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2005 SSI Hall of Fame: 6 Attain Industry Immortality

Six of the electronic security industry’s most prolific leaders are inducted into Security Sales & Integration’s Hall of Fame. Find out what distinguishes these dynamic individuals from their contemporaries and revel in their wisdom as they recount the experiences that got them where they are today.



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For ballplayers, there is no greater distinction than being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is the ultimate recognition for performance excellence. Inclusion validates that person’s indelible contribution to the profession, sustained over the course of an entire career.

These same qualities apply to Security Sales & Integration’s Hall of Fame, which awards key figures in the electronic security world for lifetime achievement.

Established in 2004 with the enshrinement of 25 initial members san(see sidebar at right), the SSI Hall was created to honor those rare individuals whose dedication and accomplishments make them uniquely irreplaceable. These are the innovators — be it manufacturer, distributor, dealer or any other facet of electronic security — whose impact has molded and transformed the industry into the thriving, vibrant business it is today.

The class of 2005 consists of six exceptional security veterans whose names should be familiar to most readers. They are finance specialist Michael Barnes; PSA Security Network President Bill Bozeman; alarm company maverick James Covert; power supplies manufacturer Alan Forman; market analyst Sandra Jones; and alarm management activist Stan Martin.

Having been hoisted onto the pantheon of industry greats, these visionaries can now serve as inspiration — much in the same way sports hall-of-famers are emulated by aspiring athletes — for legions of others engaging in the noble occupation of electronic security. As you will see in the profiles that follow, these pacemakers are truly in a league of their own. Congratulations to all!

2005 INDUCTEES

 

Michael Barnes

Why He’s On the List:

  • One of industry’s best-known and respected financial analysts and advisors
  • Helped articulate and quantify operating dynamics by which alarm companies create value, setting the pace for profitable business models and demonstrating industry’s value to investment community
  • Involved in many of industry’s highest profile transactions, most recently: GTCR Golder Rauner LLC acquiring Honeywell Security Monitoring; Tyco selling NACC to IASG; and Greater Alarm’s sale to Interface Security
  • Advised GTCR on its acquisition of SecurityLink from SBC in 2001; advised $1 billion sale of that operation months later to ADT in one of the most successful investments in industry history

Something People Might Not Know: Almost became an astronomer.

Most Memorable Moment: “In the early 1980s, Barnes Associates was hired to sell an alarm company that had been built up using a particularly innovative strategy. The owner had college students drive around Los Angeles looking for old rusted ADT bell boxes. The company’s pitch was: ‘We will replace your old leased ADT system with a new state-of-the-art system, no installation fee and lower monthly lease payments.’ Apparently ADT did not update its systems as it does today. This alarm company amassed a customer base totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in RMR. We worked very hard marketing the company and sold it for an extremely attractive value … to ADT!”

How Things Have Changed: “Number 1, the increase in the industry’s overall sophistication. Number 2, the beginnings of a slow but inexorable shift to the use of video as the dominant ‘sensing’ technology for alarm systems.”

What the Future Holds: “I see the industry continuing its robust growth. Those who fear market penetration levels are getting high do not realize there are still many unprotected households and businesses, and the upgrade market is huge. The structure of the industry will remain relatively the same, with cycles of quasi-consolidation among the larger players. The small, sophisticated alarm company will continue to compete effectively.”

Reaction to Being Inducted: “I am sincerely honored to be inducted into SSI’s Hall of Fame. While I still believe the real heroes of the industry are those who build high-quality alarm companies and those who design and manufacture the required equipment and technologies, I recognize that those of us who help the market work efficiently and effectively also play a vital role.”

