Introducing the SSI Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2020

For security pros there’s no greater recognition than earning passage into the SSI Industry Hall of Fame. Here are 2020’s inductees.

Introducing the SSI Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Sluggers — the term used to describe home run hitters — have been among the most exciting, productive, admired, feared (by opposing pitchers), well paid and popular players throughout the annals of Major League Baseball. With one mighty stroke, these heavy-hitters can change the entire complexion of a game — and, over the course of a season or their careers, greatly impact their team’s success.

The downside though of most power hitters is a propensity to strike out. By the same token, it’s also a testament to their mettle that they seldom let that stop them from continuing to swing for the fences. Several parallels can be drawn between those hard-knock masters and those who have mastered the hard knocks of electronic security.

In both cases, making a mark and leaving a lasting impression requires talent, vision, passion, skill, dedication, focus, tenacity and sometimes a bit of luck. Moreover, to be considered an all-time great, add to that integrity, honesty, humility, and being ethical and charitable.

Those qualities, among other virtues, embody the more than 100 exceptional people who have been inducted into the SSI Industry Hall of Fame — including this year’s super seven.

PHOTO GALLERY: View images of the 2020 Industry HoF inductees here.

While baseball is among the athletic or artistic pursuits most often associated with “hall of fame” designations, no disrespect to those endeavors or achievements, frankly it’s not life and death. On the other hand, the SSI Hall salutes those whose work is associated with life-and-death consequences.

Everyone in the security/life-safety industry plays a part in the grand scheme to protect people, property and assets. This institution hails those who have contributed most significantly to this overriding mission. This year’s honor roll features another diverse group of extraordinary professionals.

The Class of 2020 includes an innovative dealer entrepreneur who went on to lead a top trade show; the late, loveable builder of one of the industry’s largest dealerships; an ex-National Guard sergeant who brought military-like precision to a national trade association; a high-profile analyst who provided key guideposts within and outside the security industry; a second-generation alarm company mastermind and fire standards bearer; director of the biggest state association and noted newsletter publisher; and a software supplier who revolutionized installing and monitoring security systems businesses.

SSI Industry Hall of Fame: Click here to view every inductee since the Hall’s beginnings.

The latest Hall of Fame enshrinees in alphabetical order are: George De Marco, currently managing partner of DECO Ventures; Rod Garner (deceased), former president/CEO of Mountain Alarm; Merlin Guilbeau, CEO of the Electronic Security Association (ESA); Jeff Kessler, managing director of research for Imperial Capital; Richard Kleinman, president/COO, AFA Protective Systems; Jerry Lenander, executive director, California Alarm Association (CAA); and Michael Marks, co-founder of Perennial Software and SedonaOffice.

Founded in 2004 to represent the highest accolade for going above and beyond in professionalism, conduct and achievement, the SSI Industry Hall of Fame annually inducts new members as part of the SAMMY Awards gala the eve of ISC West (this year’s gala did not take place due to the postponement of ISC West).

Those honorees are nominated by a selection committee presently comprised of Hall of Famers Bill Bozeman, Alan Forman, Ken Kirschenbaum and Ralph Sevinor. An-other Hall member, Ron Davis, serves as special advisor to the group. And now, like a juicy fastball served up down the center of the plate, here’s how the Hall’s Class of 2020 consistently smashed it out of the park.

Read on for profiles of this year’s SSI Hall of Fame Inductees…

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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