Steven Shugart joined GardaWorld Government Services — a U.S.-based subsidiary of global security services contractor GardaWorld — in October of this year as president.
Shugart’s GovCon career includes time at DynCorp International, where his roles included senior vice president of business development, VP of operations at International RAM Associates and 10 years in law enforcement.
In this conversation with ExecutiveBiz, Shugart discusses the structure of his organization within Montreal-headquartered GardaWorld and what the global security sector will look like within the next five years.
ExecutiveBiz: What areas of the business have you focused on since you joined the firm?
Steven Shugart: GardaWorld Government Services is a security provider focused on the U.S. government. Our business model targets U.S. government customers in locations around the world where the parent company GardaWorld has an existing footprint. GardaWorld is the world’s largest privately owned business solutions and security services company, employing more than 48,000 dedicated professionals globally.
ExecutiveBiz: How does the area that you lead fall under the larger GardaWorld security enterprise?
Steven Shugart: GardaWorld recently formed a U.S. government services-focused business led by a proxy board. As a Canadian company, GardaWorld established a proxy board that I have the pleasure to lead. Expanding to the existing work sites and places that the GardaWorld business is operating in, gives us a competitive advantage to utilize our existing knowledge on the ground and operating locations around the world into servicing U.S. government customers.
ExecutiveBiz: What are the key aspects in coordinating international organizations like GardaWorld that has several offices worldwide?
Steven Shugart: Servicing the international security market is a challenge due to the nature of the operating locations, and sometimes harsh operating environments. One essential advantage to GardaWorld is having well-established offices in the places we operate around the world, both in a specific country and region. With our existing footprint, we apply the same model to the U.S. government and our regional offices are able to service our customers without them having to reach back to a U.S.-based office.
Coordinating across multiple regions, or offices, is no easy task; however, GardaWorld has created repeatable processes and policies that serve us and our client’s needs. In fact, GardaWorld was the first company to receive ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012 accreditation for all of our international protective service geographies and operations.
PSC.1 is not just another standard where companies can achieve certification with a minimum of effort. This standard is the first of its kind. PSC.1 has become a benchmark for the U.S. Government and GardaWorld is leading the way. In addition to ANSI/ASIS PSC.1-2012 certifications, GardaWorld is licensed to the highest international standards: ISO 9001, 14001, 22301 and BS OHSAS 18001.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you define risk management and carry that out in your role?
Steven Shugart: Our risk management team creates strategies aimed at preventing a crisis from occurring in the first place, identifying people at risk, containing and reducing the negative effects of a crisis, and managing a crisis if it arises. We incorporate pre-emptive contingency planning and reporting, international threat level monitoring, risk mitigation advice and management services, including the deployment of multi-skilled responders around the world tailored to the unique needs of each client.
ExecutiveBiz: How do you see the security market shaping itself over the next year?
Steven Shugart: Security services, whether it is for the U.S. government, foreign governments or commercial clients, is a business that is not going away anytime soon. The recent threats from various terrorist organizations around the globe will increase the need for security companies like GardaWorld Government Services to be a key player in those markets.
The recent consolidation of the security services market with acquisitions and mergers lends itself to opening up the field to companies like ours, which provide great service in complex operational locations. The market will consistently demand the type of services we offer, in more places around the world.