I became chairman of the Security Industry Association (SIA) in November 2011. I inherited from my predecessor, Gordon Hope, a strong association despite an economic downturn that impacted all our members and the industry in general. SIA was coming out of a year of change from within, including the appointment of Don Erickson as CEO.
Annually, SIA’s Board of Directors reviews the association’s strategic direction. In 2011, the board took a much deeper look at the association’s long-term direction with the goal to better serve its membership. Board members Denis Hebert and Carey Boethel led an effort to draft a new strategic plan for the association, which the board unanimously approved. In my role as chairman I have been working closely with SIA’s staff to implement that strategic plan across the organization.
Standards is one of two areas I am placing particular emphasis on. With the release of SIA Standards Roadmap 2.0 late last year, SIA Standards redefined its role within the industry, not solely as a developer, but as an advocate, educator and harmonizer of standards and specifications that affect our industry both in the United States and abroad. While the group will continue to leverage its ANSI accreditation to create standards that address needs within the industry, a much greater focus is being placed on encouraging cross-participation by constituents to promote interoperability.
End users, integrators and manufacturers have expressed the need for guidance on how to use and apply industry standards. SIA’s broad base of member organizations, and outreach to sister organizations, makes SIA Standards a logical venue to create new training forums for a variety of industry standards. I believe these new SIA Standards roles will dramatically increase the overall benefit for industry stakeholders and reestablish SIA’s leadership in the complete security standards landscape.
Industry outreach is the other area I am focusing. SIA is making strides to become a better partner with the other security industry associations. Additionally, relationships are being forged with associations outside the industry that are customers of SIA membership, such as health care, petrochemical and other verticals. It is my goal to develop partnerships with vertical market associations that lead to new business opportunities for SIA’s members.
For several years, the Government Relations committee has been SIA’s shining star. The group’s advocacy on behalf of membership has been exemplary and that level of value will be maintained. Successful efforts by the Government Relations team and SIA members led to the enactment of legislation establishing the GSA Schedule 84 Cooperative Purchasing program. SIA also led an effort that resulted in a bill signed by President Obama that exempts alarm panel manufacturers from onerous Energy Department regulations, saving members tens of millions of dollars in manufacturing costs.
The Government Relations team also has a solid track record of working with like-minded trade associations where there are goal-congruent opportunities. For example, SIA is an active part of coalitions advocating for NSTIC funding to advance the TWIC Program, to preserve the ability of integrators to utilize criminal background checks with new employees, and to stand with state and local governments to fight for federal homeland security funds. While federal government relations advocacy is a cornerstone of our program, I am excited our team is also working hard to elevate efforts at the state level.
SIA, like its membership, must stay on the leading edge of technology trends. To that end, communications are being expanded, including the use of social media. For example, the Security Industry Blog, where thought leaders from the industry share their insights, was launched during ISC West. SIA and I look forward to sharing more exciting news throughout my tenure as chairman.
Jay Hauhn, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Industry Relations at Tyco Integrated Security, has more than 30 years’ industry experience and is a member of SSI’s Hall of Fame.