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Todd Dernberger’s career path from fishing boat to Senior VP

2 min read

Todd Dernberger's career path from fishing boat to VP.
Todd Dernberger, ADT Senior Vice President of Field Operations, revisits the docks in Rhode Island where he started his career as a lobster fisherman.

Todd Dernberger's career journey from a commercial lobsterman to becoming ADT's Senior Vice President of Field Operations taught him the importance of effort and continuous dedication to succeed. 

"I realized what hard work was. Because when you go out on a fishing boat or any commercial fishery, you get paid based on what you catch. So it was a good introduction to what I would do at ADT, a commissioned position," Dernberger said. 

ADT’s Todd Dernberger explains how his early work on a lobster boat made him a better leader. 

Dernberger is a leader in the smart home security industry, driving significant business within ADT's field operations team, which oversees all aspects of service delivery to customers to help them live a safe, innovative and sustainable lifestyle. His team has developed many of the programs ADT customers benefit from today, such as ADT Virtual Assistance, as well as partnerships with Google and State Farm that help ADT deliver innovation and preventative protection to more people.  

He says it’s essential to integrate past learnings into current roles, which can significantly contribute to career growth and leadership development. 

"I took everything I learned and applied it as a field sales representative,” he said. “So endless walking around neighborhoods, putting door hangers out on people's doors, knocking on doors and talking to people as much as possible about what I did and the company I worked for. It took a while to figure it out. But after I did, I realized hard work equals success."  

Todd Dernberger's career path from fishing boat to VP.
Todd Dernberger leads a team meeting at ADT in July.

Dernberger emphasizes that leading by example and earning the team’s trust are critical to effective leadership. 

"I want to make the right decisions to help my team achieve our goals. I must ask myself, am I being a good captain to the people on my team? Am I a good teammate? Do they trust me at the wheel? All those things are lessons that I keep with me every day," Dernberger said.  

Todd Dernberger’s advice for climbing the career ladder 
  • Be ambitious.  
  • See frustration and pressure as a gift; it is where you show your creativity, solve problems and separate yourself from your peers. 
  • Picture the job you want, and don’t be afraid to take a career left or right to get there. 

As with Dernberger, every career journey is unique. If you're interested in joining the ADT crew, visit