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

Richard Kleinman | President and COO, AFA Protective Systems



  • Born 1955 in New York
  • Younger of two brothers, father ran a telephone answering service before taking over AFA Protective in 1969, mother was a homemaker
  • Married with two sons, one of which works in AFA Protective
  • Earned B.S. in business administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and lettered in football
  • Became a CPA in 1980
  • Honors include Man of the Year (2005) by Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Long Island Chapter; citation for 25+ years on NFPA Technical Committee; appointed to New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council by ex-Gov. Pataki
  • Says if career had taken different path might have pursued sports or accounting
  • Other interests include travel and playing golf

Why He’s on the List

  • 45+ years working in, building and leading one of the industry’s most respected and successful security and fire systems companies, as well a longtime volunteerism associated with fire detection standards
  • Was instrumental in helping AFA Protective, one of the nation’s oldest central monitoring stations, to be among the first to automate its operations
  • Spent 25 years representing industry interests on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee, uncompromising in his conviction systems should be installed/serviced according to appropriate codes and standards
  • Also served as a member of the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council (appointed by Gov. Pataki), ASIS and the UL Industry Advisory Council
  • 25+ years volunteering for Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, being named Man of the Year in 2005 by the organization’s Long Island chapter

Keys to Success

“Probably the biggest influence on my career was my father, Philip. While in his 40s, he switched careers and took over a relatively small alarm company with large company issues. I was able to learn from the way he dealt with customers, employees and the industry. Additionally, having been on a football team in college, you learn to deal with adversity and see things through to the end. You also learn that everyone on your team needs to perform their function properly in order for the team to succeed.

“Most people might say working with family is difficult. Fortunately, the opposite is true for me. Working with my father and older brother, Robert, was easy. It was a team effort. And now that my son, Jared, and my brother’s son, David, are in the business, it’s very rewarding to watch them work together as my brother and I have over the past 40+ years.”

Business Building

“Being the oldest central station company in the industry is certainly a distinctive feature. Over the years, we have not compromised our principles, even when they conflict with some of the practices of the associations, which we felt could have been counterproductive to the industry.”

Triumphs of Trade Groups Work

“I felt it was important to be involved and promote what I felt was right for the industry. The committee work was even more interesting. By being involved, you could not only learn where the codes and standards were headed but you could be involved in the process of change.”

Firetruck Detectors?

“While trying to promote UL’s certificate service for fire alarm, I met with fire officials and UL to see if they would adopt UL’s service. We spoke about smoke detector spacing and how UL certificates systems. The main fire marshal said he had an issue at one of his firehouses. A contractor was installing a fire alarm system in the firehouse and had leftover smoke detectors. Rather than putting them back in stock, the contractor put all the extra smoke detectors in the bays where the firetrucks were. Every time they responded to a fire, the smoke alarm would go off when the fire trucks started! He wanted to know if following the standard would have prevented that.”

Top Wish for Industry Change

“I would want systems to be installed according to the appropriate codes and standards. This way the companies and individuals using the systems, the AHJs approving the systems and the insurance companies giving any discounts for use of those systems could have comfort knowing they were installed and would be maintained properly.”

Continue to the next page for a profile of Jerry Lenander…

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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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