By Asad Abbas, RES/CIC Operations Manager

We started the crossing guard contract in 2019 and since then, there are so many of crossing guard team members who work every day to ensure every child crossing the Crosswalk is safe.

Even in extreme cold weather and during this pandemic, our crossing guards made sure to show their dependability in keeping kids out of harm’s way in their communities.

I want to take this opportunity to recognize the crossing guard team. You all have made a big difference at our organization. You are not only active at your crosswalks, but also involved in providing your valuable feedback to your organization which led us to improve us immensely. Thank you for helping A.S.P. reach its 2020 goals! Thanks for the hard work from all of you; we look forward to seeing what else we can accomplish together.

We usually know high performers when we see them, because their stars shine bright in the workplace. High performers know more than just the procedures their job requires. They know the reason their job exists, and that knowledge lets them suggest tweaks and innovations that let them work more effectively. We have so many high performers in our crossing guard team, but today, I want to acknowledge two of shining stars: Anastasia Maltezos and Amy Strachan.

Anastasia Maltezos, Crossing Guard at Alma Dr & Scarlett Rd

Anastasia Maltezosis currently working as crossing guard since 7th August 2019. She always gives 100 % in her job. Her desire for improvement and her commitment to provide excellent customer care led to a lot of praise from not only the crossing guard team, but also from the client and public. On multiple occassions, City of Toronto has shared compliments forwarded by the public for Anastasia. On 16th November, one of the members of public called the city and shared her admiring comments, which I want to share with all of you.

“Anastasia is an excellent crossing guard. She has done an excellent job, prompt, always smiles, always positive, even when others are rude to her”.

We are the best at what we do, because we have the best employees — like you, Anastasia. Thank you for your hard work, patience, and dedication. You are no doubt a very important member of our A.S.P. family.  Keep up the great work!

Amy Strachan is one of our newest member of the crossing guard team. She joined A.S.P. family in November, 2020. She came with over 10 years of experience.  In the first few weeks, she proved herself to be a valuable member of our team. Her positive attitude, welcoming smile, solution-oriented thought process and her energetic sense of humour always make her team members easy to work with.

She not only makes sure all her tasks get completed on time, but also makes herself available whenever any team members need help. She was instrumental in arranging holiday gift packages for crossing guards.

Amy, I appreciate the commitment and follow-through you’ve shown during your first month here. You’re a quick learner who always asks the right questions, which is leading to give our crossing guards the better experience. It is an absolute privilege to have you on my team. It’s hard to express just how much you’re valued at A.S.P.

Thank You for Making Us Better Each Day!


Brian Joly, Training Manager, Res/CIC Division

Many exciting new things have been happening with the Residential Commercial Training Department.

As part of our Differentiated Learning Initiative, we have uploaded voice recordings to all our quiz questions.  Now learners can have the question read to them with the tap of a button through our tablets.  This is a game changer in allowing auditory learners the ability to truly understand what is being asked of them during quizzing.  It also helps learners where English is their second language, as more understand English better when hearing it, as opposed to reading it.  The training department has also recently launched “Stay Safe Instructional Programs” as their training module for Use of Force.  Stay Safe puts a huge emphasis on non-violent de-escalation techniques.  Guards learn about the different stages of a person in crisis and how to manage those stages.  The feedback from our learners has been phenomenal.


By Vasilis Androutsos, Manager, Operations, Residential and Commercial Division

Over the past number of months, the Security portfolio in our RES/CIC division has experienced an enormous amount of growth.

Our increase in the number of Respite Centres we provide security services for, as well as the screening guard requirements that we have added with our TTC clients, have all contributed to this expansion. Understanding and identifying the management and maintenance needed to meet the demands, A.S.P Security has always been at the forefront of heavily investing in the infrastructure of the company and utilizing various forms of operational support, which enables the team to cater to our guards and clients.

I have the absolute pleasure working daily with our two Service Delivery Managers, Rachel Raposo and Josh Holowatenko. With both being fairly new to their roles, they have taken on the challenges of providing high-quality and efficient services to be an integral part of our operations, as we meet the demands and challenges of our guards and clients. Both have extensive security experience, with a diverse range of knowledge and skill set that allow them to make significant contributions to the team. I thought this was a great opportunity for many of our readers to really get to know both individuals on a more personal level by spotlighting them in a Question & Answer feature. I hope many of you enjoy getting to know both Rachel and Josh; I anticipate many of you will really see why I am so proud to work alongside these two colleagues.

