SSI Welcomes Tri-Ed Distribution’s Pat Comunale Into 2015 Hall of Fame Class

Pat Communale, president of Global Security Solutions for Tri-Ed Distribution, joins the 2015 Security Sales & Integration Hall of Fame.

Pat Comunale

Current Status: President – Global Security Solutions for Tri-Ed Distribution

Why He’s on the List

  • More than 25 years of leadership and expertise building businesses and relationships in security manufacturing and distribution
  • In 2005, was part of the management team that acquired Tri-Ed from Tyco
  • As COO, led Tri-Ed Distribution to double-digit growth, with multiple regional distributor acquisitions and opening of 20+ new locations
  • Took over role of president and COO when Tri-Ed merged with Northern Video Systems in 2010, ascending to CEO two years later
  • In 2014, after Tri-Ed was acquired by Anixter, he was elevated to president of Global Security Solutions
  • Long an active supporter of industry associations, he presently sits on the Security Industry Association (SIA) Board

Keys to Success

“My parents, who, from an early age, instilled an incredible work ethic in me. I’ve also worked with some remarkable leaders in the security industry, who have helped me on a professional basis. I was very fortunate to work, back in the day, at Pittway Corp. where I had the opportunity to work with pastSSI Hall of Fame inductees like Leo Guthart and Steve Roth.”

Always Keeping an Eye on the Prize

“I’ve always been competitive by nature. I played a lot of sports in my younger days and that’s carried into my professional life. Unless you have a good team, it’s very hard to succeed on your own. Having a positive attitude fosters positive results. I’ve always said that the speed of the team equals the speed of the leader. Early in my career, someone once told me that past success guarantees nothing. One not only needs to think about their own business, but also what others might be doing.”

Becoming a Dominant Distributor

“Building Tri-Ed – which was a virtual unknown entity in security distribution – into what it has become and eventually selling to Anixter has been an amazing journey. Together, we are now the largest global security distributor. When I think back to all that has happened since 2005, what started as a life-style business took on incredible momentum. What gives me the most joy are the 600+ jobs we created, revenue of $600 million, and the eventual sale to Anixter, where all of our people have landed with a great future.”

The Communale File

  • Born in 1961 in the Bronx, N.Y.
  • Grew up with one older sister and two younger brothers
  • Married for 28 years, with two children
  • Earned bachelor’s degree in business administration from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1983
  • First job out of college was with an investment firm selling mutual funds and insurance
  • In the mid-1980s, a recruiter for Wells Fargo Security Services set him on his industry career path
  • Says he might have been a pilot, his childhood dream, had his career taken a different path
  • Other interests include golf and travel
  • Good Times Continue to Roll

    “In the early days, 25-30 years ago, security was a carriage trade industry made up of much smaller manufacturers and installing companies alike. Today, the industry is dominated by some of the world’s largest manufacturers and security is front and center on everyone’s minds. I remember reading an article in 1992 in Money that listed the top five industries, and two of them were distribution and security. I believe in 2015 you’d probably see those both in the top five as well. We provide many value-added services as well as taking cost out of the chain of commerce. As a result, you’ll see Tri-Ed and Anixter continue to grow, specifically in the security space.”

    Something People Might Not Know

    He enjoys practical jokes. Also, he has known fellow Class of 2015 Hall of Fame inductees Don Young, David Carter and Stanley Oppenheim for many years; the latter two were distribution customers of his in the early 1990s.

    Biggest Wish for Industry Change

    “I think we currently have too many associations for manufacturers and customers. It would be nice to have everyone under one umbrella so we could utilize shared resources for important industry trainings and initiatives.”

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    About the Author


    Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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