Honoring Our Veterans, November 2020

TMA is proud to honor those within our community who have served in the U.S. and Canadian military today, Veterans’ Day, November, 11, 2020.

We invited members to share details of their service and photos to mark this special day.

You may view a presentation of our 2020 honorees HERE.

The TMA Board of Directors and staff extend heartfelt gratitude to all of those who have served and sacrificed.

Spector, Schmit Honored For TMA and Industry Contributions

On October 21, 2020, in the course of TMA’s General Membership Meeting, TMA President Don Young had the honor of presenting TMA’s two highest awards – Stanley C. Lott Award for Exemplary Service and the Mel Mahler Award for Outstanding Service to the Monitoring Industry.

Stanley C. Lott Award for Exemplary Service Presented to Ivan Spector, President, Sentinelle Alarms
In presenting the award, President Young stated, “This year the award is given to a man who has not only served TMA through many leadership positions on committees and the TMA Board, but who was a founding member and longtime board member of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).

In addition, he has been a leader in advancing alarm management in both Canada and the United States. For CANASA, he served on the Board of Directors, was national president, and chair of the Response Committee. In that role he proved instrumental in driving many false dispatch reduction initiatives. He is also a Superior Court of Canada-acknowledged and accepted expert witness.
This year’s winner is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and is the owner of Sentinel Alarm. I am pleased to award the 2020 Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award to Ivan Spector.”

Mel Mahler Award for Outstanding Service to the Monitoring Industry Presented to Steve A. Schmit, Senior Staff Engineer, UL
In presenting the award, President Young commented, “When deciding on a recipient for this year’s Award, one name came immediately to mind. He is an individual who has served our industry for more than 39 years, but with the onset of Covid 19 earlier this year, he worked tirelessly on behalf of the TMA membership to develop work at home standards that would allow our industry to continue to operate under safe conditions. This year’s winner is an experienced Engineering Manager with a history of working in the public safety industry.

He holds a BS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serves as Senior Staff Engineer for Underwriters Laboratories. I am very grateful for all of the help and guidance this year’s recipient provided on the establishment of the new standard and I am honored to present this year’s Mel Mahler Award to Steve Schmit.”

Please join TMA in congratulating Ivan and Steve on these esteemed honors.

TMA Past President Named ESA’s 2019 Person of the Year

The Electronic Security Association (ESA) presented its 2019 Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award to TMA Past President Bud Wulforst in honor of his lifetime of achievements in the security industry. Wulforst has been involved in ESA throughout the years as part of many initiatives and as a mentor to other businesspeople in the industry. 

Upon receiving his award, Wulforst stated, “I’m truly humbled as we stand here with 50 years of award recipients. I am so very proud to receive this wonderful ESA award. I’ve learned so much from so many over the years,” said Wulforst as he received the award. The associations are the catalyst for bringing it all together. The power of networking and participating in our associations should never be underestimated. When I say thank you, I say thank you to you all.”

TMA extends its sincere congratulations to Wulforst.

Read more.

NetOne’s CTO Appointed New TMA Standards Committee Chair

TMA is pleased to announce that Glenn Schroeder, Chief Technology Officer, NetOne, Inc., has been appointed to Chair, TMA Standards Committee. Glenn bring 40 years of alarm industry knowledge and experience to his new role. Over the span of his career, Glenn has held key senior leadership positions in Information Technology, Corporate Finance, Central Station, Customer Service, Field operations, and sales disciplines.

“Standards creation is rewarding, but challenging, work. In defining best practices, standards help business, the economy and the safety of everyone. They affect all of us every day, wherever we go, and in whatever we do,” stated Glenn. “Having the opportunity to spend over 40 years in this industry, it is a privilege to be able to contribute my knowledge, expertise, and experience to influence the development of standards that could better the lives and business of the future.”

Please join us is welcoming Glenn to this pivotal role.

The Monitoring Association Reveals Average Compensation for Monitoring Center Managers in 2018 to be $82,000 in New Study

TMA released its latest Wage & Comp Survey—the purpose of which is to provide monitoring and security services companies with salary and benefits information to guide hiring and compensation decisions. The Survey was created in partnership with TRG Associates, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in the security alarm industry.

Participation in the Survey was open to all security monitoring companies. Company specific information is not published to ensure confidentiality. The Survey collected wage and benefits information from the year 2018 for the following areas:

  • Demographic Data
  • Types of Monitoring and Installations
  • Monitoring Center
  • Executive & Operational Management
  • Dealer/Installer
  • Customer Support
  • Sales and Marketing
  • IT & Telecom Services
  • Benefits Packages

The Wage & Comp Survey is now available for sale on TMA’s website. The purchase price is $400 for TMA members and $500 for non-members. Discounts are available for companies that participated in the survey—they will be contacted individually.

If you have any questions, please contact Celia Besore, TMA Executive Director, at cbesore@tma.us or at 703-660-4914.