Rachel Raposo

What does your job entail?

My job entails consistent communication with all guards, day in and day out, resolving any issues that may arise, coordinating with multiple departments to find a corrective plan.

What do you like most about your job? 

What I like most about my job is my constant interactions with the guards in the field, ensuring them they are taken care of

What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?

Make connecting with others a priority.

What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

I hate flying, but love to globetrot the world. I don’t like heights and any turbulence makes me think the plane is about to crash. Not a good flier at all. (Considering how often I fly)

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Elvis Presley, because he had a major impact on pop culture during the mid-1950s with the younger generation. He knew his music could change America, which it did. His music still influences today’s music. Cool dude. And handsome.

What’s the best thing about A.S.P.

Team dynamic.

Words of wisdom for your fellow professionals?

“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”

– Betty Reese

Josh Holowatenko

What does your job entail?

Working with colleagues to better service all accounts within A.S.P., by having direct conversations with both clients and security personnel, visiting sites, meeting a variety of people, working in a fast-paced environment, and coaching/counselling to provide room for growth and advancement.

What do you like most about your job?

Using my critical and creative thinking to solve issues that arise in a fast-paced and ever-growing environment. As an SDM, you have your hands in everything, so to speak, and quick thinking is crucial for success.

What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?

No one person can complete everything alone. Teamwork is extremely vital in any role you are being placed in and trusting the members you work with to assist you is imperative.

What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

I overcame a very serious injury several years ago. I was once an actor who attempted his own stunts and failed landing on a crash pad during one of these stunts. This left me hospital ridden with a broken back and shattered heel. Instead of being defeated and seeing this as a tragic incident, I liked to see this as a challenge to better myself.

This incident ultimately led me to where I am today, an SDM with A.S.P., a Team Canada dodgeball player, and a more patient person.

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would like to meet one of two people.

  1. “Myself in five years – I would like to see where my success has brought me and ask for advice from myself.

2. I would like to meet Vince Lombardi. Not only was he a very successful coach for my favourite NFL team (Green Bay Packers), but the Super Bowl trophy is named after him. He was clearly a very influential, smart, and great leader. This is a trait I would like to hone and better myself on; Vince would be the perfect person to have his brain picked regarding being a better leader.”

What’s the best thing about A.S.P.?

“I enjoy coming to work in the morning. At the office, I feel like part of a family. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. We joke around and have fun in our office, all while we buckle down and get our work done (all while keeping a safe distance). Any person in this office is willing to come in after hours to help; it may sound small, but to me that is a very big deal. I can rely on my “family” to help me at any time and they can rely on me.”

Words of wisdom for your fellow professionals?

“Find a workplace you enjoy coming to. Find colleagues who will fight just as hard as you will to complete not only their own tasks, but to help you complete yours. Create a work environment of both fun and hard work.”


By Asad Abbas, Service Delivery Manager,Residential and Commercial Division

We started our muchly anticipated School Crossing Guard contract in 2019. We undertook the enormous task and responsibility of keeping the children of Toronto safe on their way to local schools.

Our crossing guards play a vital role in this very rewarding endeavor. We started the development process of X-Guard app in 2019. Faced with many challenges upon commencing the contract, through the hard work and dedication or our front-line crossing guards, along with the assistance of our technical support team, we have effectively and efficiently been able to streamline the daily reporting and operations of our ever growing crossing guard division. I’d like to thank every single one of our crossing guards, who’s patience and commitment were crucial in making all of this possible.

I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize two amazing team members for their passion, hard work and great initiative.

Michael Rein, Crossing Guard, starting in August of 2019. His great care-free spirit, positive attitude, welcoming smile, demeanor and his energetic sense of humor all play a part in Michael always giving 100 % in his job when performing his duties. This year, our Crossing Guard service start date was set to begin on the 14th of September. Our client had requested for us to start one of our crossing guard locations on September 8th. This short notice request did not give our team much time; fortunately, Michael Rein stepped up and made it easy for us to begin this service smoothly by agreeing to work at his dedicated location with only a few hours of notice. His hard work and good communication skills make him a very important member of our A.S.P. family. Thank you, Michael for your dedication, support and hard work. Keep up the great work!

