Ivan Spector is Voted TMA President-Elect

Ivan Spector is Voted President-Elect of The Monitoring Association

Membership Votes for New Officers at ESX 2017

VIENNA, VA (June 28, 2017) – Members of The Monitoring Association (TMA) chose their next president at the General Membership Meeting in Nashville on June 13: Ivan Spector, president of Montreal-based Sentinel Alarm Co. Sentinel has been in the security and critical monitoring business for more than 40 years and is a full-service, custom-designed ULC-listed and Five Diamond designated monitoring station.

Ivan Spector Portrait May 2017 lowres“I am very honored and humbled to serve in the position of President,” said Spector. “I look forward to continuing our successes and I thank all of our members for their support and participation.”

In addition to his ownership of Sentinel Alarm, Spector is a leader in advancing alarm management in both Canada and the United States. For CANASA, he has 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 was a founding member and longtime board member of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC). Currently, he serves on the Executive Committee of TMA.

Spector is a Superior Court of Canada-acknowledged and accepted expert witness. He is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal. He and his wife Jodi reside in Montreal and have four children.

In addition to the election of Spector, officer positions for the next two years were proposed and accepted by vote of the membership: Don Young, ADT; Morgan Hertel, Rapid Response; and Steve Butkovich, CPI will become vice presidents of the Association and Alan Gillmore IV, Gillmore Security, will become treasurer.

“Congratulations to Ivan and our other new officers,” said TMA President Pamela J. Petrow. “I have had the pleasure of working with all of them during my presidency, and know that the Association will be in very good hands under their leadership.”

These leadership changes become official at the conclusion of the TMA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale October 7-11.

In addition to voting on these leaders, members approved several proposed changes to the Association bylaws sections pertaining to officers and committees. The revised bylaws are posted online at tma.us.

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About The Monitoring Association
The Monitoring Association (TMA), formerly the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies, including those listed by a TMA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. Incorporated in 1950, TMA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. TMA’s mission is to advance the professional monitoring industry through education, advocacy, and public safety relationships. www.tma.us. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at TMA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

Vivint is TMA 2017 Monitoring Center of the Year

Dynamark, Safe, and CRC Honored with Personnel Awards

Vivint trophy 2017 Craig trophy 2017Keith Godsey trophy 2017Laura Jacobson CSAA - TMA Award 2017TMA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Monitoring Center Excellence Awards:

  • Monitoring Center of the Year: Vivint SmartHome
  • Monitoring Center Operator of the Year: Craig Pierce, Safe Systems
  • Monitoring Center Manager of the Year: Keith Godsey, Dynamark
  • Monitoring Center Support Person of the Year: Laura Jacobson, Cooperative Response Center

“The companies and individuals chosen as winners this year are shining examples of how seriously the monitoring industry takes its responsibility to protect life and property,” said Elizabeth Lasko, Vice President of Communications, TMA.

“Our monitoring team delivers a world-class security experience, in conjunction with our state-of-the-art smart home solutions that delight our customers every day,” said Steve Dixon, senior vice president of customer experience and operations at Vivint Smart Home, in a press release. “We’re thrilled to be recognized by the profession’s leading trade association, TMA, for the work we do to keep our customers’ homes and families safe and secure.”

“We congratulate our winners for being recognized as the best of the best,” Lasko continued. “Our judges related how very difficult it was to choose the finalists, let alone the winners, from all the nominations. The applications that were submitted all told powerful stories of service, innovation, corporate culture, and the desire to constantly improve.”

“Each nominee must submit an extensive application detailing company systems like disaster recovery plan, education and training programs, technical innovations, and even community outreach,” said Lasko. “In the case of individual nominations, we ask for examples of how these employees go above and beyond their job descriptions to pursue excellence.”

The TMA Monitoring Center Excellence Awards recognize any FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL or UL-listed monitoring center (TMA members and non-members) and outstanding personnel who perform in the highest professional manner, thereby making a significant contribution to the betterment of the alarm industry and the alarm profession while demonstrating exceptional service to their customers and community.

The purpose of the awards program is to:

  • Establish and promote the inherent value of professional monitoring services in general.
  • Honor those who have made the most significant contributions to the service.
  • Promote the distinct level of professionalism attained by NRTL-approved monitoring centers.

