Dana Picore Chief Executive Picore International Security, Calabasas Founded 1999 Dana Picore’s academic and practical expertise on security issues has made her a sought-after instructor, author and consultant. The former Los Angeles Police Department officer is a licensed private investigator and psychotherapist whose work has taken her from the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the Middle East, where she conducted research on global terrorism. Why start a business? After working as a Los Angeles police officer during the L.A. riots, I saw there was potential to help people in a different capacity while still offering protection. It was then I went back to school for my Ph.D. in psychology, became a threat assessment expert and started my company with a refined, all-encompassing 360-degree approach to security – one that incorporates situational de-escalation, psychological assessments that are not only used for my own team, but for companies and their HR, hiring and training. I also focus on sensitivity training and diversity inclusion. How did you build it? Slow and steady wins the race. I started out of my garage, representing VIP clients looking for a more personalized and accessible security firm. Once people learned the point of difference Picore was offering, I was able to expand the client base. Would you do it again? I truly believe in helping people. It is in my nature and always has been. There isn’t a day that goes by that I would consider doing anything else. How being a woman helped you: Security has long been a male-dominated field and continues to be. In some regards being a woman has been helpful in the access to Women-owned Business Enterprise and Small Business Administration opportunities, as well as offering an understanding of what it is like to be the underdog. Being able to surpass expectations because I am a woman is something I am proud of. I hope more women look at industries that are predominantly male and see that there is an avenue for success. Women have a gut intuition and an innate understanding of how to take care of people. Ironically, those very traits have helped me succeed in what can be a very dangerous business. Challenges of being a woman in business: Once again, in a heavily male dominated industry, it was sometimes difficult to convince a client that just because we were woman-owned that we wouldn’t be as tough and vigorous in our security capacity. Hardest day: The hardest days are when you start to doubt yourself because a potential client can’t see past a woman owner. Those days, however, are the ones that keep me going and push me to prove not only to myself, but to those who may have underestimated me, that I can and will provide the best service. Best day: Knowing that our team protected a client, did their job and did so with efficiency and professionalism is a “best day.” When a client calls you to say, “Thank you, I am grateful for you and your company,” I can think of no better feeling than a job well done being recognized. Best business advice you ever received: If you don’t try and fail at least once in your life, then you can’t learn from your mistake, try again and become all the better for it. Advice for aspiring female business owners: Never underestimate your potential. Support yourself with a great team, and include other women. Women are more than half of the world’s population, and if we work together, we can make a better society for us all. Go for your dreams and never let anyone tell you it cannot be done. It can, and you will do it!