Introducing the SSI Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2019
SSI’s Industry Hall of Fame hails those who have contributed most significantly to the security industry. Here are 2019’s inductees.
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Paul Marcus (Deceased, 2016) | Founder, PSA and Securus
- Born 1913 in New York City Oldest of two children, father owned a men’s clothing manufacturing company
- Married to wife Phyllis for 68 years, with sons Jeff and Neal who worked in the family security business; was also survived by two grandchildren and two great grandchildren
- Served as PSA’s first president and later received a long-term contributions award from that organization that was later renamed the Paul Marcus Award
- If career had taken different path may have ended up a national park ranger
- Other interests included horseback riding, camping, hiking and skiing, and made his last trip to Rocky Mountain National Park at age 102
Why He’s on the List
- As Photo-Scan franchisee in early years of CCTV, founded Photo-Scan Associates as a trade association that became a buying cooperative that evolved to become PSA Security Network, the industry’s largest and most important security integrator organization
- Served as Photo-Scan Associates’ first president and organized meetings that became PSA’s annual training conferences
- He, and later his two sons, served on various PSA committees and the board of directors for close to 30 years
- Grew Photo-Scan franchise into one of Colorado’s leading security integration firms, Securus, where he pioneered a services-based approach and remained active with into his 90s when the business was acquired by Henry Brothers in 2008
- Was an active member of the Colorado ASIS chapter, and served as its chapter president/chairman, and dedicated time to the Jewish Community Center of Denver
Driven to Succeed
“His greatest strengths were his love of people and his drive to work hard and do whatever was necessary. He was a born salesman who succeeded in a variety of totally different businesses before finally settling on the security industry. He grew up in family businesses and was extremely happy to ultimately have his own sons join him in the business. He would do whatever it took to succeed, even driving a cab at night to put food on the table when he was first starting Photo-Scan. And he worked until he was 95. Ironically, even though he was in electronic security, he was technically challenged — barely knowing one end of a screwdriver from another! But he never let it stop him.” —Jeff Marcus, son
Saw How Lease Could Be More
“In his early days, people did not even know what CCTV was, much less what it could do for them. But over time as the industry grew and the use of CCTV became commonplace Paul’s concern became that it was becoming a commodity business and that there was a race to see who could sell products the cheapest. So he approached the business as solving a problem rather than selling a product.
“He marketed security as an all-inclusive service, pioneering the leasing of systems, which was a precursor to the SaaS model the industry uses today. That service included ongoing maintenance and with the ability to change and update system hardware and software as the client’s needs changed. Due to that model, Securus had money coming in during hard recessionary times, when most of his competitors folded. At the time the family sold the company, Securus had over 200 clients on this program, many of them for more than 20 years.” — Jeff Marcus
Franchisee Founds PSA
In 1969, he purchased a franchise from Photo-Scan Int’l, an early CCTV leader that held the patent on a unique five-lensed dome camera housing used for deterrence and monitoring in retail and commercial applications. He started Photo-Scan of Colorado in his basement as a one-man business with a contract installer and contract technician. After a year or so struggling in the business, he reached out to other franchisees so they could all learn from each other. He then suggested they each chip in $100 and start an association that they named Photo-Scan Associates.
Eventually, the group decided not to limit membership to franchisees and the name was changed to PSA. The group remained a trade association for a few years until the idea of pooling members’ purchasing power and buying as one large group rather than a bunch of small individuals was approved. Meetings grew into PSA’s yearly convention, and eventually an annual technical conference was also added. Paul, and later his two sons, served on practically every PSA committee for almost 30 years. His company was the top purchaser for almost all of PSA’s first 15 years.
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