The TMA Monitoring Center Excellence Awards Program is sponsored by SDM Magazine, which will publish a feature story detailing the accomplishments of the winners later this summer. Entries are judged by a blue-ribbon volunteer judging panel appointed by TMA. The four winners were announced at the Opening Reception of the 2017 Electronic Security Expo (ESX) on Tuesday, June 13. For past winners and more information, visit www.tma.us.

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About The Monitoring Association
The Monitoring Association (TMA), formerly the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies, including those listed by a TMA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. Incorporated in 1950, TMA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. TMA’s mission is to advance the professional monitoring industry through education, advocacy, and public safety relationships. www.tma.us. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at TMA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

2017 Public Sector Award: NY State’s Merklinger

Rochester/Monroe County, NY’s John Merklinger is Recipient of 2017 TMA Public Sector Award

VIENNA, VA (May 22, 2017) – John M. Merklinger, Director of the Rochester/Monroe County 911 Center and 311 Call Center, is the recipient of The Monitoring Association’s 2017 Public Sector Award. This special honor is given by TMA in recognition of a public sector individual’s contribution to the alarm industry. He will be presented with the award at the 2017 Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Public Sector Luncheon on Friday, June 16, at Music City Center in Nashville.  TMA-Public-Sector-Award

“It is our pleasure to recognize John for his tireless efforts to advance the implementation of ASAP – the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol – in New York State,” said TMA President Pamela J. Petrow. ASAP is a technology that automates communication between alarm monitoring central stations and 911 centers, resulting in improved accuracy and speed of emergency response.

The award recipient must be nominated by one or more TMA members in good standing. TMA President Petrow and Past President (and current Executive Director) Jay Hauhn put Merklinger’s name forward for consideration.

“New York State was projected to be one of the last states to implement ASAP due to the states unique IT infrastructure,” said Hauhn. “Merklinger, who understood the value ASAP would bring to his center, spearheaded an effort by New York PSAPs to work with the state police to have the needed changes to the state CJIS network funded, scheduled and successfully completed.”

As Director of the Rochester/Monroe County 911 Center and 311 Call Center, Merklinger manages a staff of 246 dedicated employees and an annual budget of $17.6 million at the 911 Center. The 911 Center handled nearly 1.3 million calls in 2016 (the 311 call center handled 484,844 calls in 2016). The Center is accredited by CALEA and the NYS Sheriffs’ Association.

J Merklinger PhotoMerklinger has an extensive Public Safety background as a paramedic, volunteer firefighter, and employee at the Monroe County 911 Center for the last 30 years. He has three A.A.S degrees from Monroe Community College in Public Safety Communications, Criminal Justice and Paramedicine. He also has a B.S degree in Organizational Management and a M.S degree in Management from Robert’s Wesleyan College.  A past Fire Chief, he is a life member of Gates Volunteer Ambulance since 1980 and a life member of the Gates Fire Department since 1991. He is past-president of the NYS NENA Chapter and currently serves as President of the NYS 911 Coordinators Association. Merklinger was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the NYS 911 board in 2011 and remains a member of the board.

“We are proud to be the first PSAP in NYS to go live with the ASAP protocol,” said Merklinger.  “We believe this will be a benefit to the public and the public safety organizations by providing quicker entry and response to alarm generated emergencies.”

The ASAP program is based on an American National Standard developed jointly by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and TMA, then the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). The program provides a standardized method through the use of automation and the power of Nlets to deliver alarm notifications to 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points. As a result, there is an increase in the likelihood of increased law enforcement apprehensions for crimes in-progress, fire quickly extinguished with minimal property damage, and could mean a life-saver for a medical emergency patient when every second counts.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at TMA, 703-242-4670 or elasko@tma.us.

 

Miskulin Receives President’s Award

State Farm’s Joe Miskulin Honored with CSAA President’s Award for Leadership in Education, Proprietary Monitoring

VIENNA, VA (November 14, 2016) – On October 26 at the Central Station Alarm Association’s Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Joe Miskulin, manager at State Farm Central Monitoring Services, was awarded the CSAA President’s Award for his service to the monitoring industry. Miskulin, who was not in attendance at the Annual Meeting, was presented with his award at the CSAA Fall Operations Management Seminar (“Fall Ops”) in Elizabeth, NJ, today.

