IRVING, Texas — Members of the California Alarm Association (CAA) returned home from the recent Electronic Security Association (ESA) Leadership Summit with the coveted "Chapter of Year" honor in tow.
"We were very excited when we first got nominated," the newly instated CAA President John Hopper tells SSI. "Then, we got called up to the stage! As the new president, it made me very proud."
As a featured part of the week-long Leadership Summit, the ESA Leadership Awards program was hosted at Cowboys Stadium where more than 230 attendees gathered on an upper level overlooking the playing field.
So how does a chapter earn such a coveted title?
Hopper believes having strong leadership backing is a must, and he credits CAA Executive Director Jerry Lenander for all his hard work. It is also important to put on beneficial programs that help educate and train its membership, Hopper says.
Among its extensive efforts in support of the industry, CAA is an integral participant in the ESA Scholarship program. Additionally, it has an ongoing legislative advocacy program with a full-time lobbyist in Sacramento. The lobbyist also works in coordination with ESA's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.
Hopper says CAA has long supported partnering with other industry stakeholders. For example, the chapter teams with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) to defeat nonresponse alarm ordinances and build relationships with law enforcement agencies. To show its appreciation, CAA donated $30,000 to SIAC in December at its Winter Convention & Western Security Conference in San Francisco.
"Last year, we were very successful with many local agencies," Hopper says. "The agencies walked away feeling that they had come up with a viable ordinance that met their goals. It met the needs of our industry as well. It was a great achievement to raise [the money for SIAC]. It was easy for our members to see the value in such a donation."
Additionally, the chapter works with the California Automatic Fire Alarm Association (CAFAA) on the WBFAA Apprenticeship Program for fire/life-safety technicians. The program, which Hopper says is the largest in the U.S. for fire alarm technicians, currently enrolls 80 apprentices. Another 100 are in training and 800 certified journeymen are provided ongoing education.
But what really makes the chapter thrive is its membership.
"Our membership represents 70 percent of alarm companies in California," Hopper says. "Our members are very active and caring. Most importantly, they participate. We have been very fortunate for that and great leadership in the organization for many years."
Other 2011 ESA Leadership Awards winners include:
- Chapter Executive Director of the Year — Jean Novy, Wisconsin Electronic Security Association (WIESA)
- Chapter President of the Year — Kristi Harris, Alabama Alarm Association
- Newsletter of the Year — "Monthly Report"; New Jersey Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NJBFAA)
- Web site of the Year — Electronic Security Association of Washington (WAESA)
- ESA/NTS [National Training School] Training Coordinator of the Year — Gary Talma
The ESA/NTS Instructor of the Year award was dedicated to Paul Baran, a long-time co-chairman of the education committee who died in November. The accolade was presented to Tom Morris of Morris Electronic Sales.
Ashley Willis is associate editor for Security Sales & Integration. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.