Bud Wulforst is consultant and board member for ESX, ADS Security and FBIVideo.
Current Status: Consultant and Board Member, ESX, ADS Security, FBIVideo
Keys to Success
"I had a real knack for the alarm business. I was good with electric devices and electronics, and was skilled in the art of foreseeing the methods of attack by burglars. I studied management techniques and business in general. I attended and participated in seminars in the industry and with other business organizations. By doing what I enjoyed and interacting with successful people in the industry, I was able to find solutions to my problems and ways to grow the business. It's also critical to hire the right people and then motivate the team. I have always been loyal to my employees just as I would expect from them."
Most Memorable Moments
"In 1977, my wife Laurie and I purchased an answering service and the home in which it was housed in Mount Kisco, N.Y., and moved into it. I bought a used McCulloh cabinet and registers from Automatic Burglar Alarm in New Haven, Conn., and we were in the central station alarm business! One evening I was servicing the account of a clothing retailer and the security director happened to be there. I had been trying to get him to give us more business from their other locations. He said he wanted to see our CS. I, of course, tried to dissuade him. When I took him in he exclaimed, 'Who'd think of a CS operating out of a house?!' Ultimately, we took over those other locations and their warehouse in the Bronx."
Being Active in Trade Associations
"I loved the industry and the people in it. I saw a personal benefit to network with successful people and companies. I was accused of being a brain-picker, to which I freely admit. I served as an officer with NYBFAA [New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association], Nevada FBAA and on marketing, education/training and standards committees with NBFAA, now ESA, and CSAA. I was one of the first trainers for the NBFAA NTS [National Training School]. I have always felt a need to help newcomers and others in the industry when I could since I always received so much help from others."
How Things Have Changed
"Being a conservative old man, I long for the days we actually made a profit installing security systems and pondering how the attack on the premises would be made by the burglar. One word could describe how things have changed though - bigger! Everything has gotten humongous compared to when I started. Since the industry has become more sophisticated financially, customer service and account retention are major topics. Though, it seems, less focus is being put on protecting the assets of the customer."
A Life With No Regrets
"I have had a very rewarding life, both philosophically and monetarily. I have a great wife who not only provided me a wonderful family but also supported me all along the way; we are a great team. I can't think of a single thing I would have done differently, except maybe that third race at Belmont."
Why He's on the List
- Nearly half-a-century in the electronic security industry
- Tremendous devotion of time and energy to industry associations and causes
- Past president of Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) and associated with more than a dozen industry-focused organizations
- Participates in numerous industry committees, and sits on the board of Alarm Industry Expo, the ownership group for the ESX event jointly owned by CSAA and ESA
- Built and sold five electronic security companies, most recently selling Nevada-based A-1 Security to Stanley Convergent Security Solutions
- Helped many colleagues improve their operations and profitability, and assisted some in selling their businesses
The Wulforst File
- Born in Jamaica, N.Y., in 1943
- Father worked for New York's Supreme Burglar Alarm Co.; mother was a homemaker
- Married 48 years, with three sons and one daughter
- Wife Laurie has also been a business partner, doing billing, collections, customer service and even central station calls while he did installations and service work
- Two sons work for Stanley Convergent Security Solutions, holdovers from the purchase of
- As a teen spent summers constructing and wiring wood dowel screens and painting bell boxes and control instruments for reuse
- After graduating high school, circa 1961, worked for Advance Burglar Alarm and then at age 18, started Knight Protection in Brewster, N.Y.