“This is completely unexpected and humbling for someone like me, who came into this profession with a ton of questions and no experience to speak of,” said Miskulin. “I don’t have the words to thank all of the mentors that have helped me along the way.”

Miskulin has been with State Farm Insurance for 35 years, the last 20 as the manager of the State Farm proprietary central station. He is one of the founding members of the CSAA Proprietary Council, which started in 1999 with a change in the association’s bylaws permitting not-for-profit central stations to become regular members. He has served on the CSAA Board of Directors since 2008 and been the co-chair of the CSAA Education Committee since 2009.

“We congratulate Joe on receiving this well-deserved recognition in front of his peers and the membership that he has worked tirelessly to support for many years,” said CSAA President Pam Petrow. “As chair of the Proprietary Council and co-chair of the CSAA Education Committee, he has accepted leadership roles that have been very important to the growth and sustainability of the membership. He has led the Proprietary members, driving participation as well as content for meetings. On the education front, he has listened to the participants and worked to find topics and speakers, particularly for our annual Fall Ops event, that are relevant and engaging.”

It’s fitting that the President’s Award was presented at Fall Ops. “One of the highlights of my year is coming to the Fall Operations Management Seminar and having the opportunity to learn from my colleagues and friends,” said Miskulin, who called Fall Ops “the one industry event for central station personnel presented by central station personnel.”

“We’re an association that deals with security, yet I have never known a group more willing to share ideas and best practices with their ‘competition’ in order to achieve a common goal — to safeguard the public,” said Miskulin.

“As CSAA leaders and members have been working to revitalize CSAA, Joe’s efforts have significantly contributed to our success,” concluded Petrow.

 

Teresa Gonzalez Honored with Lott Award

UCC President Teresa Gonzalez Honored with Stanley C. Lott Award at 2016 CSAA Annual Meeting

VIENNA, VA (November 1, 2016) – Teresa Gonzalez, president of United Central Control, was awarded the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA)’s highest honor, the Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award for Exemplary Service, at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Florida on October 26.

This award was created to honor the memory of Stanley C. Lott, a CSAA past president renowned for his above-and-beyond efforts to lead and financially support the Association through difficult times.

“On behalf of CSAA, I am thrilled that Teresa has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Stanley C. Lott Award,” said Pamela J. Petrow, president of CSAA. “This award is not presented each year, but reserved for the very special recognition of individuals who have made significant contributions to the security industry over an extended period of time. Teresa’s efforts distinguish her among the volunteers who move CSAA forward — this award is well deserved.”

Teresa Gonzalez has 25 years of experience in central station operations and technology, including 15 years managing personnel, business operations and technical advancements in the central station.  She joined UCC in 1997 and served as UCC Vice President and General Manager until being promoted to President in 2008. She is a member of the CSAA Board of Directors and a Co-Chair of the CSAA Education Committee.

“I am very humbled and honored to have been selected to receive this award,” said Gonzalez. “It is definitely an unexpected but pleasant surprise! Over the last 15 years, it has been a gratifying experience to work with and share ideas with other CSAA members who are passionate about this industry and its professionalism, especially all those who have contributed to the education committee over the years. I also feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from so many great leaders at CSAA. I am grateful to them for their support and friendship.”

As chair of the CSAA Education Committee, Gonzalez has been a driving force behind creating and updating CSAA’s educational content, one of the Association’s most important programs. “Be it upgrades to existing programs, such as the Distance Learning Programs for frontline staff, or bringing in relevant speakers for the Fall Operations Conference and CSAA Annual Meeting, Teresa’s vision has been critical in our effort to create relevant content that our business members can use to improve performance and bottom line results,” said Petrow. “As we have been working to advance CSAA, her work in the area of education has significantly contributed to our success.”

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of CSAA,” said Gonzalez. “Under the leadership of President Pam Petrow, Executive Director Jay Hauhn, and all the support staff, CSAA has had new direction and positive change. Board members have a renewed commitment of participation, a common goal and desire to re-create value and relevance for our members, and to continue the furtherance of professionalism in our industry. I am proud and thankful to work with such exceptional people.”

Find out more about the Stanley C. Lott Award and view the list of recipients since 1991 at http://csaaintl.org/stanley-c-lott-award/.

Update on Two CSAA-Verisk Initiatives

By Drew Doleski, Verisk Insurance Solutions

Two exciting opportunities are available to help security- and alarm-system providers find additional value from their data, and potentially expand insurance discount benefits to their customers, thanks to Verisk’s ongoing partnership with Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA).

