Valenteen returns to The Protection Bureau
EXTON, Pa.—She’s back. A few things might have changed during Wanda Valenteen’s two-year hiatus from the monitoring world, but the evolution of the industry, no matter how difficult to stay abreast of, is nothing compared to her experiences away from the professional sphere.
From 2006 to 2011, Valenteen was central station manager at the Protection Bureau, based in Exton, Pa. She had a background in call center management, having worked previously in retail customer service. While valuable, working in retail customer service could not match the sense of urgency and responsibility of working in central station alarm monitoring, she said.
“It’s one thing to help someone with a bill,” she said. “But it’s another thing to help somebody whose house is burning down or who has a burglar in their home. It’s a whole different satisfaction, and I just really fell in love with that.”
Though she’d found a rewarding career that suited her talents, her life was not devoid of challenges. Valenteen suffered from heart disease. She said that as years passed, her condition worsened. “I found that I needed a heart transplant,” Valenteen said. “I left in June , and by December I had a new heart.”
Wanda speaks with candor about her disease and her medical procedure, as well as her recovery and return, just five days ago, as central station manager at The Protection Bureau.
This approach, it turns out, is deliberate. “I am always willing to share my story,” Valenteen said in a subsequent email interview. “I believe through sharing I bring awareness to the success of organ donation.”
Valenteen spreads awareness about heart disease and organ donation through her various philanthropic efforts, including her “Walk with Wanda” charity team, which has raised $5,000 for the American Heart Association. Valenteen also organizes 3k and 5k teams that raise money through donor walks in Philadelphia in the spring and fall.
Not yet a week into her return, Valenteen acknowledged some changes in the way The Protection Bureau’s central station is run. The IT push and the advancements in IP video technology include some of the more noticeable changes, she said.
Her return to The Protection Bureau allowed her to see certain projects, which were in their nascent stages when she left, now in completed form, such as the company’s integration of its access control, burglary alarm and fire system into a unified platform.
Valenteen is currently in the process of learning some of the updated central station technology, which—perhaps unsurprisingly, in light of her story—she doesn’t think will be much of a hurdle.
“Since I’m familiar with the architecture, I don’t foresee it being too great of an adjustment,” she said.