Up Close: Profile of the Managing Director of Corporate Safety and Security
If there is one person who understands what it takes to make an environment safe and secure, it’s Jason White. Immediately after high school, Jason served in the U.S. Army. He later started his career with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) in 2005 as a Loss Prevention Supervisor, and today he is the Managing Director of Entertainment Complex and Corporate Safety and Security. Jason has been a huge asset to the HE&R team for quite some time, and his drive for success and passion for public safety has helped him reach the position he is in today. Despite his busy schedule, we got the chance to sit down and chat with Jason about his career, accomplishments, and much more.
Do you have a passion for safety and security? Do you enjoy working in the hospitality and entertainment industry? HE&R has some sweet opportunities within Hersheypark and Hershey Lodge. Apply here!
Q) Tell us about your career. Where did you go to school? What was your career path prior to joining Hershey?
A) A week after graduating from high school, I left home and spent the next four years serving in the U.S. Army. I had enlisted as an Airborne Infantryman, however, after my training at Ft. Benning, GA, I was recruited to join a unit in Washington, D.C. and spent the balance of my enlistment stationed at Arlington National Cemetery and The White House. After my time in the Army, I returned to central PA and began working as a security officer while attending Harrisburg Area Community College. Over the course of the next year, I worked my way up and became the company's Operations Manager. In this position, I started supervising security personnel who were working in Hersheypark's parking lots and at concerts at Hersheypark Stadium (the company I was working for was a contracted security firm supporting Hershey). In 2002, I switched companies and took on a role overseeing security operations for different clients throughout Pennsylvania. I worked in that capacity until 2005 when I joined the HE&R team.
Q) Walk us through your career so far at Hershey.
A) My career at Hershey started in 2005 when I was hired as a Loss Prevention Supervisor. In this role, I was responsible for overseeing our Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera projects and developing strategies to mitigate monetary losses at the Entertainment Complex. After a year of serving in this capacity, I was promoted to Complex Manager, Safety and Security Administration and was charged with managing the department's personnel and scheduling tasks. In the spring of 2008, I was promoted to Complex Director, Safety and Security, a position I would hold until the summer of 2017. It was during my time as the Security Director at the Entertainment Complex that I was able to refine my leadership skills and build many relationships both within the organization and with many great external partners. In July 2017, I assumed the role of Managing Director of Entertainment Complex and Corporate Safety and Security. In this position, I work alongside all of our very dedicated safety and security professionals in providing strategic direction and a safe destination for our guests and employees.
Q) Why did you choose to work for Hershey?
A) When I was approached about coming to work for HE&R I viewed it as a challenging environment with a lot of opportunity for personal and professional growth. I'm happy to say that I was correct on both accounts and that working for HE&R has been a very rewarding and satisfying experience.
"I've read that the key to success is surrounding yourself with great people, and that is definitely the case with the Entertainment Complex Safety and Security Department."
Q) What's your biggest accomplishment since joining the Hershey team?
A) My biggest accomplishment since joining the Hershey team is reflected in the absolutely fantastic security leadership team that has been assembled at the Entertainment Complex. I've read that the key to success is surrounding yourself with great people, and that is definitely the case with the Entertainment Complex Safety and Security Department. The team's commitment to public safety, ongoing training, and exceptionally strong work ethic make it a team I am very proud to be a part of.
Q) What's your favorite ride at Hersheypark?
A) Surprisingly enough, for a guy who jumped out of airplanes, I'm not a real big roller coaster fan, but if I had to pick I'd say that Great Bear is my favorite coaster. Honestly though, I'm usually the one holding my kids' stuff so they can ride.
Q) What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A)The most rewarding aspect of my job is in working with a great group of people that take a lot of pride in what they do. Just knowing that our guests are able to come to Hershey, forget about everything else going on in the world, and just have fun because a dedicated group of professionals is working tirelessly to ensure that their visit is safe and memorable.
Q) What advice would you give someone interested in a career in Safety & Security?
A) The best advice I can give someone looking at a career in Safety and Security is to come into it willing to work hard and learn everything you can. This would be followed closely by being adaptable and always try to surround yourself with great people...you have to work as part of a team.
Q) What's the best perk of your job?
A) The best perk of my job has been that I get to meet and work with some really great people. In addition to our great Hershey employees, I have built a strong network of industry peers and law enforcement partners from across the country who all share the same ideals and values.
Q) What does a typical day consist of?
A) Well, the best answer to that question is that their is no typical day, which is truly one of biggest appeals to my position. For security, our days are spent assessing risks, preparing plans for upcoming events, and then working to ensure that the plans are executed and the guests are having a great time (while remaining safe). No two days are the same and the work environment is very dynamic and exciting.
Q) Tell us something folks might not know about you.
A) My guilty pleasure outside of work is playing baseball. I'm a pitcher and play third base on a team with guys that all think we're still eighteen and that our bodies will perform the way our minds remember from our prime; usually just leading to great stories and a lot of pulled hamstrings.