CSAA-affiliated system providers can participate in a CSAA-Verisk study that evaluates whether deeper insurance discounts are warranted for their customers beyond the ‘check box’ discounts provided today. System providers will also have an opportunity to participate in Verisk’s data exchange solution for the confirmation of current, active alarm systems. Homeowners insurers who participate in the exchange will be able to verify if a customer has an active monitoring subscription. This will potentially create additional recurring monthly revenue (RMR) opportunities for system providers and could also improve system retention rates by triggering deeper homeowner policy discounts that would make retention more attractive.

Insurance industry aggregate discount study

Now underway, the insurance research study will develop insights that help insurers determine the extent to which discounts should be adjusted to truly reflect the benefits of alarm systems. The analysis draws from the combined alarm system data contributed by the industry, as well as from Verisk’s proprietary policy and claims/loss records that span the United States homeowners market. Verisk will provide advisory information to insurers and insurance regulators that supports discount-level adjustments within the industry.

Status of the study

  • Verisk and CSAA have finalized the process to securely encrypt and transmit necessary alarm company data and are ready to begin the analysis.
  • Two companies, Vector Security and Alarm Detection Systems, have signed on to participate in the research initiative.
  • CSAA-affiliated alarm system providers are encouraged to support the study by contributing information—data volume matters and we need the support of the full industry!

Alarm system data exchange

Verisk is partnering with alarm companies to create a database that matches alarm system subscriptions with homeowners insurance policies. Insurers, who seek accurate and timely information on households, use this database to systematically verify that customers qualify for alarm system discounts. For every match, participating alarm companies receive a royalty for the use of their data.

“The potential benefits of participating in the exchange for alarm companies are decreased attrition and boosted RMR,” noted Pam Petrow, president of CSAA. “Interested members are encouraged to reach out to Verisk.”

The Verisk team will attend CSAA’s Annual Meeting in October and looks forward to meeting and speaking with anyone who wants to learn more about Verisk’s CSAA initiatives. For more information, please contact Drew Doleski, product manager for Internet of Things and the Connected Home, at adoleski@verisk.com.

 

Key Themes at 2016 Annual Meeting

Leadership, Business Management and Technology are Key Themes at 2016 Annual Meeting

2016 is Second Year of Multi-Year Reimagining of CSAA’s Signature Event;
Adjustments to Traditional Schedule Will Enable Full Participation in Fewer Days

VIENNA, VA (July 25, 2016) – With a sharp focus on technology and on business and performance management, along with the networking opportunities for which the event is famous, the 2016 CSAA Annual Meeting offers participants the kind of value in both content and engagement that is unmatched at any other industry event.

The 2016 meeting will be held at the Marriott Resort Marco Island, Marco Island, FL, on October 22-26. Last year’s Annual Meeting in Sonoma, where a revamped education program took center stage, drew rave reviews from attendees. “2015 marked the beginning of a multi-year reimagining of CSAA’s annual event, and based on the member feedback, our efforts were successful,” says CSAA President Pam Petrow. “Attendees in 2016 can expect the same value, with timely presentations built around themes of leadership, business management, and technology, along with the networking opportunities you can only find at a CSAA Annual Meeting.”

Petrow notes that CSAA is making a change from “our traditional leadership meeting schedule this year, in order to address feedback on the length of the meeting.” The CSAA Board will meet on the first day of the conference–Saturday, October 22. Committees will meet on Sunday, October 23. “This change will help committee members participate in the complete array of annual meeting events but arrive a full day later than in the past, if they wish,” she says.

General sessions begin Monday morning, October 24. They include:

Bankable Leadership Strategy: The Secret Weapon to Accelerating Business Success
Speaker: Tasha Eurich, PhD, The Eurich Group

Keynote speaker Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, speaker and New York Times best-selling author of Bankable Leadership – and a fresh, modern voice in the leadership world. By pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to business challenges, she has helped thousands of leaders over the last fifteen years. With a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University, Eurich serves on the adjunct faculty of the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the top ten executive development institutions in the world. She’s also the principal of The Eurich Group, an executive development firm that helps companies succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams. (View Eurich’s recent TedxMileHigh Talk at https://youtu.be/NVPxmz_PvUw.)

