SSI Hall of Fame: 25 Dynamic People Who Shaped the Industry Since 1979


Current Status: President, Honeywell Security, Syosset, N.Y.

Career Highlights
– Started in residential sales with Rollins Protective Services in 1974
– Entered manufacturing in 1980 with Solfan Systems (later C&K Systems) as regional sales manager
– From 1984-90, served as executive VP of Blue Grass Electronics
– Served as president/CEO of Intellisense from1990-95
– Joined Pittway Corp. in March 1995 as president of Ademco Sensor Co. and executive VP of sales for Ademco Group
– Promoted to president of Ademco Group in June 2000
– Appointed president of Honeywell Security in 2002

Why He’s on the List
– At IntelliSense, pioneered worldwide market for glassbreak detectors
– Managed merger between former C&K and Ademco
– Dedicated and generous supporter of industry organizations and causes
– Raised standard for customer service in industry to much higher level through establishment of world-class “Customer Care Center”

Comments & Reaction: “I’d like to be remembered as someone who surrounded himself with the best people possible — people who are smarter than me. As a result,we’re able to bring to market the products our customers want and need at a reasonable price, and with quality levels that exceed their expectations.”

Ron Davis

Current Status: Managing partner,Davis Marketing Group (DMG), Long Grove, Ill.

Career Highlights
– In 1970, spun an engagement for an organization selling fire alarms door-to-door into career of providing marketing and business information to dealers
– Founder of Davis Marketing Group, Security Alliance and Security Associates Int’l (SAI)

Why He’s on the List
– Has been credited with developing the phrase,“recurring monthly revenue,” and convincing many about its virtues
– Spent more than four decades helping alarm dealers run businesses more effectively and professionally
– Spoken at more than 1,000 industry events and written hundreds of articles

Comments & Reaction: “I have received a considerable amount of recognition through the years, however, being named to this list is particularly
rewarding and appreciated. I was there when Bob Bargert first started SSI’s predecessor. He was an innovator whose ideas were not always appreciated during his lifetime. I’m fortunate to receive this recognition when I can appreciate and enjoy it.”


Current Status: Retired, author

Career Highlights
– Earned doctorate from USC
– Spent two tours in U.S. Navy
– In 1961, formed Linear in den of his house to manufacture and sell radio controls for automatic garage doors
– Extended product line to wireless security
– Company later acquired Colorado Electro-Optics, added hardwired products and went public

Why He’s on the List
– Brought together talented group of people, including his partner, Bill Schanbacher, and melded them into cohesive commercial enterprise
– Linear has continued on as one of the industry’s most prominent manufacturers

Comments & Reaction: “It is remarkable, looking back, how few companies had any interest in home security only a few short years ago. I would like to be remembered as a good father and an all-around good guy. I am surprised to have been included in SSI’s list and pleased to participate.”


Current Status: Principal, J.P. Freeman & Co., J.P. Freeman Labs, Newtown, Conn.

Career Highlights
– Worked for General Foods, Remington and GE
– In 1979, joined Wells Fargo security as vice president of Marketing
– Became COO before leaving corporate world
– Eventually launched research and consulting business
– Since then, has contributed to success of 700 corporations in three nations

Why He’s on the List
– Widely recognized as industry’s most prominent supplier of market research
– Reports and custom research have helped hundreds of companies
– Developed business-building programs for manufacturers, home automation companies, utilities,communications firms, investors and trade associations
– Helped ADT develop mass-market program in late 1980s

Comments & Reaction:“It was tough in the beginning, but it was clear that the security industry didn’t know much about itself. It is now 20 years later and we’re happy to have a reputation for the contributions we’ve made. Being named to this list is absolutely wonderful! I enjoy writing my monthly column for SSI and to receive this acknowledgement is great.”


Current Status: Partner, MSK, Los Angeles

Career Highlights
– Began 45-year-plus association with alarm industry through Southern California Burglar Alarm Association in 1958
– Represented NBFAA for 25 years
– Represented industry in its dealings with local, state and federal government agencies, and labor unions

Why He’s on The List
– Introduced Secom Co. to U.S. security market and involved in its acquisitions of Valley Alarm and Westec Security
– Introduced James Covert to purchases in Australia and New Zealand
– Involved in Signature Security’s acquisition of Ameritech
– Participated in formation of Protection One
– Helped California Alarm Association (CAA) prevail over Public Utilities

Commission for lower telephone rates
– Got Senate to pass legislation limiting telephone companies’ entry
– Authored first state law regulating alarm companies
– Represented Greater Los Angeles Alarm and Security Association (GLAASA) in verified response conflict

Comments & Reaction: “I am very honored and gratified. I would like to be remembered as a person who was instrumental in helping the industry
gain recognition, credibility and respect, while being respected by his peers.”


Current Status: Chairman/CEO,Topspin Partners, Roslyn Heights, N.Y.

