'20 under 40' 2012 - Patrick Ritter

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Patrick Ritter, 33
VP and controller
ADS Security
Nashville, Tenn.

How did you get into the security industry?

I (previously) worked with our CFO, Ernie McDaniel, at a manufacturing company that manufactured outdoor signage. It was very much a project-based cyclical business. (When) he was recruited by ADS Security, he told me all the great things about this recurring monthly revenue business. A couple of months later, he recruited me to come along with him as an accountant for ADS. That was in 2005. The recurring revenue business was very intriguing because it was much more profitable, and I saw that I would have a much brighter future at a company like ADS (with) all the great things it had to offer.

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

It seems to me that social media is the way to reach people. The best people we have found were people who weren’t really looking for work. They were people that we networked with in other businesses and we were able to connect with them and bring them into the business. It wasn’t through resume searches or things like that.

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

I have difficulty picking just one person because I’ve been fortunate to have so many mentors. If I have to pick just one, I would say Mel Mahler, our chairman and CEO. Mel has shown great confidence in me and allowed me to continue to grow at ADS and take on more of a leadership role in the company. He has given me a lot of guidance. … Probably one of the biggest things is Mel’s network of friends in the community and people he’s connected me to through Security Network of America and other associations in the industry.