Don MacAlister Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award
On its 40th anniversary issue, Canadian Security magazine announced three winners of the CS@40 awards. These were presented to mark the magazine’s milestone and recognized the accomplishments of three outstanding security professionals who have given back to their industry.
We are so pleased to announce that Paladin’s Don MacAlister is the recipient of the magazine’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also featured in a recent publication which highlights his career in security: “To see the security industry professionalize before your eyes is an amazing thing,” says Don who has spent more than four decades witnessing that transition.
Don began working at a maximum-security prison at the age of 21. He soon learned that working in corrections is not for the faint of heart.
In 1981, Don left corrections and took a front-line security role at the University of British Columbia where he rose through the ranks to supervisor, training officer and oversaw access control. While he had already learned important interpersonal and communication skills working with offenders, he also learned to recognize the good in others, no matter their background or situation. These skills transitioned him well into healthcare security industry – when he moved in 1989— where compassion can be a powerful communicator. “As soon as I went into healthcare, I realized I had found what I should be doing for a living for my whole life. I call it ‘getting the healthcare bug’. It connected with me and my philosophy of doing something meaningful.”
In 2009, he was appointed as the Executive Director of Lower Mainland Integrated Protection Services for Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health Care and the Provincial Health Services Authority. The following year, Canadian Security magazine recognized Don with the Security Director of the Year award for his key role in leading, as well as integrating security and protection programs across four health care organizations – a process he described as a huge undertaking.
After more than 30 years in public service, he decided to “try something very different” and joined the Paladin Security family. “My thought process was, I had accomplished what I thought I wanted to do in the public sector. Ashley [Cooper] painted a picture for me as his vision of growing healthcare programs across the country,” he explained.
Since joining the company in 2011, Don is now Paladin’s Chief Operating Officer, continuously working to pave the way in creating industry-leading healthcare security programs from coast to coast.
Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition Don!