Vince Piau, 30
General manager, Convergint Government Solutions
How did you get into the security industry?
I graduated college with an electrical engineering degree and I had the opportunity to come to Washington, D.C., to work as a security systems engineer (for Johnson Controls). I really enjoyed the opportunity to work on real problems and real solutions. I started at Convergint in 2005, also as an applications engineer and as kind of a founding member of our D.C. office at the time. It was just three of us when we started, so I ended up doing a little of everything. If we had a service call we were doing that, if we had an install I was helping with that. (I did) a little bit of project management along with some sales support, sales engineering, (and then) I kind of transitioned into sales in 2008. … (Now) I am general manager, Convergint Government Solutions, a newly formed group.
What can be done to attract more young people to the industry?
More training and education opportunities would help. When I was in college, I didn’t know about the industry at all, so I didn’t consider it as a career option. It’s not something that’s really part of the curriculum or talked about or advertised. I just happened to find out about the opportunity in D.C.
Who in the industry has helped you most in your security career?
There are really so many people who have helped me … but to recognize an individual, it would be John Eckman, our vice president and general manager of the mid-Atlantic region, my direct manager. He has been very influential in terms of building our local D.C. office and also overseeing the process when I transitioned into sales, and in believing in me and supporting me when I needed it.