SSI Hall Of Fame: 2009
CEO of USA Alarm Systems
Why He’s on the List
- Extensive dedication to industry trade associations, including president and secretary of the California Alarm Association (CAA), vice president and president of NBFAA, and on the board of directors of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC)
- Developed industry’s first state-approved apprenticeship program in California, now serving as a model nationwide to help build a labor pool of professional, trained installers and establish a workforce development program
- Was part of the effort to unite California regional alarm associations under CAA, allowing them to be associated with NBFAA
- Co-founded the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association (GLASAA)
- Helped NBFAA partner with Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) to establish the Electronic Security Expo (ESX)
- Currently serves on the board of the Security America Risk Retention Group (SARRG), an industry insurance program
Keys to Success
“I have been fortunate to work with some great individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to the advancement of our association mission. One of the greatest challenges is uniting the industry for the common good. In my business, I am grateful to be able to work with my family and the special relationship that developed when Frank Burke and I merged our family-owned businesses in 1998.”
How Things Have Changed
“Digital dialer, wireless systems, video, communicating with central stations, IP — we now offer information services not just monitoring alarm signals. Our clients look for us to help improve their bottom line by offering management tools for their business and video for the home while homeowners are at work.”
Most Memorable Moment
“When the L.A. Police Department wanted to eliminate alarm response, there were those who demonized our industry and blamed us for profiteering, increasing crime and perpetuating a fraud on the public. This had no basis in fact or truth and I told our dealers they are not the bad guys. We play a critical role in public safety and are a proven partner to those interested in protecting and serving the community.”
Something People Might Not Know
He stops at Nepenthe Restaurant — where his brother sat in on drums for Country Joe and the Fish — in Big Sur, Calif., for lunch each year on the way to the CAA Winter Convention.
Biggest Wish for the Industry
“It is time for our industry to be more proactive in the legislative and public affairs arena. There is an increased interest in regulating our industry; this includes targeting our companies and our customers with unwarranted fees and taxes. We have seen efforts on the local, state and national level, but now is the time to commit to a cohesive and strategic plan.”
Reaction to Being Inducted
“It is very gratifying my peers think I deserve being part of this exclusive club. As a small business owner committed to the advancement of our industry through volunteering and supporting our associations, I hope it will encourage others to step forward and join our cause.”
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