Canadian Security magazine has named its first annual Top 10 Under 40 in the Canadian security industry, and the WSIB’s Security Manager, Melinda Saunders has been recognized for her “accomplishments, work ethic, volunteer efforts and commitment to the profession.”
At WSIB, Melinda’s focus is on dealing with disruptive and threatening clients, and she has been auditing that part of her department “to see how our current security culture and our programs are actually working.”
Melinda has co-ordinated security training for WSIB staff across the province, focused on threat protocol and co-operating with emergency services. When it comes to preparing for worst-case scenarios she tells Canadian Security magazine, “it’s changing the culture. It’s that broad view of ‘it’s not going to happen here.’ That’s a big thing.” She also started the organization’s employee security screening program.
Having been witness to a lot of situations where peers have needed help within the WSIB and outside as well, Melinda says her biggest accomplishment was getting a “near and dear to my heart” non-judgemental and compassionate peer support program off the ground.
This is not Melinda’s first award. In 2017 she was recognized for her role in helping a client, injured at work by an assault, to return to work safely. “I worked with the case management team, the return to work specialists, and the client as well, to put some different types of safety in place at the location where they were working, just so they felt safe,” she says. “I was astonished when I was recognized for that, because I didn’t think it was outside the box.”
Melinda’s past experience includes working for a number of corporate security firms, dabbling in investigations, human resources, recruiting and training. She was also once an executive protection officer “for certain high-profile clients,” and she worked in national accounts for an organization heading up an anti-piracy program.
If the quality of winners of Canadian Security magazine’s first annual Top 10 Under 40 is anything to go by, the future of the security industry in Canada is in good hands.