Sacha Walters-Gregory, Staff Reporter
Renée Menzies-McCallum, managing director of Gaurdsman Armoured Limited, has been named president of the Independent Armoured Car Operators Association (IACOA).
The international association provides standards and support for operators of independent armoured cars in North America, the Caribbean and South America.
"It's a first for IACOA to actually elect a president outside of North America," said Menzies-McCallum, who is also the second female president in the associ-ation's history.
"We deal with all legislature in the US, where it comes on to guns, armoured cars, money processing," she said. Something as simple as lock laws can mean big issues for their industry she explained. A US state was introducing a lock law which mandated that only licensed locksmiths could change a lock.
Menzies-McCallum, who was also a director of the association for two years before becoming president, noted that the foresight the association offers her company and other members is invaluable.
"We are able to see where the armoured car industry is going. We are able to see where the cash logistics industry is going. So we've been able to learn from our North American counterparts, and replicate it down here and do better even where we can. Jamaica is some two or three years behind innovations in the US, so being a part of an international organisation gives us that clarity of vision and allows us to plan ahead," said Menzies-McCallum who has been with the Guardsman Group for more than a decade.
Guardsman Armoured Limited, she pointed out, has evolved since its inception.
"We're actually a cash-logistics and management company now. We're not just cash in transit. We move it, we count it, we package it, we take it where you want it to go, we balance it, we give you a file and you can update your account," she said of the company which is expanding its regional operations by opening a cash room in Barbados on August 1 and another in St Lucia for September 1.
"We are the bank's backroom," she said while explaining the concept of a cash room.
"We process client deposits so instead of taking money to the bank we count it and then give the bank a file and deposit it to Bank of Jamaica so the bank never has to touch it."
Menzies-McCallum says she enjoys being a member of a competent team.
"Kenny Benjamin is a great boss. The group of companies is a great place to work and my staff here makes me look good. I couldn't have become managing director without them, an impressive team of very hard working individuals," she said.
Going forward in her role as president of IACOA she will continue the group's thrust to broaden their membership base.
"So what we want to be able to do is broaden the membership base and allow those new operators who are just coming up and who want to grow to become an independent armoured place to become a part of our organisation and we will help to grow them into one of us."
Menzies-McCallum will serve as president for one year before becoming chairman.