2014 Forty Under 40: Andrew Harrison

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harrison_andrew_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Secure in his career: The media tends to portray security guards as either automatons or buffoons, but Harrison believes that’s missing a lot. “Most folks don’t understand the nature of a security program for a Fortune 500 or Fortune 100 company,” he said. “Law enforcement isn’t going to get too involved in your world. You are the police force for that company. It only takes one bad thing to happen for people to think you aren’t doing your job well. But what they don’t see are the thousands of great things that you are doing to prevent bad things from happening.”

The essence: “We have millions and millions of devices and a lot them are high-end devices that people want to steal. Hence, I have a job.” That job has taken him to 15 countries in the last seven years.

The dangers: “I can’t get into the specifics, but there was an incident in South Africa that involved fatalities—not our employees—and it really hit me that I have an important job. My job is not just to determine how something happened, but to ensure that it never happens again. That’s a huge responsibility.”

Tolerance for shrinkage: “To a security person, there’s no acceptable amount of loss.”

AGE 35
Hometown: Chicago (at a naval base for six months before moving to Key West, Fla.; Miami; Cuba and elsewhere)

Family: son, Max, 11

Advice he’d give to his 10-years-ago self: “Find a way to have a sharper edge and a little more compassion.”

Be prepared: He also has been involved with Southport’s Board of Public Safety, training citizens on how to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Nationally, he’s involved with developing security standards used around the world via the Transported Asset Protection Association. “It’s hard to sit home and watch everything go by,” he said, “when I know I can give some value.”

Historical perspective: Outside of work, Harrison likes to spend time with his son. “And I’d have the Military Channel or History Channel on 24 hours a day if my girlfriend didn’t shut it off.”

Always watching: “No matter where I go, I’m always assessing. I assessed your lobby when I walked in.”•

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