The Monitoring Association Releases Revised ANSI-accredited Standard

In its on-going effort to reduce the occurrence and impact of false dispatches, TMA has released the latest revision of its ANSI-accredited standard, TMA CS-V-01-2020 (Version August 01, 2020). This standard takes alarm verification and confirmation to its next level by defining multiple-attempt confirmation, biometric, audio and video confirmation. The standard is now available for free download.

Learn more about TMA’s standards activities at https://tma.us/standards/.

Securitas Electronic Security Captures TMA’s Monitoring Center of the Year Award

Our 2020 Monitoring Center of the Year demonstrates excellence across all aspects of its business. Learn more in the upcoming issue of TMA Dispatch. See other top 2020 Excellence Award winners.

TMA mourns the loss of dear friend and Past President Bob Bitton

The TMA family mourns the loss of a great man, Robert “Bob” Bitton, Supreme Security Systems. Loved and respected by many, he dedicated much of his time over four decades to the advancement of TMA’s mission, its members, and others industry-wide.

He served as president of TMA (then CSAA) from 1987-1989, and continued to serve on the TMA Board until his death. Until very recently, he’d been coordinating the radio frequencies that had been designated by the FCC exclusively for the use of UL listed central station alarm companies, a role he graciously assumed in 1989. He leaves a distinct legacy of leadership and altruism.

Our heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues.

We are collecting remembrances about Bob to place on this Tribute page. If you would care to contribute stories, thoughts, memories about Bob, please send them to lmcguire@tma.us.

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Obituary:

Robert Bitton, 81, of Naples, Fla., died after a courageous and short battle with brain cancer, at home on July 9th, 2020. He was born January 19th, 1939 at Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, NJ, the son of Sydney and Bertha (Rabkin) Bitton.

Robert graduated from Hillside High School, Class of 1956 and Rutgers University, class of 1960. After graduation, he married Rhoda Heiber and they lived in Union, NJ and Clark NJ before moving to Livingston, NJ. They celebrated 60 years of marriage on June 11th, 2020.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, Rhoda (Heiber) Bitton, are his sister, Maxine (Bitton) Paris; son, David Bitton and his wife Meg of Tenafly, NJ; daughters Michele Bitton of San Francisco, CA, Susan Erdreich and her husband David, of Berkeley Heights, NJ; four grandchildren, Jordyn, Rachel, Zane and Hudson, and many nieces and nephews.

Robert was CEO of Supreme Security Systems, Inc., started by his father Sydney Bitton in 1929, until 2019 when he passed the operations on to his son David Bitton to establish a third generation family business. Robert was a prominent figure within the electronic security industry, serving as a leader for many different organizations. He also loved to spend his time on the water, boating.
Graveside services for family only took place on Sunday, July 12th at King Solomon Cemetery, Clifton, NJ. Those who wish to remember Bob, may make a donation to the charity of their choice.

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Remembrances:

“Bob was fiercely passionate about our industry.   He was a true believer in the power of associations and collaboration and would always have time for people , myself included. H is work for years on wireline , wireless and FCC frequency coordination was priceless. The industry has lost a wonderful soul and we are all in a better place because of his lifelong efforts.. He would often brag with pride in a positive way how long he was a member of CSAA/TMA. Bob will be missed by many; however, his positive impact will hold true for years to come.”

Ralph W. Sevinor

 

“Bob Bitton was one of the 3 “BBs” in the association along with Bob Bonifas and me, Bob Bean. He was President of CSAA when I joined and at my first conference which was on the Island of Kauai and he welcomed me and Alert Alarm with enthusiasm and warmth as did Rhoda. I liked Bob. He was great for the industry and the association. He will be missed. Aloha.

Bob Bean

 

“I did not know Bob as well as others, but seeing him often at board meetings and other events always reminded me of the commitment our founders have had to this association for so many years. Bob will certainly be remembered fondly by our TMA family and I personally look forward to learning more about him from the memories of our members in the future. Indeed, may Bob rest in peace.”

Don Young, TMA President

 

“Dedicated, passionate, insightful, and inquisitive are amongst the many qualities I attribute to Bob. A great Industry person, always concerned and always questioning, Bob was a friend, a leader and a real mensch. His presence will be greatly missed. I am proud to work in an industry and proud to be a member of TMA which allowed me to learn from people like Bob.”

Ivan Spector, TMA Immediate Past President

 

“I always enjoyed my conversations with Bob over the years.  Being local in New Jersey made it easy to meet or speak from time to time about a variety of subjects.  His decades of experience was priceless and his ability to make the tough decision when necessary was an essential part of  his success.  I was so sad to hear of Bob’s passing but glad we had time to have a few laughs with Bob & Rhoda recently at the TMA Annual Meeting this past October.”

Peter Giacalone

 

“All the years I have spent on the the TMA BOD, Bob has always been there for me.

My wife Sue and I will always remember the great times we have spent with Bob and Rhoda. Our heart’s also  go out the the Bitton family.”

Chet & Sue Donati 

 

Look for a memorial in the summer issue of TMA Dispatch.

