‘20 under 40’ Class of 2018—Shannon Beritzhoff

 - 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Shannon Beritzhoff, 31

Branch manager, First Alarm

Richmond, Calif.

First Alarm has five locations, and Shannon Beritzhoff is the branch manager of the company’s Richmond, Calif., branch. She handles a lot of the day-to-day operations of the branch, including billing, service, fire inspections and installations.

Beritzhoff came to work with First Alarm through the company’s acquisition of Sentry Alert in late 2010, a company she joined just after college. “I’ve now been here for nine and a half years. So, I didn’t know that this would be something that I would find. But, I’ve actually found it to be quite a challenge and overall I like the mission, which is keeping people and places safe,” she said.

Beritzhoff said she liked the challenge of meeting the needs for a specific customer, like a school system, and working with security manufacturers of existing or desired technologies and integrating it to meet the needs of the application.

“Although it wasn’t something that I set out to do, I certainly feel good that I’m involved in it,” she said.

Beritzhoff has been involved in a variety of associations, both local and industry-focused. She has been involved in a local BNI chapter. She was a council member of the Young Security Professionals for about two years—now called the Rising Leaders Group. “On a local level, last year I was on the … Marketing and Membership Committee for the California Alarm Association,” she said. “Then, for the East Bay Alarm Association … I was their secretary for two years.”

Attracting young and promising employees to the security industry isn’t the real problem, according to Beritzhoff. “It’s not a shortage of getting talented people through the door, it’s a shortage of keeping them.”

She joked that joining the industry is “four to life”—either professionals leave the industry in the first four years, or they’re hooked and stay in security for the rest of their career.