CEO of Select Security and Security Partners
Why He’s on the List
- More than 40 years of building successful installing electronic security companies, industry activism and trade association involvement
- In 1971, founded Commonwealth Security Systems, which grew into a top independent security firm with 30,000+ customers and 10 branch offices
- Runs Security Partners, a state-of-the-art central station co-located with Select Security that also provides monitoring services to thousands of accounts from external dealers
- Runs Access Telecommunications Network, a regional provider of paging, voicemail and cellular services
- As president of National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (now Electronic Security Association), led lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill on proposed legislation affecting the industry
- Ex-president and founding member of Pennsylvania Burglar and Fire Alarm Association
- Ex-chairman and founding member of Security Network of America
- Served on CSAA’s Alarm Industry Communications Committee
- Currently serves on NFPA Supervising Station Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems Technical Committee
- Frequent speaker at security industry and other trade conferences
Keys to Success
“While I don’t believe that there is an obstacle that is too big to overcome through personal dedication and hard work, I also know that the success of any individual or company most always can be attributed to having a senior leadership group who are all on the same page. I’ve been blessed to have my wife Jane involved in all of our businesses during the early years of each of them. I’ve also been fortunate to have a team of loyal and dedicated employees, many of whom have worked with me through all of my security companies.
“I don’t really care if it’s a time of high inflation or recession; I’ve got something to sell. I’ve always been confident that I will find an audience that wants and needs what I sell and say. I believe in our products and services and their value to the market.”
The Egan File
- Born 1951 in Lewisburg, Pa.
- One of three children, his father was a salesman; mother was a homemaker
- Married with three children and four grandchildren
- Earned degree from an electronics technical school
- Says he might have been a salesman or a firefighter had his career taken a different path
- Volunteers for several civic committees and is a volunteer firefighter
- Founder of the West End Ambulance Association
- Other interests include collecting model trains and antique fire trucks
Contending With Adversity
“In 1998, we opened Select Security under a business model that didn’t work out. We grew too fast and opened too many offices at the same time around the country. It failed and cost me a lot of money. Through that difficulty, I decided to go back to what I know worked. So I reinvented Select Security to be more of a traditionally focused geographically concentrated security company.
“We opened Security Partners, our monitoring company, in September 2003 knowing our lease was ending in November. We moved into the city only to find out that the new owners of that building were going to terminate our lease and take on new tenants. We were then forced to move to Queen Street in Lancaster and then that building was taken by the county and eminent domain during the time we were moving in. Only then did we move into our current facility; which at the time was five times the size we needed. We were forced to move four times in 20 months.”
3 Things People Might Not Know
1) In 10th grade, attended five different high schools due to alleged behavioral issues; 2) Fell through the ceiling at a bowling alley while installing his second alarm system; 3) Asked to appear as the “egocentric bad guy” condo seller on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” TV show.
Giving Back to the Industry
“Being involved in association activities will undoubtedly grow your business. Some of my mentors were Stan Martin and the late Stan Lott and John Mabry [Martin and Mabry are SSI Hall of Famers]. I have always been very open to not only learning best practices from other companies but also opening our doors to anyone who might want to learn how we do things. It seems that every week we have a dealer traveling from all over the country coming to visit us. That’s the way I learned about the industry and I hope I’ve been able to give back in the same way.”
Progressive Business Approach
“I’ve never been afraid to challenge the status quo. While I don’t have a formal education I have always been open to learning from other industries. So whether it’s the development of a new sales channel, an approach to training, how we recruit or how we integrate acquisitions, I’d like to think I’ve taken a little bit from every company and industry that I’ve learned about and applied it to our company.”