“40 under 40” Class of 2019 — Ebony Haywood, 36

Director of Training & Development, Allied Universal
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Friday, November 1, 2019

With a background in education as an elementary school teacher, Ebony Haywood said that her security journey is definitely happenstance and being in the right place at the right time. “Ironically, one of our families [referring to a student’s family] owned a security business and when I was looking for a change, they took a chance on me,”Haywood said, starting out on a part-time basis and transitioning into operations coordinator. “At the time, I did not understand the business nor all it entailed, but I knew they had confidence in me, and I was coachable and trainable,” she reminisced. “It took one person to see something in me and the rest is history.”

Currently, as Allied Universal’s Director of Training & Development, Haywood is busy working with all employees, from onboarding throughout their tenure, assisting with certification training, career development, licensing requirements, compliance training and other training.

She identified flexibility and accessibility as major trends in the industry. “People want to use systems that are easy to understand, manage and support,” Haywood explained. “Additionally, everyone wants to be able to access everything from everywhere.”

Haywood is especially fond of drones because they offer a new type of “eye.” “I look at drones as a safety tool; putting a drone in an unsafe situation is much more reasonable than sending a person to a situation or space that could be dangerous.” Diversity is a hot topic in the industry and according to Haywood, “If we want A+ talent and diversity, we have to be willing to invest in those individuals, too.”

Sometimes all it takes is simply giving others an opportunity. “I did not know what a card reader, door contact or a purchase order was, but I have learned many facets of the business and beyond because I was given the chance.”