Career Highlights:

  • Entered banking industry following college
  • Joined surety bonding division of large insurance brokerage, where he became familiar with the security alarm industry
  • In early 1985, was asked to join St. Louis-based Potter Electric Signal Co. to facilitate sale of fire products
  • Established Barnes Associates Inc. in 1986 to provide alarm companies assistance in acquisitions, divestitures, capital raising and measuring business success
  • Since then, the firm has completed 230+ transactions valued at more than $5 billion
 

Bill Bozeman

Why He’s On the List:

  • Professionalism in standing up for and representing security systems integrators
  • Building and growing PSA, a group benefiting hundreds of independent security entrepreneurs and some of the world’s largest systems integrators
  • Helping make some of the industry’s best training available to all, while maintaining special benefits for PSA members
  • Working with the security consulting community to bring together integrators, manufacturers, consultants and end users

Something People Might Not Know: In the late 1960s, earned a scholarship to LSU as a 220-pound fullback with a full head of hair. The team did very well, finishing the season 9-2. Unfortunately, he was injured during practice and did not play.

Most Memorable Moment: “I had been unsuccessfully trying to sell security in the Louisiana oil fields. I had the door shut in my face 10 times and decided to tell the owner we should give up. But there was one more office left, which I looked at as my last security sales call ever. When I walked in he said, ‘Just the guy I want to talk to. We lost four pumps totaling $50,000.’ A few years later, we were securing Exxon, Shell and British Petroleum, and had increased revenues to $4 million.”

How Things Have Changed: “The entrance of large corporations into the security marketplace and the necessity for technical expertise. The large corporations are changing the landscape, while knowledge of networking and IT is becoming essential to integrators/dealers.”

What the Future Holds: “I see a convergence of access control, CCTV, building management and life safety into a common platform that will be easy to use and able to be monitored from anywhere in the world. I also see big business taking a more active role in the industry, thanks to high growth that will attract more capital investment.”

Reaction to Being Inducted: “I attribute my success to enjoying what I do and not giving up easily. It’s quite an honor to be inducted considering the quality, professionalism and achievements of those who have already been enshrined.”

Career Highlights:

  • After graduating from the University of New Orleans, got a job with an audio/visual company
  • In 1979, owner agreed to fund his idea for an electronic security division
  • Within four years, the security division was as profitable as the A/V business
  • In 1986, acquired the company and within two years decided to focus on security, specializing in CCTV and access control
  • In late 1980s, bought Dictagraph franchise to cash in on recurring monthly monitoring revenue
  • In 1996, sold Dictagraph franchise to The Alert Centre; later sold systems integration company to Pinkerton, where he remained as a vice president
  • Became a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) in 1998
  • Named president of PSA Security Network in 2000

 

Jim Covert

Why He’s on the List

  • Unrivaled ability to secure investors and banking
  • Strong track record of turning security businesses around from losses to profitability
  • Raised expectations and perceptions of the value of well-run alarm companies to investor community
  • Proven as an uncommonly successful independent operator and consolidator through many years and transactions, within and outside the U.S.

Something People Might Not Know

Was a successful rhythm guitarist and songwriter for Chess Records in Chicago during the 1960s

Most Memorable Moment

“More than 20 years ago, while I was working for API [Alarm Systems], a woman came into and thanked everyone for responding to a fire alarm that led to the rescue of her unconscious 8-year-old daughter. It saved her little girl’s life. It was a great reminder of how important what we do really is.”

How Things Have Changed

“The switch from mechanical equipment to digital. This has allowed much greater service and reductions in equipment pricing.”

What the Future Holds

“I have always been amazed that for an industry where people need our products so much, there are so few financially successful large operators. I believe consolidation will continue, and eventually large consolidators will get it right and will become extremely profitable.”

Reaction to Being Inducted

“I would like to be remembered as a very successful operator, as opposed to a consolidator - I am not just a guy who buys and sells companies. I’ve completed more than 160 acquisitions in my career and never had a lawsuit. I think that says a lot. As for being inducted, I am sincerely honored and humbled to be included with names I believe were much more instrumental in the industry than me.”

