Myers Gray managing your cash in a male dominated world
Most things related to security and security guards, are considered the domain of men. It may, therefore, come as a surprise to some people that the managing director of Guardsman Armoured, the country's leading security company, as it relates to money services, is a woman.
At just 34, the married mother of an eight year-old son is in charge of a 500-strong workforce, the majority of whom are men. But, despite being surrounded by men, Letitia Myers-Gray is far from intimidated. In fact, she lives for the challenge.
Before joining the Guardsman Group, Myers-Gray previously worked at telecommunications company LIME in the treasury and finance department. It is there that she honed her cash-management skills, before moving to Guardsman Armoured in December 2013 as the financial controller, and has since quickly moved up the ranks. In June 2015, she was appointed general manager before, again, being promoted to her current position in November 2017.
Determined and driven to succeed, Myers-Gray revealed during an interview with Outlook that, "For at least five years, I was a single mother. I believed I was destined for greatness for the sake of my child, and as a result of that, I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could achieve." Now married to her husband, Garth, for a year, Myers-Gray described her son as "my world".
Originally from Montego Bay, St James, Myers-Gray is a proud graduate of Mount Alvernia High School and Northern Caribbean University, institutions that have prepared her well to make her mark in any environment.
She exuded confidence during the interview in which she demonstrated her knowledge of cash management.
"The thing about Guardsman, especially Guardsman Armoured, is that it's not just about security. We handle logistics and cash management ... there is a significant financial component that is involved here ... and though the majority of my team are men, the bulk of what we do here is cash-management services."
She stressed that it is not just about security or security guards. "As a female in a male-dominated environment, what I can say about Guardsman is that I do feel empowered ever since I walked through the door. The important thing that I must note is that I am rewarded for the work that I do. I deliver results, and based on the results that I deliver, I'm compensated accordingly and rewarded accordingly."
When asked what makes Guardsman Armoured more than a cash courier, Myers-Gray had a ready answer.
"We not only offer cash-in-transit services, but we provide deposit-processing services, lodgement-consolidation services, cash processing, treasury management and ATM-management services."
Expanding, Myers-Gray added: "We provide full range cash-management services to our clients. We believe in removing the hassle associated with handling cash away from our clients." She asserts that Guardsman Armoured is not in the business of merely moving cash from point A to point B, "as anybody can do that". Rather, "We are in the business of improving the efficiency of our clients' cash operations." To this end, Myers Gray said Guardsman Armoured will find out from their clients what they want accomplished, and will recommend the solutions that will improve efficiency and reduce cost.
She is well aware that it takes teamwork to get the job done, and even had her branch manager for the Kingston office, Marcus Brodber, sit in on the interview. She was effusive with her praise for her fellow managers. "We have a management team here at Guardsman that understands the entire cash cycle - from the design and printing of a note, to the destruction, and everything in between. We understand how to analyse trends. We keep abreast of new developments. We attend annual cash-management seminars and conferences across the world," she states.
In terms of cash, Myers-Gray said Guardsman will process and verify the funds very quickly, store and deliver it based on clients' request, in the process, offering end-to-end electronic-monitoring services. As it relates to treasury-management services, she said that those are customised to meet each client's needs.
Guardsman Armoured INNOVATIONS
She revealed that Guardsman Armoured is about to add an upgraded high-speed sorter in addition to a smart-safe service. The latter allows for a safe to be placed at the customers' location. It actually counts and verifies the authenticity of notes at the point of putting them into the safe.
The managing director has promised that Guardsman Armoured will take its customer-service experience to new heights in 2018. This, she said, will be a priority for the management team. She explained that the technology that has been added across the various businesses will "give us the ability to better manage, monitor and assess the performance of our teams. She said that the team will move to identify problems and respond as quickly as possible. "Our goal is that we want to make Guardsman Armoured a centre of excellence for customer satisfaction. We want our customers to know that we are here to make them more efficient and we are here to solve their problems."
Myers-Gray has some advice for young women and girls who may be considering a career path they see as a male-dominated field. "Reach for the stars. Do not limit yourself to anything and do not allow anyone to limit who you are and what you can become," she emphasised. She added," It is important to do your best wherever ever you are. Go above and beyond expectations at all times. Do not limit yourself, or allow anyone to limit your potential based on gender, age or circumstance. Do your best work and allow your results to take care of the rest."