'20 under 40' 2013 - Robert Gaulden
Robert Gaulden, 37
Vice president of sales, Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions
San Diego, Calif.
How did you get into the security industry?
My move into security integration came about in large part because I had a mentor assigned to me when I worked at Ingersoll Rand, in their security division. He pointed out that … integration was a growing part of the industry, that it was still maturing, but that there would be lots of opportunities to jump into the industry and make a relevant impact. One of the goals that’s been central to my own career path was to get into an industry where I could leave an impact and feel that I’ve done some very good work. I very much trusted the mentor I had at the time, and he helped me set up an interview that put me into a sales integration position.
Who or what in the industry has inspired you most in your security career?
While my mentor at Ingersoll Rand had a fingerprint on inspiring my career, I think the shootings that happened at Virginia Tech, my alma mater, have had the largest impact on my career. I never imagined such a tragic event could happen at a place I considered my home away from home.
From an industry standpoint, a tragedy like that weighs heavy, and you tend to take an analytical approach and think about what could have been prevented had the right systems been in place.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
The industry needs to do a better job of delivering exposure and knowledge to those in the college ranks as well as those in the military and veterans’ ranks. The military, for instance, has many bright, well-trained, technically adept people and good leaders. There needs to be a proactive campaign by leading companies, both on the manufacturing and integration sides, to reach out to both of these communities and make them aware of what we do.