Ryan Glanzer sat in Protect America’s lobby waiting for his third interview. He was near the end of the hiring processing and both parties were close to a decision. Playing on the television screens in front of him, Ryan saw videos that showcased the culture at Protect America. “It was very professional,” he says. “You could tell the company puts a lot of work into its employees having a good time.” Protect America saw a mutual fit, and Ryan was sold. He joined the marketing team.
He stands at 6’6 and was raised on a farm in South Dakota. The first paid job he ever had was exhuming corpses at a cemetery, a position that centered around the difficult labor required to dig coffins out of their graves to move them to a mausoleum that was opening on cemetery grounds. But despite his physical frame and the strapping abilities that come with it, Ryan has a keen attention to delicate detail. An attention that has served Protect America’s marketing teams well as he focuses on email campaigns that interact directly with customers.
The creative gene runs rampant in Ryan. Outside of the office he is a voice actor, has experience as a radio DJ, and he has a well-built portfolio of speaking gigs, including event MC’ing, public addresses, and more. His voice impersonations include Sesame Street, a favorite of his that has also found itself in his art, where he’s drawn 34 Muppet paintings that are sold online. Though Ryan grew up in deep rural South Dakota, miles from civilization in a town of less than 10 people, he’s made his presence very much felt in the rest of the world.
Opportunities to capitalize on his creative skills have emerged at Protect America. After joining the marketing team, Ryan was thrilled to find his input was welcome. His words, info-graphics, background and experience found a home. Unlike some of the organizations he has worked for in the past, Ryan wasn’t faced with hierarchical challenges to complete tasks or fix problems. He’s found that he’s appreciated for his voice as much as his work.
Within weeks of joining Protect America, Ryan found himself among an enthusiastic and welcoming team. “Wow, great job on that campaign,” one co-worker would say. “That’s great, your design is looking great,” another co-worker would add. This didn’t happen in previous workplaces. “I’m not used to having people come over and applaud my work like that. So, it’s a good thing,” Ryan says.
A Personal Insight into Protect America’s Mission
It’s early into the evening on a December night. Ryan and his family are hosting a neighborhood Christmas party. They’ve left their garage door open as a sign of goodwill, inviting neighbors and passerby’s to participate in the festivities. Unfortunately, some people found this is a reason to abuse the holiday cheer.
Shortly after the party Ryan headed outside to empty his trash. As he was finishing, he was jolted by the sound of a car peeling out and speeding away from his home. Rather surprised and confused, Ryan headed inside to see the surveillance footage of his home security equipment. “Did they just steal something?” he wondered.
Inside, Ryan wasn’t comforted. After minutes of watching video recording, he found a trio of teenagers that had gone in and out of his home throughout the night. They stole tools, soda, and a video game console. They were strategic, waiting for the perfect moments to strike, as their car sat alongside the curb watching the party. This explained their rush to get away as Ryan emptied the trash.
This was disappointing. The thieves had blended in with guests who were entering and exiting the garage, and they took advantage of the goodwill. As disappointing as the event was, Ryan had the home security footage to know what was stolen, and how it occurred. Since he had left the garage door open, no alarm was sounded, but nonetheless, the necessity of the home security equipment was revealed.
This memory was fresh in Ryan’s mind during the hiring process with Protect America. As exciting as it has been to be greeted by a welcoming team that encourages contribution and feedback, the scope of Protect America’s mission influenced the decision to become a part of the team. “What we’re doing here matters,” Ryan says. He came from industries where he enjoyed his work, but it focused on leisure products. People could take them or leave them. “Here, we’re talking about actually doing something that could really matter at the end of the day,” he says. “Protecting people’s property, well-being, and even their lives.”
A Company that Emphasizes Culture, Community, and Contribution
There’s a high-energy to the building, accompanied with activity. The energy isn’t distracting, but encouraging. It’s a reminder of the sense of purpose and the excitement of completing goals. Everyone is working together, all toward the guided mission of protecting homes and families.
On the last Thursday of every month, Protect America hosts a company-wide award show. This is a celebration that showcases members of the organization who have had great achievements in the previous month. The show is enthusiastic, like a pep-rally, which employees and Ryan are excited to attend. “It’s something that I’ve never seen anywhere else,” Ryan says.
As he logs into Twitter, Ryan stops by @DreamTeamPA, the Twitter account that is built solely for internal communications at Protect America. It’s attached to LivePA, an internal blog that keeps team members in the know about company events, news, and more. “The fact that we have these channels to create dialogue among employees is pretty cool,” Ryan says. With several hundred people in the building across different departments, it’s unlikely that Ryan meets all of them. But through these internal channels, he has a chance to interact with coworkers he may not be able to otherwise.
This emphasis on culture comes from the top to bottom. It’s spread by the leadership at Protect America, beginning with the CEO of the company. Within months of joining Protect America, Ryan already had a dialogue with Scott Fleming, Protect America’s CEO. This is unique to a company of this size. In six years at his previous employer, Ryan did not speak to the company’s CEO once.
“They had no idea when I was leaving, and with eight or more layers of management to go through, my value to the company was not apparent,” Ryan says. “Here, everyone can clearly see my contributions daily.” Ryan has found that at Protect America, the company is large enough to contribute valuable work, but small enough to be able to do that valuable work. “People here hire you because they trust your opinion, and your work is going to reflect that.”