Call for Participation – New TMA/ANSI Standard

The Monitoring Association (TMA), as an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Standards Development Organization (SDO), is seeking interested individuals to participate on the committee that will create a proposed new standard, currently designated as TMA-AVS-01.

From the ANSI Project Initiation Notification System:

Abstract of Project:

The increasing use of data by Public Safety has had a positive impact on the services they provide to the public.  Datasets generated by commercial sources, such as the alarm industry, can be a valuable data source to Public Safety.  Real time data from security providers will improve situational awareness as well as first responder safety.  Sensor innovation driven by technological advances has raised the quantity and quality of data collected by alarm systems. 

Alarm monitoring centers can use this data to estimate the validity of an alarm event, which enables the creation of standardized “alarm scoring” metrics.  Calls for Service to Emergency Call Centers/Public Safety Answering Points that include a standardized scoring metric can assist public safety departments that opt-in to the program, with their alarm response policies, similar to how Location Accuracy and Crash Severity scoring are used. 

Project Need:

Public Safety officials in municipalities establish alarm response policies specific to their jurisdiction.  Such an ANSI standard will be created cooperatively with Public Safety stakeholders.  Alarm scores would be calculated by an alarm monitoring center process and technology.  Alarm scores transmitted to Public Safety in a standardized manner minimizes workflows within Public Safety.  It allows Public Safety to take advantage of the data without the burden of receiving and analyzing it themselves.  Additionally, the standard can enable processes for data relative to a Call for Service, to be “pulled” by Public Safety on demand.

Identify Stakeholders:

The Monitoring Association (TMA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO), National Emergency Number Association (NENA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Sheriffs Association (NSA), International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response (PPVAR) 

ANSI guidelines require that standards development committees have proper “balance” so that no single interest category dominates the group or process to the exclusion of fair and equitable consideration of other viewpoints.  Proper balance of committee membership will be achieved through sufficient representation from three primary interest categories: User – a person or organization who directly or indirectly utilize services or products described in the standard; Producer – a person or organization that directly or indirectly produce, manufacture, or distribute products or develop services which may be described in the standard; and General Interest – a person who has expressed a general interest in the content of the standard.  Specifically, proposed interest categories are Alarm Monitoring, Public Safety, Installer/Maintainer, Special Expert, Service Provider, and Manufacturer/Software Provider.

Membership in TMA is not required to participate as a committee member.  Additionally, anyone may offer comments on the draft standard without being a committee member or a TMA member.  ANSI and TMA procedures require equal consideration of all comments.

TMA leadership will determine the number of committee members with consideration to the number of applications received, balanced with the need to assure the group can work effectively and efficiently.   Alternate member non-voting participation will be considered.

The committee will be asked to complete their initial draft of the standard within 120 days of the first committee meeting.  Following completion of the draft document, committee participation for an additional three to a six-month period will be required during the public review and comment phase, and for completion of the final draft.

Please complete the online short form if you are interested in being considered for membership on the TMA-AVS-01 committee.  Questions may be directed to Bryan Ginn at bginn@tma.us or at 703-660-4919.

The Monitoring Association’s 2020 Fall Events Pivot to Virtual Format

The Board of Directors of The Monitoring Association (TMA) today announced their decision to transition the organization’s 2020 Annual Meeting and Ops-Tech (formerly known as Fall Operations Management Seminar and Technology Summit) from face-to-face to virtual meetings. The dramatic increase in the spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks raised great concern for the wellbeing of our members and other prospective attendees. Our meetings will be presented as follows:

2020 Annual Meeting Education Sessions: Tuesday, Oct. 27th – Thursday, Oct., 29th

2020 Ops-Tech Education Sessions:

  • Focus on Operations: Monday, Nov. 9th – Thursday, Nov. 12th
    • Includes a bonus one-day Video Security Monitoring track (Nov. 12th)
  • Focus on Technology: Tuesday, Nov. 17th – Wednesday, Nov. 18th

“My colleagues on the Board of Directors and TMA staff are very excited about the shift to virtual programming, as it opens up some outstanding new opportunities for both attendees and speakers,” stated TMA President Don Young. “We anticipate a heightened comfort level with registering for each event and hope everyone can enjoy the savings and convenience from avoiding travel but still have access to programs and networking opportunities using the latest collaboration technologies that all of us have been forced to adopt in recent months.”

Attendees can expect the same quality and scope of content in educational programming that has long been a distinguishing attribute of TMA meetings. “The educational portion of our fall events reflects the current, unprecedented business landscape for monitoring and installation companies of all sizes,” remarked John Brady, TMA Education Committee Chair. “From emerging insurance and legal issues to remote workforce management training issues amid the pandemic, the meeting will dedicate time to the latest technology offerings and explore new business opportunities that have arisen in recent months.”

TMA will preview the format, education sessions, and virtual networking opportunities for each of its fall events at TMA’s next Town Hall on Monday, July 20th at 11:00am ET. If you are not registered yet, TMA members can do so at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8353008935081638928.

More information about the meetings will be posted at www.tma.us beginning Monday, July 20th.