The SSI Industry Hall of Fame is all about preserving electronic security’s legacy and recognizing the innovative, inspiring, influential, selfless and successful people who got us where we are today.
Having founded and administrated the Hall since its 2004 inception, I am proud to be associated with an industry institution that honors the very best within the noble but humble security profession.
In that capacity I have been acutely aware of the importance of legacy — but that really hit home this year as my father passed away as I was working on this issue’s Hall of Fame story.
While my dad was not in the security industry nor achieved the notoriety of a Hall of Famer, his background was similar to many of those individuals and he exemplified a lot of the virtues embodied by those who have been so enshrined.
Having served as a radio communications operator on the frontlines during the Korean War and forging a technology-based career in Southern California as an electronics technician for RCA and Sperry, my Brooklyn, N.Y.-born father was honest, compassionate, modest and open-minded.
As his only child, among the positive traits I inherited are my sense of integrity, love of music, audio gear and sports, and the determination that kept him battling right up until the end. He would have been 86 in April.
I am sharing this profound and personal loss this month because it’s a universal truth everyone must face, and after nearly 20 years in this industry and the countless invaluable relationships I have developed the security community is my extended family.
That is at the heart of what makes this industry so great: beyond all the whiz-bang technology it is really about the people. Although that phrase has been overused and abused, there is no business where it rings truer than security and life safety.
After all, ours is an industry predicated on people helping people live, survive and thrive. Those who contribute most to that mission will likely find themselves in the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, which this month adds five members.
Returning to the concept of legacy, like the industry itself the Hall is much bigger than any single individual. So during 2016 I set about instituting a more formalized process to nominate, consider and choose worthy candidates that will allow the Hall of Fame to continue to grow and carry on indefinitely.
READ: Introducing the SSI Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Anything less would be a disservice to the amazing cast of high achievers who have been admitted and those deserving in the future.
The first step was establishing an official charter and naming an SSI Industry Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which serves two-year terms and consists of previous inductees focused on particular industry segments.
The committee includes PSA President Bill Bozeman, covering systems integrators; Altronix President Alan Forman (suppliers); Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum Principal Ken Kirschenbaum (professional services); and Wayne Alarm Systems President Ralph Sevinor (alarm dealers).
Another Hall of Famer, Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group President Ron Davis, a longtime participant in the induction ceremony at the SAMMYs event on the eve of ISC West in Las Vegas (this year Tuesday, April 4), is a liaison to the committee.
My role continues as executive/managing director. Heretofore qualifying for the Hall has been described as having an “indelible impression within the profession, sustained over the course of an entire career” and recognizing “business and technology innovators and humanitarians whose impact has molded and transformed the industry.”
While that encapsulates it, 10 characteristics have been drafted to crystalize the criteria (see box, left). Independent of Hall of Fame aspirations, I submit we all strive to uphold those ideals and accomplish such goals.
I urge you to take periodic timeouts from your busy daily routine to reflect on what you stand for as a person and a security professional.
Do right by others and good things such as Hall recognition will come. Make your dad proud.