Read our interview with Kristina Carson, Channel Marketing Manager–Wholesale, Allegion, as the Security Industry Association (SIA) spotlights a young professional on the RISE!
Are you a young security professional under 40? We want your story! Contact Bryan Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a monthly profile!
What first got you interested in security and safety as a career choice?
I wanted to get into an industry that challenged me every day and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I also wanted to be a part of a motivated employee base with strong values. You find that every day within the security and safety industry, and especially at Allegion.
What has your career path been?
I started my career working for Newell Rubbermaid as a sales representative, calling on industrial distribution in the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey markets. I primarily sold two tool brands, Irwin and Lenox, as well as Rubbermaid Commercial, Dymo labeling products, and Sharpie.
In that role, I called on engineers, property managers, electricians, mechanics, plumbers and other professionals to provide the best tools needed for their day-to-day jobs. All of Newell Rubbermaid’s brands are focused on quality and safety, ensuring the customer is getting the best product possible. After a few years, I wanted to return to Indianapolis to be closer to my family and, when researching companies, I came across Allegion.
I applied for an open position focused on the channel that I supported at Rubbermaid, so the job felt like the right fit. I filled the marketing position and was quickly promoted to a different channel to expand my knowledge within the commercial space in the industry. Now, I have been the marketing manager for the wholesale channel for the past 18 months and have been able to learn more about the customer and their needs within the market. I additionally continue to expand my knowledge of the hardware industry through the day-to-day interactions within Allegion’s culture.
Who has influenced you or mentored you—either within the security field or outside?
I have had several mentors within my career, but one influential mentor while at Allegion has been Dave Ilardi. Dave has been with Allegion for 15 years (formerly as an Ingersoll Rand employee) in various roles within the company. When I started at Allegion, he held weekly review meetings with me to go over the industry, Allegion’s business and how my role impacted the company. This gave me a solid foundation for where I am today, not only within Allegion but in my career.
What do you think you need to enhance your career?
I think that being a part of the SIA RISE Millennial group will provide a great networking opportunity and allow me to see how others are navigating the industry. Additionally, I am part of a mentorship program within Allegion, where I am learning from other in our company who are well-respected and knowledgeable in their own professions. This opportunity allows me to get a first-hand look at other areas of the business that I wouldn’t have access to normally.
Any advice to young professionals just starting out in the industry?
Learn as much as you can. Get out into the field and ask questions to those who have been in the industry and working with the products for several years. They love to educate and if you’re open to learning, you’ll go a long way. The only way you can understand this complex of an industry is to entrench yourself as much as possible.