Career Highlights

  • In 1968, served as criminal investigator during Vietnam War
  • From 1970-78, was a member of the Secret Service White House detail under presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter
  • In 1979, provided security consulting for the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • As operations manager from 1980-86, led California’s API Alarm Systems through more than 20 acquisitions
  • Founded SecurityLink Midwest Corp. in 1987
  • Sold SecurityLink to Ameritech Corp. in 1994, staying on as president through 1996
  • Founded Signature Security Group in 1996 with operations throughout Australasia
  • Bought back SecurityLink from SBC Communications in 2000 for $475 million
  • In 2001, sold Cambridge Protection Industries, including SecurityLink, to Tyco Int’l for $1 billion
  • Became chairman/CEO of Honeywell Security Monitoring after its 2004 purchase by GTCR Golder Rauner

 

Alan Forman

Why He’s on the List

  • Philanthropic activities: Meals on Wheels; Parkinson’s Disease Foundation; numerous university scholarships; Gift of Life, which funds life-saving heart surgery for children; benefactor for construction of medical research facilities; board member for American Technion Society (ATS), fundraising arm for Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
  • Industry involvement: Served as a board member for the Security Industry Association (SIA), as president of the Staten Island Alarm Association and as a board member for the Metropolitan Burglar & Fire Alarm Association of New York
  • Commitment: High quality, reliable products and customer support has earned Altronix strong brand loyalty

Something People Might Not Know

Gift of Life participation transcends financial support as he and his family have become personally involved with program recipients while they received medical treatment in New York. He and his family have sponsored procedures for 22 children from Russia and other republics in the former Soviet Union.

Most Memorable Moment

“My experience in the industry has given me the opportunity and pleasure of interacting with so many special people who are the backbone of this industry and in growing our family at Altronix.”

How Things Have Changed

“The pace at which technology has been advancing is unlike any period in our history. The time from product development to shipment has decreased significantly through the years.”

What the Future Holds

“The industry is definitely making a transition to integrated systems. As more digital products are deployed, the industry will eventually move to a single control platform for all related security and life safety systems on the enterprise level.”

Reaction to Being Inducted

“Being elected into to SSI‘s Hall of Fame definitely ranks as one of the high points of my career. It is an honor to be recognized by the industry that I have been involved with my whole career and for the better part of my life. It is a great sense of achievement.”

Career Highlights

  • Began as apprentice working for a local security company
  • In 1974, founded Arrow Protection Services Inc., an alarm dealer with its own central station
  • Launched Altronix Corp., a provider of low-voltage power supplies and controllers, in 1984 in collaboration with engineer Jonathan Sohnis
  • Expanded Altronix to include OEM custom design and manufacturing
  • Grew Altronix into one of the industry’s most reknown and respected brands

 

Sandra Jones

Why She’s on the List

  • As distributor, gained keen insight by serving dealers and seeing what and why things sold, and what support was needed
  • Best known for Sandra Jones and Co., the Security Industry Association (SIA) and Securing New Ground - all revolve around helping others achieve goals faster or more profitably
  • Provider of reliable guidance to scores of established industry professionals as well as new entrants
  • High visibility through seemingly endless number of associations and events
  • Pushing for common protocols to merge logical and physical security through the Open Security Exchange (OSE)
  • Helping women find a path into the security market as part of Women in Security Electronics (WISE)

Something People Might Not Know

Father is a survivor of Auschwitz and her mother of Bergen-Belzen. She was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany after World War II. She credits her ability to overcome obstacles - including almost losing a leg in a car accident and cancer - to her parents’ perseverance.

Most Memorable Moment

“Introducing Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak as keynote speaker at Securing New Ground in 2003. He was sequestered for security purposes. At the appointed time, I gave a heartfelt introduction, the audience stood and applauded ... but he didn’t come out! After three intros, he finally came in and gave a great speech.”