“In today’s competitive business environment, leadership is as difficult as it is important. Good leaders create economic value–and poor leaders can sink companies. Even though research tells us that effective leaders balance people and results, this complicated balancing act is easier said than done,” says Eurich. “In the quest to create engaged employees and drive business growth, most leaders feel more comfortable doing one than the other, but this imbalance drastically limits their success.” Eurich will deliver an engaging keynote based on her bottom-line research that will help attendees master the balance. Built on decades of research on the transformation of real leaders, her fresh, practical approach can help almost anyone become bankable–delivering bottom-line results, while simultaneously fostering a healthy work environment. At the end of the session, attendees will understand their personal preferences as a leader and what skills they need to sharpen, and leave with a plan to improve immediately.

Capitalizing Customer Experiences
Speaker: Dennis Snow, Snow & Associates, Inc.

Noted speaker, trainer and consultant Dennis Snow is the author of the book Lessons from the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World’s Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life. His customer service abilities were honed over 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company. There, he developed his passion for service excellence and the experience he brings clients and audiences worldwide. Today, Snow helps organizations including banks, universities and hospitals achieve goals related to customer service, employee development and leadership.

Snow explains: “World-class customer service is not simply a matter of smiling employees who say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Everything your customer sees, hears or touches impacts their experience … This session will cover how delivering world-class service requires careful orchestration of the entire customer experience. Employees watch to see how committed we are as leaders and take their cue directly from us.” Snow will help participants discover what key points of contact make or break the customer experience and understand the behaviors that create a culture of accountability among employees. “As customer expectations are at an all-time high and business competition is fierce, learn about the steps you can take to reinforce organization values and gain organizational commitment to a vision that capitalizes customer service in your company,” he says.

Marketing in the Digital Age–Social Media 102: How to Leverage Social Media To Build Your Business and Your Bottom Line
Speaker: Ken Countess, The Countess Group

Ken Countess is managing director of The Countess Group, a strategic marketing and communications consultancy now in its 15th year. He is an award-winning marketer and an internationally recognized, accredited expert on email marketing and social media marketing. His approach to educating audiences about how to use these tools to build their businesses has earned him the respect of loyal followers around the world.

Countess understands the challenges marketers face. “You’ve hit all the social networks to market your business–but they seem to change every day. Your email contact list is up-to-date–but reaching your audience is a challenge as best practices continue to change. Where do you go from here? Are you getting back what you are putting into your digital marketing efforts?” he says. This session will give participants a closer look at the value of popular social media networks to the professional monitoring industry. They will discover how others in the industry are using social media and email to develop business and learn how to tell if their social marketing activity is working and how to gauge success based on customer reaction and engagement. Takeaways will include reporting and measurement metrics tools and a better understanding of how using digital media can impact the bottom line. CSAA and Countess will present a pre-meeting webinar on Tuesday, September 13 in which participants can get a preview of the impact and value of social media tools.

The complete preliminary program can be found at csaaintl.org/2016am. Additional speakers and session details will be announced in the coming weeks.

To register for the CSAA Annual Meeting, visit csaaintl.org/2016am. The Marriott Resort Marco Island in southwest Florida is on the Gulf of Mexico, just 55 minutes from the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) or a short drive from Naples, FL. Visit csaaintl.org/2016am for the special reservations link, or call 1-800-GET-HERE (1-800-438-4373). Rates as low as $185/night are available.

 

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About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards. www.csaaintl.org. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

 

Rapid is 2016 CSAA Central Station of the Year

Vivint and Vector Also Honored at ESX on June 9
CSAA is pleased to announce the four winners of the 2016 Excellence Awards:

Central Station of the Year: 
Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.
Central Station Manager of the Year: 
Michelle Lindus, Vivint Smart Home
Central Station Operator of the Year: Amy Cerney, Vivint Smart Home
Central Station Support Person of the Year: David Carter, Vector Security, Inc.

Rapid Response’s core belief is three-pronged: people, training, and technology. The Excellence Awards judges determined that this outstanding company proved to deserve the spot at the pinnacle of our industry. Rapid’s application detailed extensive plans for disaster recovery, false alarm reduction, education and training, technology innovation, customer relations, and community outreach efforts including charitable activities. Its leaders are heavily involved in bettering the industry through volunteering with industry associations to advance important issues such as standards, public sector engagement, and legislation.

