Manufacturers, We Salute You!

What does it take to be a high-level executive running one of our industry’s largest manufacturing concerns? After getting to know the five men included in our cover story this month better, I can tell you it involves a combination of grit; determination; business savvy; industry knowledge and experience; dedication; strong managerial and communication skills; and a genuine drive to meet customers’ needs.

The article anchors our first-ever Special Manufacturers’ Edition, which is entirely dedicated to and focused on our industry’s equipment suppliers. In addition, we have included a directory of manufacturer dealer alliance programs; a roundup of hot new products; and so much more!

I hope you enjoy our special manufacturers tribute and my interviews with ASSA ABLOY’s Joe Grillo, Bosch’s Peter Ribinski, GE’s Louis Parker, Honeywell’s Ben Cornett and Tyco’s Ron Krisanda. Due to their busy schedules, the article was one of the most challenging assignments to coordinate and produce I have ever undertaken. It was several months in the making. My sincere thanks go out to each of them for finding the time to share their thoughts and visions with you, and for taking part in the cover photo shoot.

There was a lot more to the interviews than space would allow in this issue and I encourage you to click for the Web version of the story that includes additional questions and answers that were not in the print edition. There were also some questions of a more personal nature that I asked each of them that are not in the cover story or online. Some of that material follows, in an effort to provide a glimpse of the men behind the personas.

Can you describe yourself; what makes you tick?
Grillo: I get the most satisfaction out of addressing the dynamic markets associated with the RFID, access ID and smart card businesses. As a manager, I really focus on the people aspect.
Ribinski: I enjoy working with strong and motivated teams that can make a difference. The satisfaction comes in positive feedback from satisfied customers.
Parker: I am someone who is very focused on achieving goals and also on leading people, helping others win and seeing businesses grow.
Cornett: What I enjoy the most is seeing young people in the industry mature, move up and become successful. Knowing I played a role gives me a lot of satisfaction.
Krisanda: I was very hands-on for the first 18 months so I could get educated about our customers and the industry, and also to understand our talent base. Now I spend my time on our go-to-market strategy.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Grillo: Too much travel; it is no fun living on an airplane. Also, trying to adapt technology businesses to an industrial lock company and getting them to become more powerful in the security industry.
Ribinski: Bridging cultural differences, as we are a global company with split competencies in the United States, Europe and Asia. It is key to learn and understand the differences and get buy-in from all.
Parker: Handling the recent acquisitions and integrating them into GE. Also, security is a very dynamic industry, so you must stay ahead with outstanding technology and customer service.
Cornett: As you get into higher-level positions and a larger global company, it’s remembering how you got where you are and still spending the necessary time with the customer. This is essential to really keep track of the pulse of the industry.
Krisanda: Trying to understand all the different global markets and code requirements. Making a decision about which direction to go is a risk of this job. You make calculated risks, but they can still keep me up at night.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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