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Posted Jan 21st, 2015

Securis Franchise Review: Q&A with Jorge Neyra

Securis franchise owner Jorge Neyra says attention to data security attracted him to the brand

Last year, 30-year-old Jorge Neyra decided to ditch his suit and tie and trade it in for a Securis uniform: Black cargo pants and a button-down shirt with the American flag on its sleeve. And who could blame him? As a quality assurance supervisor for a major D.C.-based consulting firm, Neyra had gotten all too familiar with what happens when information technology goes wrong. In one case, Neyra was part of a team that was reporting issues on the very public meltdown of Healthcare.gov; in another instance, he was collecting and reporting data on the Labor Department’s contact center.

Jorge Neyra and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis
Jorge Neyra and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis

“There was never a dull moment,” Neyra jokes.

Since opening his Securis franchise in April, Neyra has been part of a group that is helping to prevent data breaches and IT glitches, instead of just reporting on them. (And on occasion, he still dons a suit.)

This is his story:

What attracted you to Securis?

I was working as a senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, focused on the Affordable Care Act. I was working on the quality assurance team, monitoring call centers and also the website. We were in charge of reporting issues. Before that I was working for CSC as one of their on-site supervisors; I was also dealing with their contact center for the Department of Labor.

I knew [current Securis franchise owner] Paul Burke because his brother and I were classmates. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and he was looking at a second venture. We were looking at franchises – he couldn’t do another start-up. We came across Securis, and we met with Jeremy [Farber, CEO] and Dan [Mattock, vice president of sales] and the whole team.

I always found the IT security field very intriguing. There are just so many data breaches out there; I don’t think businesses know how to decommission their data. These smaller companies need to be HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] and HITECH Act [Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health] compliant. They need to do their due diligence to ensure that they are properly disposing of their IT assets. There are so many horror stories out there — people are always losing some kind of data.

Being part of CMS [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services], we had to tap into a secure network. There were a lot of processes we had to follow to access sensitive information, so it transfers well to this field. I know the standards we have and how important it is to follow everything to the T. That’s another thing that attracted me to Securis — the processes they have in place and the standards they hold themselves to in handling sensitive data. You’re not just some Joe Schmo going to pick up stuff.

What makes Securis different from other franchises?

It’s a first-of-its-kind when it comes to franchising. I think having the head start is really going to make a huge difference.

I was looking at a lot of other businesses, and I found this kind of fun. It’s cool to see how we securely destroy data. I think that from a security standpoint, it sets us apart. You’re not tied to a desk; you’re building a multifaceted business.

In our territory there are a lot of people who deal with the federal government and the NSA. For someone to come and say, “Hey, we can take your data,” is tough. That’s where Securis comes in with their 10 plus years in the business. That puts clients at ease.

Who are Securis’ target customers?

They are at all ends of the spectrum, including the federal government, banks, health care, law firms. Our target customer is really anyone with IT equipment who wants to dispose of data in the proper manner. Of course the big fish are your government contractors, but small local banks are great clients.

What type of personality does it take to be a successful Securis owner?

It’s best if they’re very outgoing and professional, and they have to be really sales-driven. Headquarters keeps saying that sales drive the company. With my consulting background, I didn’t really know how important it was to build a strong sales team. I think an ideal franchise owner is somewhere who can bring a lot to the table — be sales-driven, get out in the community and make it known.

How much support do you get from franchise management?

We have weekly meetings. They are always trying to help us with sales, to share what’s been working for them and see if it can transfer to us. They have a whole marketing plan … it’s all about branding at this point. If we’re successful, then they are successful. That’s just the bottom line. That’s one of the reasons why they started the franchise model.

It’s a really great crew. Dan, who is in charge of sales, is someone that I have constant contact with. He knows what works, he knows what to say. He also helps me a lot when it comes to government proposals. Kristi [Campbell] is the marketing guru; she is always helping with marketing initiatives. Andrew [Portare, vice president of operations] is sometimes overlooked because he is not out front. They are very aggressive, and they are extremely busy. We provide a lot of input, and they are definitely open to that.

I think it’s a great company, the growth is going to be there. I like that they are not trying to expand too fast because they want to make sure the franchisees that are onboard already are successful.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

I am a huge family person; I try to see my parents every Sunday. I play a lot of soccer, I run a lot and I love to read — a lot of self-improvement books and now a lot of sales books.

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