When Security Systems Specialist Frank Squeglia reflects on his 15-year career at Yale and the path that led him here, he can’t help but feel like this is where he was meant to be all along.
As the son of a general contractor, Frank thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps and carry on the family business. Fate, however, had different plans for him.
After graduating from Quinnipiac University with a business management degree, Frank took a temporary job for some extra holiday cash, stocking shelves at Bradlees in North Haven. Frank, and his managers, quickly discovered that he had a knack for all things security related. He was then offered a promotion to security coordinator in loss prevention. Frank honed his skills over the coming years at several retail chains and was eventually offered the position of security department manager at JCPenney, where he enjoyed managing and training staff members for the first time. When the branch he was working at went out of business, he saw it not as an obstacle, but as a chance to branch off and broaden his skill set in other aspects of security.
He decided to start a new chapter in his career and accepted an opportunity as an apprentice with Advanced Alarms in North Haven, where he installed security systems and cameras for both residential and commercial properties. This job brought Frank back to his “roots,” and he enjoyed trading in his suit and tie for work boots and a ladder. This opportunity enabled him to use all the skills and knowledge he had acquired studying his father’s work as a contractor.
During this time, Frank had reached another crossroads—he and his wife, herself now a 20-year Yale employee, were thinking of starting a family, but the physical demands of his job and potentially hazardous conditions of job sites were taking a toll. Frank’s wife heard of a part-time opportunity with Yale’s Access Control department, and Frank quickly applied, knowing that this was an ideal opportunity for him.
Within six months of accepting the offer, the position was made full time, and Frank realized that this was where he was meant to be. Frank went above and beyond—in addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, he also took on project related work outside of the scope of his current job. After three years he was promoted to project manager. In that role, he assessed sites across campus to find locations with security vulnerabilities and worked within the budget to install card readers and promote safety. He also worked with the City of New Haven on a program called Light the Night, partnering with the New Haven and Yale Police Departments to increase illumination in ‘unsafe’ or ill-lit areas and walkways throughout New Haven.
Frank’s career seemed to be on track and he felt fulfilled and happy in all aspects of his life. That was until, what he calls one of the worst days of his life, April 1, 2009, the day that he and three of his colleagues were told that they were being laid off. A husband and father, Frank was distraught at the thought of having no way to provide for his family. But rather than giving up and losing all hope, Frank gained strength from his faith in God and the support of his friends and family. For the next 90 days, he went to work every day, with his head held high, trusting things would work out.
Halfway through his 90-day layoff period, his prayers were answered, and he was offered a temporary job covering for a colleague on leave. During this stint, another position opened, and although it was a lower level job, Frank was thrilled for the opportunity and willing to take on any role within the department in the field that he loved. He knew that there was more at stake now. He had a family to think about—he had to persevere.
Frank’s began his new role in Access Control at 57 Locke Street and was happy to be back with his old crew. Shortly after he received an opportunity to move to the Yale Medical School ID Center. Ever open to new challenges and experiences, Frank promptly moved to his new location, where he remains. Frank credits his success in this current position to his mentor, Phil Bejnerowicz, a retiree who once ran the ID Center and taught Frank how to run the center smoothly and successfully.
Looking back at the last 15 years, Frank is amazed at how much has changed—so much lost, gained, and achieved. Everything he has done has been for his family—his wife of 21 years and three children. Each and every day he works hard to be the best he can be and have fun doing it. He tells his children, “You get out of life what you put into it. Make it worth it.”
In his free time, Frank coaches his seven-year-old son’s football team, cheers for his daughter at dance recitals, and can be found in the bleachers rooting for his eldest son, who is a junior on the North Haven High School football team. He also enjoys making homemade wine and cooking big Italian meals with his wife, a skill he acquired from his mother.