Introducing the SSI Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Imbued with equal measures of integrity, ambition, innovation, humility and selflessness, another diverse and distinguished group of individuals are presented with one of the industry’s most prestigious honors.


John Lombardi

Why He’s Being Inducted

  • Nearly 45 years of dedication to protecting people, first in law enforcement and then electronic security, and also as a volunteer firefighter
  • While a police officer, he served as an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University where he directed a specialized security curriculum for the Criminal Justice Law program
  • In 1979 founded CIA Security and built into what today is one of the Northeast’s leading security companies
  • In 1992, founded CIA Security’s UL-Listed central monitoring station that has grown to 9,000 accounts
  • A crusader for industry causes and education, his volunteerism included serving on the New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NYBFAA) board of directors and being elected its president
  • Served on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee for Premises Security and Installation and Maintenance Standards, and is currently involved with the NYSESA as Labor Standards Committee chair

Bio: John Lombardi

  • Born in 1952 in the Bronx, N.Y.
  • One of three siblings, father was a carpenter and mother a homemaker
  • Widower with two children; son is employed by CIA Security as an installer and daughter works in the company’s accounting department
  • Earned graduate degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Long Island University
  • First security industry job was under SSI Industry Hall of Famer Bud Wulforst
  • Named ESA State President of the Year in 2003
  • Other interests include traveling, theater and tennis

Keys to Success
“I believe success is a direct result of passion, tenacity and ingenuity. I was always on the cutting edge of technology; I had the ability to use the very limited technology of the day to solve clients’ security issues and to do so in a very cost-effective, creative way.

This, coupled with a great team that enjoyed being on the cutting edge, added a high level of customer service. The next thing you know you are considered a recognized leader in our region and industry. This forced all the local competitors to follow suit by offering trouble- free systems that both the alarm users and law enforcement now expected.”

Targeting Training
“My commitment to education and training has always been paramount. I’ve always felt that if the boots on the ground have the tools, knowledge and know-how, our customers and our industry are all better off.

I have sat on many boards and committees and volunteered many years of my life all with the goal of providing individuals who want to work in this field the tools to be successful. When I became president of the NYBFAA, I made it my personal campaign to promote the NTS program.

I made phone calls to gain companies’ support and enthusiasm for training. In one of the discussions I was asked, ‘What if I trained my technicians and they left?’ So I said, ‘What if you don’t train them and they stayed?’ The point was made and that has since become an industry cliché.”

Security in the 21st Century
“In an age of technology, you need to approach it in one of two ways. Your business model will either focus on clients that want cut-rate pricing and services or higher-end clients that recognize the value of more sophisticated equipment, innovative technology and personal customer service.

It is increasingly difficult to compete with the super-mega companies due to their sheer volume. The buyer of tomorrow has grown up with technology and is not only comfortable with it but wants nothing less.

In addition, if we are going to expect first responders to continue to support our industry, the technology has to continue to become more sophisticated, which will increase the creditability of alarms generated.”

Biggest Wish for Industry Change
“Education and training, there is not enough of it. As the cost of providing police and fire protection escalates, regulatory agencies are going to turn to technology to provide supplemental early warning detection in an effort to reduce first responders’ budgets.

Life-safety detection technologies like carbon monoxide, natural gas and radon are the next growth industry. As this sector of the industry develops, so will the requirements for technical training. The industry has to be prepared to provide relevant education and training to future technicians.”

Continue to the next page for a profile of Fredrik Nilsson…

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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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