Tony Smith, Bart Didden Honored With Top NBFAA Awards at AIREF Event in Las Vegas


Longtime active members of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), Tony Smith and Bart Didden, received the association’s top awards at the NBFAA Alarm Industry Research Education Foundation (AIREF) Gala in Las Vegas, held right before ISC West. Smith, communications chairperson for NBFAA, received the 2003 Sara E. Jackson award and Didden, past president, received the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year award.

The Sara E. Jackson award was created in 1984 in honor of the former NBFAA president. It recognizes a NBFAA committee chairperson who displays outstanding leadership. The Morris F. Weinstock award was created in 1970 and is presented to someone who has given exceptional and dedicated service to the alarm industry.

Smith has volunteered his time on NBFAA committees for the past six years and has served on the NBFAA Board of Directors. He’s also been president of the California Alarm Association (CAA). Outside the industry, Smith is involved with Junior Achievement, a national program that enables business professionals to show students what it takes to be successful in life. Smith’s business, Security Finance Associates, is now in its 15th year.

“This is truly an unexpected surprise,” said Smith, who has been head of the NBFAA Communications Committee for the past three years. “I’m truly taken back by this award.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to receive such an honor.”

NBFAA Executive Director Merlin Guilbeau said, “Tony’s dedication to this association and the time he puts in as chairperson of the communication, marketing and public relations committee is unmatched. It’s people like Tony Smith that keep this association moving ahead.”

Didden, president of U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp., in Port Chester, N.Y., served a 2-year term as association president beginning in 2000. He has served on NBFAA’s Executive Committee for many years and is active in other association committees. He also played a major role on the AIREF Board of Directors, the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Standards Committee, the Security Industry Association (SIA) Standards Committee, and the CSAA and SIA Board of Directors.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Didden spearheaded the AIREF/NBFAA Heroes Scholarship Fund, which raised money for children of fallen police, fire and New York Port Authority officials who died in the attacks. Didden is also very active in his community, serving as a director on the board for his local YMCA chapter and is a volunteer with the Port Chester, N.Y. Volunteer Fire Department.

“I can’t think of a more dynamic individual to receive this award than Bart Didden,” said NBFAA President Cecil Hogan.

“For once, I am not sure what to say,” Didden told industry colleagues at the event. “Words cannot express what I feel right now. This is one of the greatest honors anyone in this industry can receive. I thank all of the people I’ve worked with, both in and out of the NBFAA, and most importantly my family. Without them, I could not have worked toward such an achievement.”

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