The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), Silver Spring, Md., has requested the removal from its committees of any NBFAA members who also hold membership in the new National Electronic Security Alliance (NESA).

“I’m not removing anyone from NBFAA membership, I just don’t want to see a conflict of interest worse than it is,” explained Scot Colby, NBFAA president, to SDM. “Basically, no other association is competing with us like this one is, and that is where I think the conflict of interest started. There might be problems voting one way or another.”

In his March 21 letter to NBFAA board members and committee chairs and members, Colby asked that chartered state associations (CSAs) consider replacing any NBFAA board representatives who also are NESA board representatives or committee members.

Commented Brad Shipp, NESA executive director, “It’s NBFAA’s decision how they want to run their group, but it is unfortunate that people who would like to be involved with both organizations are being shut out.

“I think there are many examples where people belong to various organizations such as SIA and CSAA and on and on through the alphabet soup,” he asserted. “They bring a perspective. Sometimes they exchange information between the groups and that’s a good thing.”

Colby differed with Shipp on this point. “I don’t think there’s an advantage – they’re just a flat duplication of what we at NBFAA already offer,” Colby maintained. “We’ve got the years of experience doing it. They’re basically trying to reinvent the wheel that we’ve had since 1948.”

NESA was founded in January 2005, Shipp stated. “NESA’s goals are the exchange of information among the states and monitoring and influencing federal legislation,” he explained. “It differs from NBFAA in that a member of NESA is a state association, and it exists to help state associations do a better job, whereas a member of NBFAA is the alarm dealer and may or may not belong to a state alarm association.”

Colby stressed that NBFAA always has offered the services that NESA will. “We’ve hired John Chwat for government relations in Washington, and we probably have the strongest government relations program NBFAA has ever had,” he emphasized.

He cited the new educational programs NBFAA is developing and its insurance program. “You don’t want somebody sitting on there in a competing association,” Colby maintained. “It’s like teaching them your trade secrets. I’m not removing anyone from membership. I just don’t want to see a conflict of interest worse than it is.”