'20 under 40' 2013 - Kat Tallman
Kat Tallman, 30
Operations manager of special services, COPS Monitoring
How did you get into the security industry?
I had a group of friends who worked here at the time  who referred me to the job opening. I had been working in the retail industry and wanted a change, so I applied and got hired. I started as a central station dispatcher and have had many titles within the company. I was a floor supervisor, which is a higher-level operator, and a shift manager. I also worked in dealer support and then I found my niche. It kind of combines everything into one.
Who or what in the industry has inspired you most in your security career?
I worked at a couple of different businesses before I started here, and they were minor jobs obviously because I was still in school, but this is the first company I’ve found that really takes care of its employees and really gives back. It has a lot of incentives and it treats its employees like they are family. My supervisor, Elle Daley—she’s the vice president of branch operations now—has probably been the most important influence, but I’ve had a number of people who have guided me along the way.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
Now that social media has taken off it’s helping, because so many people can connect via Facebook or LinkedIn to look at different industries. Technology is obviously a big factor, because whatever is the hottest new thing is what everybody wants to get into. And because the alarm industry has really taken off with a lot of the advanced technology we have now, I think that a lot of younger people are trying to get into it to see where the different avenues can take them.