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SSI Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Inductee: Tim Creenan

Amherst Alarms CEO Tim Creenan has amassed over 40 years worth of dedicated service to the industry and community, and decades as a local security business leader.

Founded in 2004 to represent the highest commendation for going above and beyond in professionalism, conduct and achievement, the SSI Industry Hall of Fame now numbers nearly 100 members.

SSI is proud to welcome Amherst Alarms CEO Tim Creenan to the class of 2018.

Why He’s on the List

  • More than 40 years’ dedicated service to the industry and community, and decades as a local security business leader
  • Beginning with Western New York Electronic Security Association (as secretary and president), very active in local, state and national trade groups including NYSESA and ESA, where presently vice president
  • Instrumental in leading NYSESA efforts to reform enforcement policies of New York State’s alarm installer license
  • Commitment to reducing false alarms includes being active with SIAC and the Installation Quality (IQ) certification program, and his company is a Police Dispatch Quality (PDQ) Award winner
  • Has grown Amherst Alarm from its founding with his wife in 1984 to more than 33,000 monitored accounts supported by a staff of 65+ associates

Keys to Success

“I began working at a security company washing trucks while in high school. The company had a local central station with direct wire and McCullough loops. I started to learn the service of systems and was a part-time operator. That led me to the formal study of electronics. After college graduation, I worked in the computer industry as a field engineer. This also allowed me to start Amherst Alarm in 1984. Through it all, my success stems from hard work and a passion for technology that serves people. You have to love what you do, which I certainly do. So that along with a great partner, like my wife Maryann, can make you successful.”

Most Proud About

“I believe my greatest industry contribution has been working to promote systems that are free of false alarm dispatches through the IQ certification program. That along with combating restrictive local regulations and state legislative issues. As for accomplishment, it would be growing Amherst Alarm into the largest locally owned security systems company in western New York State. I would like to be thought of as having been a good competitor who helped our industry be better for all companies.”

Giving Back to the Industry

“Many years ago, I meet [SSI Industry Hall of Famer and Wayne Alarm President/CEO] Ralph Sevinor, who has been a great resource for me over the years. His unique sense of sharing best practices has had an enormous effect on our business. This is an attribute I have tried to emulate to share ideas and info with other dealers. Time has proven to me that participating in our industry associations allows me to help and give back to the profession that provides a great living for our family and staff. The relationships and connections that this involvement provides are invaluable. Our ability to connect with peers from across the country is powerful.”

Always Be Prepared

“The process of needing cash to fund expansions and acquisitions over the years taught us that we needed to focus on business processes. These processes include always preparing for the next thing. The next thing could be anything. How do you prepare for the something you do not know what it is? You must always be looking for the next thing. Sometimes you think it is the next thing, but time proves it is not. But when it is, then you are rewarded.”

Tips for New Dealers

“I think breaking into the security industry today is a really tough thing to do. The capital required to begin is intensive and requires a big marketing budget. If they do break in, among other things they have to contend with evolving telecommunications platforms, which I see as the largest challenge for dealers. These technologies have to be constantly upgraded and planned for, and dealers need to factor this into pricing. To differentiate today I believe it’s all about focusing on the real need for people to provide security to people. In other words, depending on apps/self-monitoring and the like will be proven to not provide real security.”


The Creenan File

♦Born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1960

♦Oldest of six siblings; father was in truck/auto sales, mother a homemaker

♦Married to wife Maryann, partner and president of Amherst Alarm

♦Two adult sons and a daughter; son Michael works at Amherst Alarm

♦Earned Eagle Scout

♦Says if career had taken another path might have become a restaurant cook or manager

♦If he had a “redo” would have taken more business management studies

♦Earned degree in electrical technology (BSET) from State University of New York College at Buffalo

♦Other interests include church, travel, flying drones and R&R

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