Career Highlights
– Joined Ademco in 1964 and spent nearly 40 years with the company
– Played key role as it went from 27 employees and $1.5 million in sales to becoming The Pittway Corp. with more than 5,000 employees and sales of $1 billion
– Pittway acquired by Honeywell in 2000

Why He’s on the List
– Distinguished Ademco Security Group as dedicated, smart and hard-driving group of people
– Emphasized integrity and customer focus
– Helped create ADI, industry’s largest distribution company
– Involved in pioneering use of reliable, low-cost wireless equipment
– Heightened economics of installation community by emphasizing uniformity of installation and service
– Associated with creating innovative AlarmNet service

Comments & Reaction: “I believe our companies (Ademco, ADI, First Alert Professional, AlarmNet, etc.) were the best manufacturers/distributors in the industry. This was accomplished by the team I led, of which I am, and always was, very proud. It is a great honor to be on SSI’s list and I thank you.”


Current Status: Retired, Philanthropist

Career Highlights
– Graduated Harvard College in 1965
– Received graduate degree in business in 1969
– Worked 3 years for Office of Economic Opportunity
– Entered alarm industry in 1971 as salesman for Ademco, part of Pittway Corp., where his family had controlling interest
– Involved in charitable pursuits since Pittway was sold

Why He’s on the List
– Spent 29 years with Pittway, helped grow it into industry’s largest manufacturing and distributing concern
– Pittway’s systems included Ademco, Notifier, System Sensor, ADI, Northern Computers and others
– From 1993-1998, guided Pittway to 23-percent yearly revenue growth of more than $1 billion annually
– Helped protect fire alarm industry from outside threats and code legislation through involvement with Ionization Smoke Detector’ Information Bureau in the late 1970s and NEMA codes committee in the ’80s

Comments & Reaction: “At Pittway,my greatest contribution was to let our talented managers run their businesses the way they wanted to, encouraging
their good ideas and discouraging what I thought were bad ideas. It is an honor to be part of SSI’s list. I look forward to seeing the rest of it!”


Current Status: Consultant, Pelco, Clovis, Calif.

Career Highlights
– Before joining RCA in late 1940s, served in U.S.Army Signal Corp. in Communication Security
– Earned undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Univ. of Tennessee
– Received graduate degree from MIT in industrial management
– Began CCTV career in 1972 as director of marketing and sales for new RCA department
– Left RCA in 1985, shortly before it was bought by GE
– Joined American Dynamics (AD) as VP of marketing and sales
– In early 1990s, AD bought by Sensormatic
– Left Sensormatic in 1995 to start Vision Research

Why He’s on the List
– Dubbed “The Father of U.S. CCTV”
– In 1970, recommended CCTV as business with major growth opportunity to RCA
– In face of strong Japanese competition, grew RCA’s CCTV division to largest U.S. supplier of CCTV equipment
– Helped develop reliable equipment, including time-lapse recorder based on VHS technology
– In 1992, received first Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service from Closed Circuit Television Manufacturers Association

Comments & Reaction:“I appreciate this opportunity from SSI to give my overview of the industry as I will soon be leaving active participation in the industry, which I married at its infancy, 33 years ago.”


Current Status: President, Security Int’l, Franklin,Wis.

Career Highlights
– Graduated from Univ. of Florida as an engineer
– First job was helping develop security equipment for Webster Electric
– Spent five years as installing dealer
– In 1982, founded Northern Computers with brother-in-law
– In 1998, published “Security, ID Systems and Locks: The Book on Electronic Access Control”

Why He’s on The List
– Developed distributed intelligence systems not requiring computer for decisions
– “Building block approach” didn’t require throwing away old parts, components and software backward compatible
– In 1983, marketed PC-based systems, providing departure from mini-computer-based solutions of 1970s
– Created software for dealers for $500, about one-tenth what other manufacturers were charging
– Expanded market to hundreds of thousands of new customers.

Comments & Reaction:“I would like to be remembered as a person who served others rather than himself, never abused authority given to me by others and returned substantial profits to shareholders.”


Current Status: President, Honeywell Fire Solutions Group, Northford, Conn.

Career Highlights
– Born into alarm installation, service and central station businesses; family owned Connecticut Protective Systems and Fire•Lite Alarms
– While growing up, he learned everything from installation to manufacturing
– In 1968, family divested its large security business, retained ownership of smaller fire alarm business
– Upon graduation from college in 1970, he took up full-time role at Fire•Lite
– Built business from 20 employees and $1 million into industry powerhouse

Why He’s on the List
– Provider of innovative, affordable, high-quality products to the life safety industry for more than 30 years
– Starting with Fire•Lite and then acquiring NOTIFIER, grew operation into broad-based, global organization
– In 1979, innovated analog/intelligent fire detection systems with introduction of AM-2020 system
– NOTIFIER is the global leader in sales of intelligent fire systems

Comments & Reaction: “I am highly honored to be recognized.This wonderful recognition is only possible due to all of the dedicated people with whom I have been fortunate to work with during my 33-year career.”

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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

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