Michael Rein, Crossing Guard at SARANAC & COVINGTON

Shubham Shubham, Crossing Guard Mobile Supervisor, joined A.S.P. on September 13th, 2020. He has more than two and half years of security experience and he previously was working as a Mobile Team Lead. He is an excellent addition to our team. He is always willing to provide assistance to help our crossing guard team. In just a few weeks, he has contributed to many valuable initiatives. He played a vital role in developing our internal Investigation reporting process. He has proved himself as a very reliable team member and has proven to continually handle many tasks and always deliver under high pressure circumstances. He not only helps the crossing guard team, but he also made sure client expectations and deadlines are met. He is always ready to do more. He is no doubt one of our rising stars and great member of A.S.P. family. Thank you Shubham.

Shubham Shubham, Crossing Guard Mobile Supervisor


By Paul Parkinson, Director, Finance

Numbers guide behaviors. Just as your bank account balance influences your spending habits, careful monitoring of your key health metrics can help you make better decisions about your health.

When your numbers fall outside the recommended target ranges, you are more likely to bemotivated to take actions that help reduce your risks for developing chronic health conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

For that reason, knowing your numbers is the first step toward better health. Here are some health numbers youshould know and why.

Blood Pressure

Higher than normal blood pressure values are associated with a higher risk for chronic health conditions, like stroke and dementia. Regularly monitoring can help alert you to take immediate action and seek guidance from your doctor.

Cholesterol

Elevated lipids place added strain on your cardiovascular system, so if your numbers have been creeping up over time, it may be helpful to take a closer look at your eating and exercise habits.

Blood Sugar

High blood sugar (sometimes called glucose) may indicate that your body is not managing or using insulin properly. Periodic monitoring of your blood sugar values can help you make better decisions about your daily choices.


By Rachel Raposo, Service Delivery Manager, Residential and Commercial Division

Avtar Bhamra

An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.–Bob Nelson

Avtarhas worked with A.S.P.for oneyearandsixmonths. He has been a guard at our TTCgatehousefrom the start.Avtarhas transitionedinto our Respite contract,as he is looking to advance his career into Corrections. He has shown he is able to adapt to change effortlessly and has a can-do attitude. Thank you,Avtar, for your continued service at A.S.P.!

Karen Swanston

Take time to appreciate employees and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways.–Simon Sinek

Karen is our administrator, whowas a crossing guard for A.S.P. Karen, to me is kind of like a utility player in baseball… always ready to support the divisions. As the school year kicked off, she has provided great support to the Crossing Guard groupduring start-up,all the while learning RES/CICdivision as growth continues. I have known Karen for two months and I see that she shows great pride in her work and always brings a smile to the workplace. Thank you fromall of us at A.S.P.Karen. Keep up the great work!

How does A.S.P.make you feel valued as an employee? I go home and know the work I did that day matters our clients and to my team. Fun fact:She has retired 3 times


By John Gangasingh, Operations Manager, Residential and Commercial Division

As the school year resumed, so did our School Crossing Guard Services Contract with the City of Toronto.

With no surprise, there were some anticipated challenges prior to start-up due to the infamous global pandemic, COVID-19. Our teamand extended support from other divisions putinmany extra hours daily and on weekends to ensure we would be as ready as possible.

We developed weekly town halls in-class and virtually to support social/physical distancing, we sourced out all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment, we re-vamped schedules, updated our Xguard APP, while, all along, maintaining an open line of communication with our client for full transparency.

The resumption of full services officially started on September 14th, 2020. Even with some last-minute obstacles, the team pulled together once again and we completed the first start day with no open shifts and a full complement of staff.

It is times like these that I truly take pride in having such an amazing team and working for such a wonderful organization. I’d like to personally thank and recognize a few team members that we just would not have succeeded without.

  • First, our Recruiter, Alyssa Rizzo, who managed to hire, not only the initial allotment of crossing guards needed, but approximately another 40 within just a few days before start-up. I don’t know how she pulled it off, but she may now be known as Alyssa “The Magician”!
  • Secondly, our Employee Development team. Between Training Coordinator Mike Moledzki and National Employee Development Manager Bryan Joly managing to onboard all new crossing guards through extra training classes, weekends, etc., we just would not be ready to go without them.
  • Lastly, both our Administrators, Tamana Bhatia/Karen Swanston and our Service Delivery Manager, Asad Abbas. These three worked collaboratively every day for the last few months ensuring everything is tracked, followed-up on, and delivered in a timely fashion from all aspects of the Operation and administratively. They are the face of the Crossing Guard Services Contract amongst the frontline team and I could not be happier about that.

