SSI Hall of Fame: High 5

The dictionary defines greatness as, “The property possessed by someone of outstanding importance or eminence.” A more accurate definition might be the innate and/or learned characteristics necessary to achieve exceptional results over an extended period of time. True greatness is realized when certain unique individuals maximize the payoff when their preparedness meets opportunity. And in the electronic security industry, it’s recognized and awarded by being inducted into the SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION Hall of Fame.

Established in 2004 to represent the ultimate recognition for outstanding performance, the SSI Hall of Fame annually enshrines those uncommon people who have etched out an impression within the profession and maintained it throughout an entire career. Inductees are honored each year in an official induction ceremony held during the SAMMY Awards the eve of ISC West (March 31) at the Venetian Hotel.

Without further adieu, the Hall’s class of 2009 (in alphabetical order) is: Allen Fritts, president of Honeywell Fire Systems; George Gunning, CEO of USA Alarm Systems; Ken Kirschenbaum, managing partner of Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum; George Lippert (deceased), co-founder of the Security Industry Equipment Association (later SIA) and Alarm Installer & Dealer magazine (later SSI); and Mel Mahler,  chairman/CEO/owner of ADS Security.  From fire protection to industry labor and training to alarm contracts and legalities to standards and industry advancement to building a model installing/monitoring operation, these very special people have not only carved out brilliant careers for themselves but in doing so have immeasurably contributed to the betterment of all things security.

“George Gunning has surpassed any definition of the word ‘give’ when it comes to the service he has given to the security industry,” said a member of the Hall of Fame nominating committee, which consists of previous inductees and other industry leaders. Such comments were common regarding all the 2009 honorees. “I can think of few figures in our industry as highly respected and admired as Mel Mahler,” said another panelist.

Like the 41 greats who preceded them into the Hall, this year’s inductees boast unassailable credentials and their industry contributions are undeniable. As the following profiles illustrate, this quintet’s stories are as varied as they are amazing.

For more information on past Hall of Fame inductees, click here.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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