When he finished high school, Steve Boyd joined the Exchange as a temporary custodial worker committed to keeping the Fort Rucker Exchange pristine. Now, 35 years later, Boyd is committed to preventing losses at every level of the organization as the vice president of the Loss Prevention directorate.
The Exchange Post spoke with Boyd about his history with the Exchange and vision for LP’s future.
Exchange Post: Tell us a little about yourself.
Steve Boyd: For all my professional life, I have worked for the Exchange. I am a military brat—my dad, Jim, served in the Army for more than 36 years, retiring as a CW4 Criminal Investigation Division agent.
My goal was to follow in his footsteps. However, a knee injury took me out of the running for a career with the Army.
My mom, JoAnn, worked for the Exchange for 10 years—she started as a sales associate in the Netherlands and worked her way up to supervisor, retiring from the Exchange at Fort Rucker.
I started working for the Fort Rucker Exchange right out of high school as a temporary custodial worker.
Having worked at nearly every level of loss prevention—including Exchange detective/supervisor, surveillance specialist/supervisor, area LP manager, region LP manager and senior field LP operations manager—I know the directorate from top to bottom, and hope to use my experience to lead LP into the future.
EP: What life experiences do you bring to the table that help you develop and lead the Loss Prevention team?
Boyd: I have been associated with the military my whole life. My high school years were spent attending the international school now called AFNORTH (Allied Forces Northern Europe) near the NATO Joint Force Command in Brunssum, Netherlands. That experience has helped me understand others’ points of view, which helps me as a leader.
“We are not the bad guys . . . The Loss Prevention Directorate works hard to protect earnings that maintain the Exchange’s sustainability and ensure our support of critical Quality-of-Life programs for Soldiers, Airmen and their families.”
-Steve Boyd, vice president, Loss Prevention Directorate
On a more general level, I believe deployment really opens your eyes to the Exchange’s true mission. If you haven’t deployed, I encourage those with an interest to volunteer. It’s not for everyone, but it’s where our true mission is understood and lived.
My experience with deployment affirmed my belief in the mission of the Exchange and desire to ensure the organization succeeds.
EP: How does your experience as a military child affect your work as an Exchange associate?
Boyd: It affects my work positively, since I have lived it. I have an appreciation for what service members do and a better understanding than a lot of outsiders. My family has a history of serving—besides my dad, my paternal grandfather served in the Navy and my brother, Mike, retired as an Army Reserves lieutenant colonel operations officer for the medical command.
EP: What is your favorite part of your job?
Boyd: My favorite part is mentoring and growing talent. I love to work with people who are interested in bettering themselves and help them attain their goals.
EP: How do you see the Loss Prevention Directorate growing in 2019?
Boyd: There is going to be a lot of transparency regarding how the Loss Prevention directorate works to protect the Exchange’s longevity and relevancy.
I will work closer with leaders in the other directorates and open the lines of communication to reinforce that we are all on the same team.
Our processes are often stereotyped as secretive. In 2019, we would like to move away from that stereotype by providing awareness training and briefings to the field and executive leadership at headquarters.
I also envision stronger partnerships among the other business groups to ensure success is shared by all. I will work closer with leaders in the other directorates and open the lines of communication to reinforce that we are all on the same team.
EP: What about the Loss Prevention Directorate would you like Exchange associates throughout the organization to know?
Boyd: We are not the bad guys. Loss Prevention associates are retailers, with an expertise in loss prevention.
We aren’t out to embarrass anyone—sometimes, it comes across as a little aggressive, but our sole mission is to prevent losses, however those losses appear to the Exchange.
The Loss Prevention Directorate works hard to protect earnings that maintain the Exchange’s sustainability and ensure our support of critical Quality-of-Life programs for Soldiers, Airmen and their families.
In 2018, LP identified losses at about $1.6 million. Based on the YTD net earnings, we would have to sell about $29.6 million more to recover those losses.
EP: Do you have any words of wisdom for Exchange associates just beginning their careers?
Boyd: Sometimes you have to sacrifice and come out of the comfort zone. It’s scary, but always worth it.