California Alarm Association (CAA) 2000 Winter Conference—Dec. 7-9, San Francisco

With a slight chill in the air and not so uncommon cloudy skies overhead, industry members from throughout the United States and Canada arrived at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel for the California Alarm Association’s (CAA) 2000 Winter Conference Dec. 7-9. This year’s affair had a sentimental theme attached to its invitation, honoring Security Industry Association (SIA) Executive Director Ron Spiller with the George A. Weinstock Award. The event also gave fellow industry members an opportunity to say farewell to Spiller, who announced his retirement this past year.

Aside from the many meetings that took place during the event, conference attendees chose from a variety of workshops and seminars, including the “NBFAA Workshop With Law Enforcement” and “Cover Your Assets” and “The Rules of Business: California Governing Agencies.”

One seminar highlight included “Marketing Applications for New Technologies,” which was conducted by Joe Grillo of HID Corp., Steve Surfaro of Panasonic and Dave Robinson of X-10 Pro.

On Thursday, CAA opened the exhibits to attendees by hosting a welcome reception in one of the ballrooms that included cocktails and a grand hors d’oeuvre buffet. This allowed for a more intimate setting, enabling guests to walk freely through the exhibits while socializing with fellow attendees.

The regional association rolled out the red carpet for visitors by providing breakfast and lunch in between workshops and seminars.

On Friday, CAA hosted a black-tie-optional affair in the ballroom, which was filled to capacity. Guests dined on fillet minot, shrimp, mashed potatoes, vegetables and cheesecake. The emotional climax of the evening occurred during the presentation of the George A. Weinstock Award. Richard Chace, deputy executive director of SIA, paid homage to Spiller with a slide presentation set to music. The tribute soon evolved into a roast when Ron Davis of Security Associates Intl. (SAI), Les Gold of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, and National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) President Bart Didden shared a few humorous anecdotes about the industry veteran.

However, Spiller had the last word. After being presented with the prestigious honor by the Weinstock family, Spiller graciously thanked his wife, family and industry colleagues the only way he could, with wit, sincerity and class.

The event wrapped up on Saturday with a breakfast buffet followed by a session entitled, “Industry Correct: Who Am I and Why Am I Here?” CAA closed out the three-day conference by hosting a personal cruise of the San Francisco Bay in the evening. Those who extended their stay braved the bustling crowds around Union Square to do a bit of Christmas shopping, while others simply hopped on the cable car just outside the hotel to take in the sites of this awesome city.

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