If a pacesetter is someone who leads by example and becomes a role model for everyone he or she encounters, then the title definitely belongs to Dennis Lejeck.
Lejeck has worked from the ground up to form Black Knight Security Inc. into the successful business that it is today. When Lejeck began BKS in 2003, he was the sole employee. Determined to make his dream come true, Lejeck began taking on smaller projects, such as developing emergency action and evacuation plans, to earn credibility for his company.
Now, five years later, BKS employs 70 people and its client list includes the U.S. Steel Tower, one of the largest buildings between Pittsburgh and Chicago.
His long career in security and helping others began with the time he spent in the U.S. Army during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His service earned him three Army Achievement Medals and an Army Commendation Medal. Today, he focuses on mentoring other young veterans who are employed at BKS.
Lejeck’s service in the Army provided him with the necessary background and leadership skills to become a successful business and community leader. One important lesson he learned from his experiences is to be prepared. Lejeck uses this rule as the backbone of his company, and attributes it to his current success.
Lejeck moved BKS from Chicago to Pittsburgh in 2005 with the intention of taking advantage of the struggling Pittsburgh job market. He was eager to employ Pittsburghers in well-paying jobs in order to help boost the local economy and prevent them from leaving the area.
Having worked in various positions in the security industry for 12 years before founding BKS, Lejeck was aware of the implications of being a security guard. Too often, it meant minimum wage pay, inflexible scheduling, and little or no health benefits. As a result, there was a lack of client satisfaction as well as high turnover rates.
Disgusted with these conditions, Lejeck decided to take a risk and start his own security company. His primary goal was to create a company that would value its employees and, in turn, provide outstanding client service. To achieve those goals, Lejeck implemented human resources initiatives that are otherwise unheard of in the security industry.
BKS provides all full-time employees with health care benefits, paid time off, flexible scheduling and YMCA memberships.
Under Lejeck’s leadership, BKS has not only changed the private security industry’s standards but now also sets the pace. By seeing a problem and creating a solution, Lejeck’s innovations have raised the bar on security firms’ human resource standards nationwide.
Lejeck has worked hard to form a company that follows his vision of bringing a breath of fresh air into a stagnant industry. His treatment of security as a career rather than a minimum wage job has set higher standards for the security guards at the company as well as the entire industry.
The changes Lejeck has made in the way people view the security business has had a direct, positive effect on his company.
The employees at BKS truly feel that they have rewarding careers. The feeling is represented in BKS’s high employee retention rate Lejeck’s proudest professional achievement. BKS maintains an employee retention rate of 56 percent, which is high in an industry in which turnover rates soar between 100 and 300 percent.
Also important to Lejeck is a sense of community involvement. The spirit has been one of the driving forces behind BKS. For the past three years, Lejeck and the BKS team gave a new kind of security to the community members when BKS sponsored the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Race to Any Place, the largest stationary bike race in western Pennsylvania. BKS not only sponsored the race but also provided the security for the event and participated in it themselves.
Lejeck also was appointed as a board member of the Downtown Pittsburgh YMCA. In this capacity, he has taken on a leadership role in the “Strong Community” campaign, helping to raise money for local scholarships. Lejeck raised the most pledges out of all the board members who participated.
By creating a rewarding career instead of a minimum wage job for BKS employees, Lejeck has truly made BKS stand out in a dormant industry. The employee benefits and community service beliefs instilled within the company create an atmosphere of job-loving individuals who are proud to wear the BKS badge.
HOW TO REACH: Black Knight Security, (412) 831-6993 or www.blackknightsecurity.com