Top 10 Under 40: Christian Strike, Founder & CEO, Vigilant Security Services Inc., 33
August 1, 2022 By SP&T Staff
What does your typical day look like? Tell us more about your security roles and responsibilities.
There is no such thing as a typical day for me, which is in part why I love my work so much. Some days I am in uniform working alongside our incredible employees while other days I am in business attire or a suit working in the office or meeting with new clients.
Although the CEO wears many hats, especially in a small to medium-sized business, the most important role I have is to provide leadership. I recognize it’s important I lead both from behind and from the frontline where our value is created. When I am not working at Vigilant, I also spend a significant amount of time volunteering with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary as the Marine Unit Captain with the Huron & Area Search and Rescue.
What do you enjoy most about working in the security industry?
People. I enjoy providing people with peace of mind, working with people in crisis and providing an extra umbrella of safety to our community. I enjoy the variety of different industries we service: hospitals, social housing, residential, retail, etc. The variety keeps our business exciting and challenging. I also very much enjoy mentoring our new generation of security professionals. I have been a Use of Force instructor with Stay Safe Instructional Programs for nearly seven years, which provides me with the opportunity to educate not only our own staff but the staff of other agencies and in-house security programs all over Southern Ontario.
What are your career goals for the future and how do you plan to achieve them?
I plan to continue to lead the great people of Vigilant Security for the remainder of my career. We have a major challenge ahead of us, to maintain our very high level of quality while also growing our business. This is an area where most security agencies fail — choosing quantity over quality. I think we’ve found the secret sauce to success in this area, though. I would also love to join more organizations/boards in my community where I could perhaps donate some of my experience.
What have you learned about the security industry during your career and what advice would you pass on to newcomers?
I’ve been working in private security long enough to watch the professionalization of the industry. This is no longer an industry of stereotypical minimum wage and low-skill workers. Society and our clients demand more of us as organizations and those who haven’t kept up are finding themselves quickly being pushed out. I would suggest that this industry will give back what you put into it. If you expect things to be handed to you just for attendance you may be disappointed. If you take the plethora of training courses which are now available to this industry while also bringing the right attitude, then this industry has no ceiling. Like many, I started as a security guard at 18 years old, originally wanting to pursue a career in policing.
I worked for every major agency trying to find my happy place and gained as much experience as I could along the way, accepting more challenging roles and eventually positions in management until I founded Vigilant Security Services.
This has been a 15-year journey and I would suggest to anyone who is looking to create a similar path they should not seek shortcuts but more challenges.
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