region annually. Additionally, she served on the Board of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, its Finance Committee and its Board of Advisors. Heather remains an active participant in other civic and professional organizations including American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Women Executives (WE) and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Circle (ELC) at the McColl School of Business at Queens University.