'20 under 40' 2012 - Dan Barbera

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dan Barbera, 39
Executive VP of finance
COPS Monitoring
Williamstown, N.J.

How did you get into the security industry?

I worked for a nonprofit corporation for the first 12 years of my career. I became a CPA in the late ’90s and I went back for my MBA when I turned 30. Around 2005, when I earned my MBA in management from Rutgers, it was just time to move on because I had been with that company for so long. Believe it or not, I just responded to an (online) ad not even knowing that I was applying for a position in the security industry. I interviewed and it sounded like a great opportunity. I said yes and it's just been an industry that I fell in love with.

What can be done to attract more young people to the industry?

I think a lot of it is education. I'm very active on the New Jersey Society of CPAs. We have something called the Pay It Forward program, where during November every year we ask CPAs all over the state to go out to high schools and to get into accounting classrooms or business classrooms. We talk about how good the field has been to us and how … it might be a lucrative field for (students). I think it’s worked very, very well, and I think it's something the security industry could absolutely adopt.

Who in the industry has helped you most in your security career?

Ira Riklis, for one. He has so much business knowledge and is such an incredible mentor to me. Also, Jim McMullen, Don Maden and Bob Martino—Bob more from the financial aspect of the industry, and Don and Jim from the operational standpoint. It makes it easy when you have that kind of support system.