Shawn Norris, CFI

Regional Loss Prevention Manager, CFI, LPC
The Vitamin Shoppe

Why did you become a Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI)?

For me it was going after a goal that I failed on some years ago. Back in 2008 or 2009 I believe, I attempted to study for my CFI. I would pop in the study CD from Wicklander Zulawski. I would attempt to buckle down and study, and no matter what, my mind would become distracted, I would always find something else to get done. I was a RLPM for another company, had a great boss, and partners, and could take the time to study, even in the office, I just could not get there and inevitably my time expired, and that was that. Fast forward some years now, I was fortunate enough to work for Gary Johnson, and I was awarded a scholarship for my LPC course. I had to make my case to Gary in order to be clear on my intentions, not to waste the opportunity. This was pressure for me. I am a RLPM with a large geographic territory, I have the responsibilities of being a husband and father of 2 young children, much to balance, add in making time to study. Again I was struggling with just studying, being able to focus on the material, and the material only. I have never been a good student in the traditional sense.

This has benefited me to some degree in many ways because I had to learn how to do things by repetition, and a desire to break though. I could juggle many balls at once, because it was difficult for me to just focus in on the one ball that may have needed more attention. Realizing one, I am not about to tell Gary that I wasted the scholarship; I knew I had to take action. I suspected that I had a learning difficulty. I got some testing   and learned that I did. I got help, I also learned how to, and continue to this day to manage it. This literally has changed my life, as I have such a strong desire to learn, and offer ideas, to thrive in a way I never could before. After passing my LPC exam, I naturally wanted to go back and get my CFI. I was proud the day I passed my exam, as I got back up from something I fell down, and I failed at the first time, and I achieved it. I tell this long story to maybe reach someone else out there that has struggled with learning, and has avoided trying to earn their CFI because of this. I am more than willing to help anyone that reaches out to me with the same struggles and point them in the right direction.

What was the most difficult challenge you came across while preparing for the CFI exam?

I have been in this profession for over 2 decades, so ensuring I dropped any attitude of I know this already, and having an attitude of what can I learn? How can I really improve my skills as an interviewer? I took away so much from the course.

Do you use social media? If so which ones?

I mainly use LinkedIn, I may use other sites for investigative information.

What are you passionate about?

My family, and trying to be a better me. (long way to go on that second one)

Who do you most admire? Who is your favorite person? Why?

I admired my Grandfather George. He was a WWII vet, active In the VFW at the national level, and just a good man who taught me many lessons in life, not even knowing that he did.

If you could trade places for a day with anyone, who would it be?

A forest ranger in the Grand Canyon.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you bring?

A KA-BAR  knife , a fire source, and paracord.

What’s your favorite movie?

So many that I like, but probably one of the top would be the Last Samurai