Two key meetings held on Tuesday, June 23 at the ESX show in Baltimore were the Electronic Security Association’s annual membership meeting and the Central Station Alarm Association International’s general membership meeting.

It was the first CSAA annual meeting at which new president Pam Petrow and new executive director Jay Hauhn presided.

Petrow took the opportunity to share her thoughts on the value and relevance of CSAA to its members. “I think CSAA is a magnificent organization and I think it’s great because of a lot of hard work over many years that a lot of people in this room and people before them did.” She countered what she described as unfitting opinions held by some that CSAA is just a “good old boys network” or just a “travel club.” As president, Petrow vowed to change those perceptions by reinstituting the value of CSAA among its current and future members.

“There is so much that we do. Look at the AICC [Alarm Industry Communication Committee] meetings. Are they not one of the most fantastic forums for the dissemination of communication information? And that’s CSAA,” Petrow emphasized, adding that Lou Fiore does a fantastic job of leading AICC. Among other things, such as CSAA’s educational program, Petrow also cited the ASAP program. “We have within our power the ability to have a distinguishing way of communicating with the police departments over a connected network which is secure. It’s part of our value proposition. But we need to engage the members,” including the next generation of members, she said.

Petrow also discussed the agenda for CSAA’s annual fall meeting, which is directed at owners and senior managers, to be held in Sonoma, Calif. in mid-October 2015. Taking a somewhat different approach, the meeting will feature multiple paid speakers including topics of cybersecurity, protecting your company’s reputation, and transforming people into leaders, she said.

CSAA Treasurer Ivan Spector presented a financial report in which he said membership dues and online learning program revenues both reached an all-time high. These were just two highlights among several other factors that contributed to a positive financial report for CSAA. “All-in-all, it was another great year,” he said.

New Executive Director Jay Hauhn commented, “I’m incredibly pleased with what I’m seeing from [CSAA] staff with the job that they’re doing and the effort that they’re putting forth to further the interests of members of the association.” He said he plans to focus on ASAP, which is one of the most important programs of CSAA. He also plans to focus on education — making sure that the current program is well maintained as well as adding new educational offerings.

“At one time CSAA had a very, very close relationship with UL. We still have a close relationship with UL, but it’s not as tight as it used to be. So I’ve begun speaking to UL folks quite a bit and they’ve invited me onto their security council, which is about 12 people, who advise UL on what they need to do to remain relevant. It’s been a very positive experience so far. They’ve also asked about what the monitoring center of the future looks like, what standards they need to be looking at…”

Other comments from Hauhn and Petrow, as well as committee reports, demonstrated an emphasis on the financial growth of CSAA as well as its appeal to not only the security industry of today, but tomorrow’s as well.

At the ESA annual membership meeting, ESA president Marshall Marinace presented an award to former Honeywell Security Group President, Ron Rothman.

“This is a special award we are doing today,” Marinace said.  “This is my President’s award. It is my honor to present this award to Ron Rothman. I would like to acknowledge what Ron has done through his 32 year career in the industry. Since 2010 he has served as president of Honeywell Security. In that time, he created relationships with security dealers; he created products that were easier to sell and install. He has been a true visionary and one of ESA’s partners since its inception. Ron has been a fixture at ESA events over the years. He is retiring from Honeywell. But I hope that he doesn’t go too far.”

Accepting his award, Rothman reflected on his years at Honeywell and in the security industry: “It has been a phenomenal 32 years. Thank all of you in this room and in the industry for allowing me to share it with you. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this wonderful industry.”

Read an in-depth post-retirement interview with Rothman about his retirement here.

ESA also installed new officers and recognized the outgoing officers (some of whom were moving into new positions).

The outgoing officers were:

Roy Pollack — Vice President (2013-2015)

Dee Ann Harn — Vice President (2014-2015)

G. Thomas Eggebrecht, Ph.D. — Treasurer (2013-2015)

New officers are:

G. Thomas Eggebrecht, Ph.D. — Vice President/President Elect

Dee Ann Harn — Vice President

Steve Paley — Treasurer

In his 2014 annual report, ESA Executive Director and CEO Merlin Guilbeau described the past year as a good financial year. “We were able to put money back in the reserves.”

He cited training and retention rates as two of the highlights. “We trained 4,861 students last year. What does that mean? It means 4,800 students learned how to perform higher quality work more efficiently leading to greater profits for members.

“We are also excited that our retention rate is up to almost 90 percent, which is a pretty amazing rate for a trade association. We ended up with a total of 2,584 members, up over 2013.”

Going forward, Guilbeau outlined a new program to help keep the association relevant called R.A.C.E. (Resource, Advocate, Connect, Educate). “There has been a lot of discussion as a board and association about relevance,” he said. “How do we remain relevant for the future of this industry and the changes that are happening, the new players or younger generation that is coming in? It is a race for relevance and we are having this conversation to see how we can evolve as an organization.”