This Month, We’re Going to Party Like It’s 1979
Ah yes, 1979, I remember it well. I should, it was the year I became old enough to vote and graduated from Santa Monica (Calif.) High School. Despite it being the pinnacle of the disco era (I was always a hard rock and funk man myself), I recall those times rather fondly. Among other things, my favorite teams (the Pittsburgh “We Are Family” Pirates and Dallas “Doomsday D” Cowboys) were world champions and a brand new decade was imminent.
Little did I know that while I was busy sowing my oats and engaging in all manner of debauchery, a fledgling electronic security industry magazine called Alarm Installer & Dealer (AID) was being launched just up the Southern California coast. It would be many years before my life would indirectly intersect with Robert J. Bargert, the man who founded and served as publisher and editor of what is now Security Sales & Integration.
After multiple college major changes, several odd jobs, and stints in the cable-TV, disc jockey, broadcasting, publishing and entertainment industries, I interviewed in October 1998 at Bobit Publishing for an editorial opening with Security Sales magazine after a friend’s recommendation. I had almost no idea what the electronic security industry was about, but my unusual combination of technical aptitude, writing talent and experience made me an ideal candidate.
After being hired as senior editor, I was immediately put at ease when the magazine’s veteran publisher/editor told me it would take some time to truly grasp the industry. In fact, he said it was so complex, particularly the equipment, that after more than a decade even he did not know it all! So, I knew I had my work cut out for me.
I quickly discovered this industry was far more varied and offered much greater depth and dimension than I had ever imagined. I also learned it was an industry filled with friendly, highly intelligent and colorful personalities. Perhaps most importantly, I began to understand the magnitude of the industry in terms of protecting lives and property, and what a noble profession it was.
Add it all together, and I was hooked! I felt like I had uncovered my true calling. I embarked on a mission to deliver the highest quality editorial and most critical information available so low-voltage systems installers and designers could achieve their personal and business objectives. However, it was not enough for me to just write about and cover the industry. I hungered to be a true part of it.
Hence, I joined several industry associations and enlisted in many of their committees; traveled to whatever local, regional and national events I could; visited with countless dealers and manufacturers in the field; participated in installations and service calls; attended dozens of technical and business seminars; trained and earned an NTS Alarm Technician certificate; and made frequent appearances on the industry speaker circuit.
I have never been one to toot my own horn, believing that if you work hard enough and dedicate yourself, good things will come – in other words, let your work speak for itself. That theory proved true as I quickly ascended to managing editor and, when the top editor left the magazine in October 2000, I took over as head editor.
Today, as we celebrate SSI‘s 25th anniversary with this commemorative issue, I am humbled to be within the same pages as the “25 Dynamic People Who Shaped the Industry Since 1979” featured on page 34 and privileged to share their stories with you. I am also honored to have been a part of what I firmly believe is this industry’s finest publication for nearly a quarter of its lifetime.
I want to express special gratitude to our dedicated readers – you are the ones who have shaped this glorious industry and let us know how we can best serve your needs. Thank you, and now please join me in wishing SSI a hearty happy birthday!
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