Entrepreneur gives back in leadership role with trade group

As vice president of Colorado Document Security, Scott Fasken oversees the operation of three shredding trucks. As president elect of the National Association of Information Destruction, Fasken helps direct a national trade association facing a changing industry. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

When Scott Fasken and his wife, Jill, launched their document destruction business, they relied on the assistance of a trade organization to help them get started.

Eight years later, Scott Fasken expects to reverse that role as president elect of the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID).

When Fasken becomes president next year, he’ll help direct an organization that’s not only growing quickly in the United States and abroad, but also changing with the burgeoning amount of confidential information stored on computers, portable drives and other electronic devices. “Our association is information destruction, not paper destruction,” he said.

Moreover, Fasken will offer a unique perspective as the first NAID president from a rural market.

Fasken is vice president of Colorado Document Security, a Palisade firm that serves a large territory that includes not only Western Colorado, but also Eastern Utah, Northwestern New Mexico and Wyoming.

Fasken was elected during the recent NAID national convention. His company has belonged to NAID since it was founded in 2003. He joined the NAID board of directors in 2008 and was elected secretary in 2010. He’s also served as a member of a NAID conflict resolution committee and chairman of the 2008 national convention.

“From my perspective, Scott’s 1,400 colleagues are responding to his strong vision for NAID to develop clear security standards and, at the same time, his mission to make NAID a champion of consumer protection,” said Bob Johnson, chief executive officer of the group.

Fasken said he’s been active in NAID in part because of the assistance and advice he received when he started Colorado Document Security. Since then, the operation has grown from one shredding truck and two employees to three trucks and five employees, even as the customer base has grown numerically and geographically.

Growing concern over information theft and increasingly strict regulations mandating the security and destruction of confidential employee, financial, legal and medical records have driven demand, he said. “My business is really a compliance firm, court-defensible risk mitigation.”

But customer service has built business, too, Fasken said. Mobile shredding trucks destroy documents on site, so clients can watch the process.

Colorado Document Security holds AAA certification from NAID, meaning the firm undergoes an annual independent audit to assure it complies with national policies and procedures for secure information destruction.

The firm serves customers in far-flung locations and small towns who wouldn’t otherwise have access to document destruction services. On more than one occasion, customers have literally chased after trucks to ask the driver to stop and shred documents, Fasken said.

In addition, the company helps clients comply with regulations, offering consulting and employee training, he said. “We pride ourselves on taking care of our customers. We are their solutions,”

The same concerns and regulations that have bolstered demand for Fasken’s services have contributed to a growing industry.

Membership in NAID has doubled over the past eight years and grown beyond the United States to such countries as Australia, China and South Africa. A European trade group opted to join NAID. Moreover, NAID expects to open an office in Beijing in 2012, he said.

Even as the industry has grown, it’s also changed with the growing amount of confidential information stored on computers and other electronic devices, Fasken said. The trend is only going to escalate as more health care providers switch to electronic medical records.

At the same time, companies face increasingly stiff penalties for data breaches, he said. Under one measure of a new medical privacy law, companies with a data breach could face fines of up to $1.5 million. Federal regulators have trained state attorneys general to prosecute such cases and keep the fines, he added.

The situation has bolstered demand for services to securely destroy computer hard drives, portable drives, cell phones and other devices, Fasken said. Some trucks already are equipped with grinders to destroy paper documents as well as electronics. “Paper’s not going away. Electronics will just add to it.”

As president elect and ultimately president, Fasken said he’ll help NAID members cope with changes. He’ll also help set policies and procedures, including changes to the certification program.

Fasken said he expects NAID policies to be open and treat all members fairly, whether they’re large or small businesses. In running a small business himself, he said he’s aware of the concerns that sometimes arise and he can help explain why certain policies are established.

In more general terms, Fasken said he wants to give back to the organization that helped him when he got started. “If it wasn’t for NAID, the business that I have wouldn’t be here at the same level.”