I am very proud and grateful to lead such a wonderful team. I look forward to a strong remaining school year of keeping our students and each other safe. Keep up the great work, everyone!


By Josh Holowatenko, RES/CIC Recruiter

While we are navigating through these difficult waters, A.S.P.’s Residential/Commercial Division is fortunately ramping up with security services. With that said, A.S.P. prides itself in promoting employees from within the company.

We are looking for a strong set of guards who are looking for advancement opportunities and want to be part of a wonderful family/team. Internal or external, there are many opportunities that currently reside in the commercial division of A.S.P., just a select few of them being:

  • Mobile Patrol Supervisors
  • Security Specialists
  • Security Guards
  • Concierge Guards
  • Security Supervisors
  • Access Control Guards

If you are interested in transitioning into one of the above positions, or if you are looking for a new start or career path, email jholowatenko@security-asp.com.

Please send an email, with a copy of your résumé, and a small written portion of about yourself and what positions you would be interested in transitioning to.

Please note that most positions within this division will be in downtown Toronto and the surrounding area. We look forward to hearing from you and continuing your journey with you.


By Cliff Sampogna, Regional Manager - Residential/Commercial

A.S.P. Security has partnered with Make-A-Wish® and will be supporting their mission to grant life-changing wishes to children battling critical illnesses.

Wishes give children renewed energy and strength, bring families closer together, and unite communities. Wishes have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival. By fundraising in support of Make-A-Wish, we have the unique ability to transform a child and family’s life during some of their most difficult trials. Every dollar we raise is crucial to the mission of granting the wish of every eligible child.

To protect the health of wish kids and their families, Make-A-Wish has paused wish-granting that involves travel and gatherings until August 31st. Right now, there are a record number of wish kids whose wishes have been postponed because of COVID-19 — and that number grows every day as this crisis continues.

This means wishes are now waiting. For our wish kids, every day of waiting is one too many. And now more than ever, hope is essential. With your support, Make-A-Wish is committed to ensuring that no child waits even one unnecessary day to experience the hope and joy that a wish brings. Thank you for helping us through this challenging time.

Here are just a few of the wishes granted recently:

  • Twelve-year-old Yolanda faced a difficult battle with cancer and was thrilled to have her wish for Apple electronics granted.
  • Xander, 14, went through cancer treatmentand his wish for a sports equipment shopping spree has renewed his strength.
  • Matthew is a nine-year-old cancer survivorand he was very excited to have his wish for “the ultimate game room” granted.
  • Bethany, 12, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As someone who loves the great outdoors, herwish for a camping trailer was the perfect wish-come-true.
  • Four-year-old Gabriel’s smile on his wish day says it all! Gabriel lives with a neurodegenerative disorder and for his wish he asked for entertainment electronics.
  • Anthony is 10 years old and has a neuromuscular disease. His wish for a video game room ismaking time spent at home more fun for him and his brother.

If you would like to be a part of this amazing initiative, you can reach out to me at any time at csampogna@security-asp.com.


By Cliff Sampogna, Regional Manager - Residential/Commercial

As you all know, Residential and Commercial Division has been growing immensely over the last few years. With growth comes infrastructure change and growth as well.

These changes have inspired positive change and growth that has allowed our team to take the next step.

I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome Vasilis Androutsos as the new Operations Manager for Residential & Commercial Division. Vasilis has over 18 years of safety and security experience, specializing in large sporting events, concerts, and residential/commercial properties, as well as over 10 years of operations management experience, with emphasis on efficiency, quality, cost, service, and employee relations. He completed his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) from Fairfield University and is currently pursuing his CPP certification.

Vasilis will be responsible for the oversight and management of the security services contracts for Residential/Commercial Division.

I am looking forward to seeing the work Vasilis will do for our organization and how he will help us to get to the next level of our business successes.

I am proud and honored to have Vasilis as part of our team and I look forward to watching him grow in this role.