Jon Sargent Honored for Career Achievement at CAA Winter Convention

The California Alarm Association (CAA) hosted its winter convention in San Francisco and received record attendance for its full slate of events and exhibits. 

Held Dec. 9-11 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, installing security contractors from throughout several Western states and beyond were joined by manufacturers and other service providers for networking, educational sessions, vendor product displays, and a life achievement tribute dinner honoring Jon Sargent. 

With roughly 450 registered attendees, plus exhibitors from across the technology and service provider landscape, CAA Executive Director Jerry Lenander said the association posted its largest convention gathering to date. 

Here’s a quick glance at just a few of the educational workshops held during the 2010 convention: 

“Barbarians at the Gate: Preparing for Alternative Carrier Technologies” was hosted by Gordon Hope, general manager of Honeywell’s AlarmNet; Shawn Welsh, vice president, marketing and business development, Telular; Sascha Kylau, business development manager, DSC; and Lou Fiore, current chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC). The panelists discussed alternate communication technologies that are replacing POTS lines, as well as the implications for the alarm industry. (For more on this topic, check out Fiore’s “Averting an Alarm Communications Gap” in SSI‘s September 2010 issue or click here.)  

“Identity Theft” explored the issues related to and necessity for securing customer’s private data, along with the risks and opportunities for alarm companies in this area. Moderator Tony Smith, president of Security Finance Associates, led the discussion with Michael Kelly of Michael J. Kelly Insurance and Mark Fell, director of sales for Ocenture, a provider of digital protection products and recovery services. (Read more about identity theft protection here.) 

“Working With Law Enforcement to Create Business Value” offered attendees an overview of best practices in alarm dispatch reduction. Keith Jentoft, president of RSI Video Technologies, and Stan Martin, executive director of Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), emphasized the necessity for dealers to build life-safety partnerships in their local communities to fend off onerous alarm ordinances.

Each year the convention features the “CAA Executive Symposium: An Industry Outlook.” This year’s panelists included Jim Covert, the Protection One dealmaker; Bob Haskins, UTC Fire & Security vice President and general manager; and JoAnna Sohovich, president of Honeywell Security & Communications. You can read more about their discussion here.    

Among other goings-on at the convention, Rocky Bleier provided a keynote address, sharing his life experiences as a badly wounded Vietnam War soldier who later became an integral member of the four-time Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers. Bleier’s motivational message centered on how ordinary people can become “extraordinary achievers.” 

During the convention’s final evening, all eyes turned toward Sargent who was awarded the George A. Weinstock Award, recognizing his years-long service to the alarm industry.

Sargent, who is the immediate two-term past president of CAA, is an industry relations liaison for ADT Security Services. He is widely lauded for his participation in alarm management and law enforcement organizations, as well as alarm associations on the local, state and national level. 

He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), California Peace Officers Association, California State Sheriff’s Association and the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA). 

Among his current industry involvement, Sargent serves as an advisory committee member of the California Department of Consumer Affairs in its Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) Division, and as an industry/law enforcement liaison for SIAC. 

Ron Spiller served as master of ceremonies for the formal dinner affair during which Sargent’s son and daughter took the stage to honor their father with anecdotes from their family history. SIAC Director Ron Walters was also on hand to deliver an entertaining part roast-part tribute to his friend and industry peer.  

The magnitude of Sargent’s service to the alarm industry was illustrated when CAA legal council Alan Pepper, himself a Weinstock Award alumni, called Sargent to the front of the stage. Pepper handed Sargent a pair of thick black-framed glasses and instructed him to alternately put on and take off the nerdy spectacles. 

Pepper then coaxed the audience into guessing if Sargent resembled anyone in particular and immediately somebody in the crowd yelled out, “Clark Kent!” 

Pepper’s moment of concocted levity turned earnest with his assertion, “Jon Sargent is the Superman of our industry.”

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