With three vacancies to fill, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) voted on new members of its board at the end of June.

The positions were vacated by outgoing board members Dee Ann Harn, CEO of RFI Enterprises in Calif.; Steve Firestone, owner of Firestone Strategies in S.C.; and James Lee, owner of Alarmguard Security in N.C.

“I have had the honor of working closely with these professionals, who helped steer the association through some major transitions,” said ESA Chairman Jamie Vos. “They helped to restructure the association and guide us through the acquisition of ESX — and through the pandemic. Their impact on ESA will be felt for years to come.”

In accordance with ESA bylaws, two integrator and one associate member director positions were open for two-year terms.

Voting concluded on June 29, 2021. With the recent amendments to the ESA bylaws, all current ESA members were eligible to vote for all open positions on the board. Balloting was conducted electronically through a third-party platform that maintained election integrity and security.

The new board members are: Melissa Brinkman, CEO, Custom Alarm, Rochester, Minn.; Jeremy Bates, president, Bates Security, LLC/Sonitrol of Lexington, Inc., Lexington, Ky.; and Jason Lutz, distribution sales leader, Resideo Technologies, Austin, Texas.

Brinkman started her career in the security industry after moving back to her hometown, Rochester, Minn., in December 1998. Brinkman has held several positions within Custom Alarm from marketing to sales manager, business development director, and customer services manager. She was chief operating officer before Leigh J. Johnson, founder and CEO at the time, announced his retirement and Melissa was promoted to CEO in February 2014.

She currently serves on the boards of directors for SPARK, Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. (RAEDI), Lourdes Foundation Inc. (LFI) and Think Bank. She also serves as an advisor with some security industry manufacturers. Brinkman received the mayor’s Medal of Honor- Community-Wide Service in 2013, was recognized as “10 Who Make a Difference” in 2012, Rochester Chamber Volunteer of the Year 2008 and named as one of the 5 Extraordinary Women by Rochester Women Magazine in 2009. Custom Alarm has grown to over 65 employees and has been in the SDM 100 for 23 consecutive years.

Bates serves as president of Bates Security LLC/Sonitrol of Lexington Inc. His family’s company is based in Lexington, Ky. and has a total of four offices. The company serves primarily a commercial customer base, but maintains a strong residential business as well. The Bates family and their team have grown the company over the last several years to No. 37 in the most recent SDM 100.

Bates recently completed his term as the Kentucky ESA president and has recently served as the Sonitrol National Dealer Association’s president and currently serves on the board of Lexington’s YMCA organization. The Bates family and their company were recipients of the 2018 SDM Dealer of the Year award.

Lutz’ security industry career began over 25 years ago as a sales rep for a national company in Houston, Texas. He later moved to his current home in Tennessee where he spent the next decade in security company ownership. During that time, Jason was a member of ESA (Formally NBFAA) and TNESA (Formally TBFAA) and received multiple levels of NTS Certification.

Lutz has served as an ESA associate board member for the past three years and represents the interest of the associate members on the STRAP and bylaws committees.

The installation of the new directors will be held at the first scheduled ESA board meeting in July.