What is your background in the industry?
Received my first exposure to the alarm industry in 1972 when my father and two partners opened a safety products company. As the oldest son of the three families, I was "volunteered" to help with many of the early projects. It was from that involvement that I began to learn about fire safety and early detection - as smoke alarms were just coming out to the marketplace at that time.
When I turned 18, I joined the USN and much to my surprise following bootcamp and a year of electronics training - I was assigned to attend the USN alarm system school (RSSPS) where I was trained to service the alarm systems used by the military (all branches) to protect High Security Facilities. I spent 2 years stationed at NAVSTA Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico, and another 2 years stationed aboard the USS John Young DD973 in San Diego, CA were I maintained a variety of electronic systems, including communications, test equipment and various security related systems.
After 6 years of military service - I returned to the family business in 1983 - and began working with my father in the alarm industry. In 1985, I attended the first ever Level One Course held in Pennsylvania, and subsequently in 1989 became an NTS Instructor.
Throughout my 35+ year industry career, I have maintained an extensive involvement in the various industry trade associations, serving as a PBFAA Regional Director, PBFAA State Treasurer, Vice President and President, and for the past 20 years served as the PBFAA Executive Director - were I have been recognized with the PBFAA Leadership Award (3 times) and the NBFAA Executive Director of the Year (2 times), and the ESA NTS Instructor of the Year in 2013.
I have additionally, served the industry as the NYSESA Executive Director (16 years), Installation Quality Certification Program Manager (15 years) and the ESA of Ohio Executive Director (2 years). I have additionally participated on several UL STP's, as well as supported ESA NTS, ISC, and various industry trade publications as a subject matter expert.
What would you consider to be your specific area of expertise?
Having grown up in a small market area you learn very quickly that you have to offer a diverse level of products and services. I found that having an in depth understanding of Intrusion Systems, Fire Alarms, and Access Control made our company unique in the marketplace, so I would say that those areas, and the integration of those systems are my areas of expertise.
Why have you invested your time in being a NTS Instructor?
One of my fathers favorite sayings was "In for a dime, in for a dollar"... Which as he explained it - was his way of saying that anything worth doing was worth doing 100%. When I first was exposed to the association world, and specifically at that time the PBFAA, it was obvious that the success of the association was linked to the success of the industry, and the members. I have always felt that service as an NTS instructor was one of the best ways to "give back" to the association(s) and the industry.
What does it mean to you to teach others your craft?
As I said above, I view teaching as my way of giving back to the association and the industry. I also believe that it is the responsibility of each generation to share the lessons learned with the generation that is following them on the path - otherwise we are doomed with making the same mistakes - over and over.