Charlie Darsch

SSI Hall Of Fame: 2007

Current Status
Director Corporate Relations for System Sensor

Why He’s on the List

  • Known for his ability to work with all of the trade associations, he has been called “the glue” that helped keep the industry on the same page despite major philosophical differences
  • Regardless of what manufacturer he has worked for, he has gotten them to support association business needs and the installing dealer community for the betterment of the industry
  • Held leadership roles in SIA (president), NBFAA (board of directors) and CSAA (board), and served as the chair of AIREF (Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation) for many years
  • Currently a nonvoting vice president of SIA and a representative to the NBFAA Board of Directors, as well as an ex-officio for AIREF and a member of ASIS, NFPA and IEEE
  • Instrumental in helping establish a museum for the alarm industry

Most Memorable Moment
“I have met or sat next to some very interesting people during my frequent air travel, including NBA great Larry Bird and hockey’s Gordie Howe. Early in my career I had the misfortune of sitting next to Johnny Most, the long-time voice of the Boston Celtics. He must have had a bad night because the moment I acknowledged him he said, ‘Kid, I don’t want to talk to you or anyone. All I want to do is sleep and be left alone.’

“More recently, Hulk Hogan sat directly in front of me. He proceeded to put his seat as far back as possible. His neck was as wide as his head and his arms were bigger than my thighs! Do you think I had the courage to say, ‘Hey, buddy, how about giving me some room?’ Not on your life!”

How Things Have Changed
“Changes in technology the past 30 years have more than offset what we’ve seen in the past 150 years of the fire and security industry. We need to remember it wasn’t more than 20 years ago that computer processors replaced the McCulloh transmitter, and that not that long ago the rechargeable power supply replaced wet and dry-cell batteries as a primary power source for alarm systems.

“The advent of the transistor and modern electronics we have today, that’s really what has been the most significant difference. The communication link, that’s what made the fire and security industry what it is today — and what it will be in the future.”

What the Future Holds
“There will be much greater communication between all of the associations to enable continued industry growth. This will create stronger ties between the associations for the betterment of the industry.”

Something People Might Not Know
Not only has he been so successful as an alarm industry professional, but he also managed to raise four daughters as a single dad. He has since found a loving wife and calls his extended family “The Brady Bunch.”

Reaction to Being Inducted
“I’m both deeply honored and flattered to have been chosen for SSI’s Hall of Fame. It is a clear message from my peers acknowledging my worth and contributions to our industry. To me, being recognized by your peers is the highest honor in any category.”

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