Late Frank DeFina Honored With Induction Into Hall of Fame

DeFina was a former CCTV executive with Panasonic, Samsung and others.

Frank DeFina — Deceased, CCTV executive with Panasonic, Samsung, SightLogix and Hikvision

Why He’s on the List

  • More than a quarter century as a successful and beloved video surveillance manufacturing executive who handled business and people with equal skill and grace
  • Spent 26 years with Panasonic, working his way up to president of the Systems Solutions business in 1999
  • Proved excellence and results across industry business disciplines from product management through sales and marketing, and an avid mentor
  • An outstanding communicator, he helped eliminate barriers between his overseas employers and U.S. and Canadian customer bases
  • Was actively involved with the Security Industry Association (SIA) and International Biometrics Industry Association (IBIA)
  • With SIA, helped develop the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Security Systems Technology that was recently launched at Mercer County Community College (N.J.)
  • In November 2015, honored with SIA’s George R. Lippert Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the security industry

Keys to Success
“Frank was a genuine leader and innovator of new sales and marketing strategies that propelled the organizations he worked for over the years. More importantly, he was a gentleman, genuinely honest and compassionate to the people around him. Unbeknown to most, Frank battled with health issues the majority of his adult life and career, yet never let them bring him down or affect those around him. He had an inner strength and sense of right and wrong that guided his personal and business life.” — Vince Galdi, Chief Creative Officer, LRG (with input from the DeFina family)


  • Born in Brackenridge, Pa., died July 26, 2015, age 61
  • One of three siblings, both parents emigrated from Italy with his father being an accomplished stone mason and mother a pasta wiz
  • Husband to Patricia for 38 years, with two sons and two grandchildren
  • Graduated from Clarion (Pa.) University with a B.S. in business administration and master’s degree in communications
  • Undertook executive education programs in finance and sales management at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business; and studied at Japan’s Matsushita Institute for Learning
  • Within Panasonic, migrated from the broadcast/professional AV business to electronic security
  • Served as vice president of global sales and marketing for two years at Paul Reed Smith Guitars Ltd.
  • Served as a board member of the Paley Center for Media (formerly Museum of Television and Radio), and the New York Friar’s Club Foundation
  • Other interests included music, being an accomplished guitarist and collector of rare string instruments, cooking for friends and family, and fishing

On Front Lines of Digital Revolution
“Frank lived through the migration from analog to digital to networked technology. He helped propel the adoption of each of these trends throughout the history of his career. Frank looked to take the advent of digital and network technologies beyond their traditional applications within the pro security industry to further expand and create new business development opportunities. At the time of his untimely death, having recently taken on a new role and challenge, Frank was on a mission to build a new enhanced sales model for Hikvision in the Americas.” – Galdi

A Host With the Most
“Frank’s impromptu exchange with the comedian hosting the 2014 Security Industry Association [SIA] Awards Banquet gave those in attendance who may not have known him the opportunity to witness and experience his genius, spontaneity and extremely good sense of humor. Frank was very personable and would host dinners for the trade media to show his sincere appreciation for the contributions to the companies he served and to his personal career. Plus, he loved to entertain on a grand scale.” – Galdi

Paying It Forward
“Frank didn’t want to leave the future of the industry to other people to handle. He wanted to be involved to help steer initiatives for the betterment of the industry and to create a succession plan for tomorrow’s leaders. Throughout his life, he mentored young people and helped them get started in their business, film or music careers. In addition, he was active in the church.” – Galdi

“A mentor and friend is something that not everyone has the ability to become. Mr. DeFina, I miss our morning coffee meetings where we discussed the state of the union, how our lives were and what direction we were heading into. We were always geared to take over the world and I miss that. Your incredible stories always still seem to find their way into the stitches of my career that you helped build. You left a legacy behind that I am so honored to have been a part of.” – Janet Fenner, Director of Marketing North America, Samsung Techwin America

“My first encounter with Frank resulted in getting hired to market Panasonic’s security systems. When he asked: ‘What are we selling?’ I promptly responded with some unmemorable marketing textbook platitude, upon which Frank promptly corrected me: ‘We’re selling peace of mind.’ Always composed and witty, genuinely compassionate, Frank was an exemplary manager, mentor and avuncular boss. His legacy lives on in those of us who had the fortune to know, and work with, him.” – Julianna Benedick, Director of Marketing, Panasonic System Communications Co. of North America

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