Keeping Your Business Safe & Secure, Meet Jamine Moton, Founder & CEO of Skylar Security
Q: Can you share with us what made you decide to have a career in law enforcement?
JM: Where do I begin?!? This is such a long story. Haha! When I was younger (high school), I was a bully’s bully and enjoyed protecting my classmates from people who would taunt them and make fun of how they looked and even talked. I was always taller and large in size compared to my classmates. Even now, I am 6’0 and 280 lbs. Obviously, some things haven’t changed…
I was also an athlete so — I used that influence and impact to protect others. Even when I was in High School, I took pride in making sure that everyone was safe.
Q: At the start of your career, what do you wish you had known?
JM: While relationships are vital and very important to me, not everyone sees through that lens. There are some people in business who will use relationships as a place of leverage or to see how they can gain from them. We choose a different route. We choose to take care of our clients and those around us as ourselves. We try to provide access to opportunities to those who seek them and to do our part in giving back to our network as well as our communities. Life has a way to coming back to you when you invest in others.
Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you?
JM: My first job was at Wawa. It’s a very popular sub shop in New Jersey. I was the sub creator. It helped me realize that the sooner you can work on your own, independent of your family, the better chance you have at achieving maturity ahead of your colleagues and a longer runway to develop into your career path more successfully.
Q: Can you share with our audience your thoughts which led you to leave a career as a police officer to starting a private security company?
JM: In 1997, I attended Clemson University on a track and field and basketball scholarship. Good times! I trained professionally after college and finally realized it was time to move my drive and motivation to another area of my life – entrepreneurship. I have always helped others develop their businesses and felt it was time to launch something I could build that reflected my values and passion for safety and security.
In 2013, I continued my passion for protecting people (‘bullies bully’) and pursued a career in Law Enforcement. I applied to the Clayton County Police Department and graduated the Police Academy as the valedictorian of my class. My goal was to apply to the FBI as a Behavior Analyst. Soon after I joined the police department, I realized very quickly that I was destined to be a business owner. I resigned March of 2019 and haven’t looked back. The past year has been an amazing journey.
Q: What are some of the best practices you have employed as CEO of Skylar Security?
JM: We always put our clients before our bottom line. We always put our guards before our executive team. We value each other, our team members more than anything. No matter how large we get, we will protect quality over cost and stop growth when quality begins to suffer. That is our ultimate best practice.
Q: What your potential clients can expect when they work with Skylar Security?
JM: Our core philosophy is security is an emotion and everyone deserves to be safe. All our operations and process flow from this basis. This makes us non-traditional.
Then, we use technology to ensure the guards are on brand. We are able to guarantee a security guard that is on brand 100% of the time. You will experience security unlike any other security company in the nation.
We are brand focused, not volume focused.
When people ask about our company, we share our story. Think of us like a hospitality company that sells security services. They say, ‘Ahh, I see what you mean.’
What sets us apart is that our business model was developed from the perspective of cost-effective services to our client and above average internal process for our providers – not making money.
We are a different type of company. We take pride in the customer experience and value our security providers who serve our clients. Because of that, we attract a different type of security guard. Most of ours are emerging business owners themselves who have a passion in the security industry. When I interview a new applicant, I tell them… I don’t expect them to work as a security guard long. Our Skylar providers protect our clients while we push them to pursue entrepreneurship. We are a team. A family who takes care of each other and takes pride in the individual growth and community impact. As the CEO of Skylar, they are as hard on me as I am on them. Sometimes, it’s funny because — We demand excellence from each other. It’s an interesting dichotomy compared to what Atlanta security guards are conditioned to experience from security companies. We are just getting started but very proud of the foundation that our team has laid.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
JM: My typical day starts between 7am and 8am. The core of my day is assessing our clients and enjoying that the guards are providing services to the client’s expectation. I always keep a uniform in my trunk. It has been a few years since I have dawned a uniform, but the guards know that I will jump out there with them in a minute. In between that, I am meeting with potential clients, giving back to the community.
Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?
JM: I have a few. The more recent moment was standing in the endzone at the Superbowl LIII hosted by Atlanta the early part of 2019, after 14 days straight of hard work - looking up and watching the confetti fall on the top of our heads during the last few minutes of the game – unbelievable. Looking down the line and seeing the face of my Chief of Staff and the security guards with so much gratitude to be in the stadium, doing what we love - protecting. There isn’t a feeling comparable to it. Our team experiencing the culmination of many hours of work come together in such a huge way was a very memorable moment for me.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
JM: The power of resilience. The power of pushing yourself to the edge of your potential. When you find out where your potential ends, you find out what you are called to truly be doing. When I was a police officer and even as a business owner, I push myself every day. I don’t leave anything in a day. That means, every day I reach my potential. This lesson has helped me make it through the hardest times in business.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
JM: So many but I have to name a few - Barbara Kennedy Dixon and Linda White from Clemson University, Jessica Hawk from Delsea Regional High School, and Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles from Clemson. One thing all of them have in common is they’re great in their space and they do not seek out approval from others. Although, I do wish each of them would tell more of themselves so the world would clap for them, but I learned valuable lessons from them.
The strength of humility. To value gratitude over money, opportunities and public praise. This lesson I will take with me forever.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
JM: Being underestimated is the biggest challenge, well it’s been mine. Although it’s a great challenge to work in, I also believe it’s our greatest advantage. I have learned over the years to focus on two people, the Skylar team and the clients we serve. Being in a male dominate fields and careers – I thrive. Why, because I don’t see myself the way the world seems me or even how my industry sees me.
Q: What's your advice for women in male-dominated fields?
JM: Always be self-aware, move with purpose. Your work ethic speaks louder than anything that can come out of your mouth. Stop defending yourself, let your work speak for you. As women, we need to see ourselves as what and who we are and not be defined by a label. Once you find self-awareness in yourself and confidence in your business - no one, no one can diminish your impact.
Five Things About Jamine Moton
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Martin Luther King Jr, and I would ask questions very different than what you think.
2. If you were a superhero, what would your special powers be?
To always have wisdom
3. Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My coaches and mentors
4. Your favorite food to cook.
Absolutely LOVE Breakfast, turkey bacon, pecan waffle and eggs. Yumm!
5. What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s given you?
Stay Humble, no matter what. Gratitude is more valuable than money and opportunity. – Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles, Spelman College, SIS Oral History Project