How Things Have Changed

“First, money and talent are steadily being attracted to the market. Second, technology continues to evolve as the path or the enabler to solutions, not as the solution itself. And third, buyers are more sophisticated.”

What the Future Holds

“First, there will be continued acceleration of mergers and acquisitions. Second, there will be a shift from hardware to software business economics. Third, the supply chain will become more cohesive and efficient. And fourth, great new technologies providing more machine-to-machine intelligence will reduce the burden and costs related to video monitoring.”

Reaction to Being Inducted

“Being inducted, along with this group of people I know and respect, is a great honor. I believe I have been a good role model and proof that women can succeed in the industry.”

Career Highlights

  • In 1975, along with her husband, opened Security Products Co., one of the first wholesale security distributors
  • Became active in SIA beginning in 1978, serving on the board for 20+ years
  • Launched consulting firm Sandra Jones and Co. in 1990
  • Developed SIA’s New Product Showcase (NPS) and served as president for five years
  • Started SIA’s Industry Groups,moved operations to Washington D.C., expanded membership to include all suppliers and hired a full-time staff
  • In 1991, honored with the Lippert Memorial Award for lifetime service and achievement
  • In 1995, co-founded and produced Securing New GroundTM conference

 

Stan Martin

Why He’s on the List

  • Leading crusader in false alarm issues
  • Spearheaded model states/cities studies, model ordinances for alarm response
  • Helped establish National Training School (NTS) in Texas
  • Organized National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) Chartered States Program
  • Instrumental in mounting campaign against Regional Bell Operating Companies

(RBOCs)

Something People Might Not Know

Was a 16-year-old disc jockey for a West Virginia radio station when the Silver Bridge collapsed over the Ohio River. The only person on duty when Mutual Broadcasting Network called for the story, Martin provided details broadcast nationwide on thousands of stations.

Most Memorable Moment

“After more than a year of intense lobbying, letter-writing to Congress, meetings with legislators and committee chairs, we were able to convince key members of Congress that the RBOCs would compete unfairly with the alarm industry. At that moment I knew our small industry had brought a giant to its knees - all the efforts of hundreds of small, medium and a few large dealers had paid off! It was a turning point for our industry.”

How Things Have Changed

“Technology has helped us communicate faster, more accurately and with more information. But users are still causing false alarms. People are in too much of a hurry to get trained. We still have to install systems one at a time. Unbelievably, we still manually communicate most alarms to the police.”

What the Future Holds

“We need to continue to raise the bar and require more training/education. More companies need to take responsibility for their installations and service. As an industry, we need to reduce the alarm calls for service to police to the lowest level possible. I believe we’re going to need more standards for equipment, operations and installations.”

Reaction to Being Inducted

“I truly believe God has given me every gift/talent I have - there is nothing special about me. My life has just been blessed! To be associated or considered as a peer with the others selected would be an honor; to be selected leaves me at a place without words. This industry has given me so much and I have given so little. Thank you.”

Career Highlights

  • From 1969-1973, served in U.S.Air Force as radar repairman, including two Vietnam tours
  • Applications engineer in hybrid microelectronics for Rockwell Int’l from 1973-76
  • In 1975, launched cable security company RMS Systems Inc.; grew it to $1.3 million business before selling to Chubb Security Systems (1990)
  • Grew Chubb from $1.3 million to $5 million by 1993 while also serving as executive director of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA)
  • Named ADI vice president of industry relations in 1993, left in 2001
  • National director of the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF), 1996-2002
  • Became SIAC’s executive director in 2002

 


Article Topics
Video Surveillance · Alan Forman · Bill Bozeman · Cover Story · Jim Covert · Michael Barnes · Sandra Jones · All Topics

About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
Contact Scott Goldfine: sgoldfine@ehpub.com
View More by Scott Goldfine
Alan Forman, Bill Bozeman, Cover Story, Jim Covert, Michael Barnes, Sandra Jones, Stan Martin




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