More than 200 leaders in electronic security and life safety from all over gathered in Austin, Texas, Jan. 28-31 for ESA’s 2019 Leadership Summit and were not disappointed, according to a post-show survey conducted by ESA.

The survey revealed an NPS score of 85, meaning that 85 respondents were very likely to actively refer the event to a colleague or friend. More than 90 percent of attendees indicated they made valuable business contacts with peers at the Summit’s networking events, and 100 percent of attendees indicated the information and advice they received will help them grow their businesses. 

The three-night Summit, held at the Hyatt Regency Austin, consisted of a mix of impactful sessions, compelling main stage speakers, fun networking events and opportunities for one-on-one meetings between vendors and attendees from coast to coast. 

“This is a great networking event,” said ESA President Chris Mosley. “It’s a boutique event where you can participate in one-on-one interviews, conferences and brainstorming with some of your competitors in a non-volatile environment. Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best events in the industry where leaders can meet and discuss future plans and the pluses and minuses of all they have accomplished.”

All of the event’s main stage feature presentations and education breakouts received an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on the post-show survey, and 92 percent of respondents indicated they got a sense of the major electronic security industry trends through the event’s programming.

Some of the trends discussed included: making a profit and the key employees who drive it; how to structure a sales organization; hiring the right kinds of people; competing with DIY security businesses; retaining employees; developing workforce leaders; and marketing in a straight-forward way. 

Kenneth Gould, president of Gould Alarm Communications, Howell, N.J. and consultant for American Security, Long Island, N.Y., said his favorite session was the last of the Summit: “Promoting Success Through a Culture of Trust and Belief” with Success Coach Jennifer Currence. 

“That session touched on one of the biggest concerns out of a mid-sized company,” Gould said. “That was worth the trip right there.”

Also on the main stage, the Sarah E. Jackson Memorial Award and the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award were announced. Don Childers, technical training manager at Security Central and member of ESA’s board of directors, received the Sarah E. Jackson Memorial Award for exceptional leadership skills on an ESA committee; Angela White, immediate past president of the ESA, received the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award for her outstanding achievement in the industry. 

“There aren’t many professions that do what we do,” White said in her acceptance speech. “We have the ability to comfort and the ability to save lives, and I guess that’s why I’ve stayed around for 16 years.”

Another highlight of the Summit was the Rising Leaders breakouts led by Terry Peters, CEO and founder of Leader Solutions and Security Support. Besides offering educational sessions throughout the duration of the Summit, Peters also led attendees through 7 a.m. team building boot camp workouts. 

“One of the things we pride ourselves in is we don’t believe leadership is a sedentary process,” said Peters, who is ex-military. “So every morning we’ve been doing a boot camp that is a pretty aggressive workout where we bring out sandbags and do time drills, and then we put everyone together to do fast team building events where they have problems to solve and must move through an obstacle with many challenges. All of this in an hour leaves everyone pretty fatigued and really grows the camaraderie.”

David Koenig, partner of Capital Fire and Security, Madison, Wis., has been attending ESA’s Leadership Summit since its inception, and said one of his favorite parts is catching up with friends at the networking and social events, like the Diamond Dinner Event at Spin, a ping pong bar, on Wednesday night. 

“Even though I’ve been in the industry for 35+ years, I continue to learn, and I love to see friends from across the country,” Koenig said. “You’d be a fool to be in the industry and not take advantage of this event.”

Erin Stratton, marketing communications manager at SecurePro, San Luis Obispo, Calif., said she found the information gained from the Summit to be invaluable as a security industry newbie.

“I have 26 pages of notes, and I can’t wait to hide out in the hotel and go over everything,” Stratton said. “I got so much out of this; I have more of a structure, and I can see the pathway to what I need to do.”

In his closing remarks, Jamie Vos, vice president of ESA, urged attendees to take advantage of all that they learned at the Summit, “Really make 2019 the year of engagement and engage with what you learned here.”

For more information on the 2020 ESA Leadership Summit, stay tuned to