Security Industry Mourns the Loss of Bob Harris
Harris, who succumbed to complications caused by COVID-19, was a deeply respected businessman and entrepreneur.
LOS ANGELES — Bob Harris, a security industry veteran and founder of Attrition Busters, passed away Dec. 7. He was 61.
Harris battled complications caused by COVID-19 for more than a month before succumbing to the disease at Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills, Calif. Even though health and safety restrictions prevented family to be at his side, nurses, doctors and a hospital chaplain were with Harris “as he smoothly and peacefully transitioned from this life to the next,” an obituary provided to SSI states.
Harris entered the security industry in 1977 working as an alarm installer for Diebold, according to his LinkedIn page. In 1982 he joined Allstate Security where he served as a service manager and customer service liaison. He entered the executive management ranks in 1986 when he joined Pacific Alarm Systems. It was there he became a specialist at saving customers from cancelling and building long-term client relationships.
In 2003, Harris founded Attrition Busters, where he continued to serve as president until his death. In this consultative role, Harris was a sought-after business troubleshooter who traveled across the nation providing corporate business analysis to identify and recommend solutions to reduce customer attrition, increase organizational enthusiasm and effectiveness.
Harris was a well-regarded public speaker and business trainer who spoke at a wide range of seminars, interactive workshops, industry events, among other business consulting programs. His sense of humor and warm demeanor brought him legions of friendships across the industry.
“I was devastated to hear the news of Bob Harris’ passing, as he was a good friend and mentor to me since I first came into the security industry in 1998. He could always be counted on for keen insights, sound advice and sharing a good laugh,” says SSI Associate Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine, who recruited Harris to serve as a member of the publication’s Editorial Advisory Board. “Beyond that, his dedication and service to the industry spreading the message of customer-centric success cannot be understated. He was taken too soon but should be fondly remembered always.”
Richard Ginsburg, CEO of Alert 360, comments he knew Harris for more than two decades and had Harris conduct trainings at Alert 360 as well as all other companies he managed.
“He brought in a level of real-world experience packaged in an easy to understand style that was loved by everyone of his students he trained. About two years ago we had him in our Tulsa center for training. It was packed, multiple classes in one day. After the class, we had to break, because we had our quarterly departmental bowling challenge game,” Ginsburg expresses. “Bob said, ‘I am game.’ So, after an entire day of talking and training on his feet, he filled in for one of our employees on their team and cheered them on and won the tournament with us. That type of energy, team building and can-do attitude is what made Bob special. I will miss my friend.”
Industry icon Les Gold, an attorney with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (MSK), was also a long-time acquaintance of Harris.
“He was a very special person. Honesty and integrity, second to none. As a perfect reflection of his character, his current company, Attrition Busters, was created to upgrade the stature and reputation of the security industry. Bob was always upbeat, when he saw you, you always got a warm hug and kind words. What a very special person. Our condolences to Mary Lou and his family, who Bob loved dearly,” Gold expresses.
Harris was born the oldest of three children to Charles Albert Harris and Elsie Bernard Harris on Jan. 10, 1959 in Chicago. Raised with a Jewish heritage, he learned the importance of faith and came to know his Messiah while married to his Christian wife, Marilou Harris, of 27 years, his family states.
Harris had many hobbies and talents from traveling, scuba diving, playing the guitar, performing in skits and so much more. He valued relationships and it showed by his actions. He had a gift of making people feel comfortable and loved, which was evident while he was in the hospital by the doctors, nurses and even the chaplain rooting for him and genuinely looking forward to caring for him. He had an unforgettable presence, touched so many lives, and was known as “Uncle Bob” to many.
He is survived by his mother, Elsie; wife, Marilou; his children, Michelle and Michael; sister, Vicky; and countless loved ones, cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephew.
A funeral service for Harris was held Dec. 13 at Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills. A GoFundMe page has been set up to collect donations for the family.
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