Michelle Lindus is Central Station Manager at Vivint, where she leads a team of 140. She participated in the establishment of Vivint’s HOME Quality Service policy to ensure world-class customer service and heads the team that specializes in false alarm reduction. A perpetual student who is always reading, researching and testing new ideas, Michelle has a passion for service in the alarm industry that compels her to work holidays alongside her team and volunteer her off time to CSAA education programs.

David Carter is East Central Station Tech Support Leader at Vector, where he started in 1997 as an operator in data entry. He is a key member of the Disaster Recovery Team and excels at quickly troubleshooting and solving phone carrier issues. Always striving to expand his knowledge, David is known for his willingness to travel to other sites for technical projects and to stand in as an operator or tech support representative whenever needed, and for his commitment to ensuring no piece of equipment ever fails.

Amy Cerney has been a Monitoring Representative at Vivint for ten years. Her responses are frequently featured in company-wide reports of exceptional service; she ably mentors new representatives; and is known as a comforting voice of calm for customers. She is a shining example of Vivint’s and the security industry’s core values to protect lives – last year, she donated a kidney to save the life of a Vivint co-worker.

The CSAA Central Station Excellence Awards recognize any FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL or UL-listed central station (CSAA members and non-members) and outstanding personnel who perform in the highest professional manner, thereby making a significant contribution to the betterment of the alarm industry and the alarm profession while demonstrating exceptional service to their customers and community.

The purpose of the awards program is to:

  • Establish and promote the inherent value of central station services in general.
  • Honor those who have made the most significant contributions to the service.
  • Promote the distinct level of professionalism attained by NRTL-approved central stations.

The CSAA Central Station Excellence Awards Program is sponsored by SDM Magazine.

Entries are judged by a blue-ribbon judging panel appointed by CSAA. The four winners were announced at the 2016 Industry Excellence Awards Breakfast at ESX in Fort Worth on Thursday, June 9. For past winners and more information, visit csaa.org/csaa-excellence-awards.

Chief McEwen to Receive 2016 Public Sector Award

VIENNA, VA (June 1, 2016) – Chief Harlin McEwen is the recipient of CSAA’s 2016 Public Sector Award. This special honor is given by CSAA in recognition of a public sector individual’s contribution to the alarm industry. He will be presented with the award at the 2016 Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Public Sector Luncheon on Thursday, June 9, at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

“It is our pleasure to recognize Chief McEwen for his tireless efforts to advance the relationship between monitoring companies and our partners in the public sector,” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow.

Chief McEwen served for 13 years as the Chief of Police for the Cayuga Heights, New York Police Department before moving on to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for the NY State Division of Criminal Justice Services. He later returned to police work, serving as the Chief of Police for the City of Ithaca, NY, before taking the position of Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI.

In addition, he served for more than 37 years as the Chairman of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Communications & Technology Committee. During that time he was the principle representative and spokesperson for the IACP on matters relating to Communications & Technology. For this ongoing work, in 2000, the IACP honored him with a presentation of the first (and only) Lone Star Distinguished Award, and in 2006 he was elected as IACP Honorary President.

McEwen has also served as a distinguished Member of the Executive Steering Committee of the Global Advisory Committee, a Federal advisory group to the U.S. Attorney General. The GAC has been responsible for the development and implementation of numerous innovative justice information sharing standards and programs.

Since 2012 he has served as the Chair of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee. In this role he is leading the efforts of the 42-member PSAC to interact with the FirstNet Board and staff and the nationwide public safety community to develop and implement a new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Wireless Network.

McEwen played a critical role in the launch of CSAA’s ASAP program and has worked tirelessly in its promotion.

“I am deeply honored with being selected for this prestigious award and have enjoyed working with the members of the Central Station Alarm Association for many years,” said McEwen.  “The continued close working relationship between the public safety community and CSAA is resulting in greatly improved public safety services to the public.”

The award recipient must be nominated by one or more CSAA members in good standing. Two CSAA Past Presidents, Lou Fiore and Jay Hauhn, put McEwen’s name forward for consideration. Fiore noted that, “An essential component of ASAP is its connection to the Nlets network. Chief McEwen was instrumental in bringing CSAA’s ASAP program together with Nlets.”

“Chief McEwen’s leadership of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)’s Public Safety Advisory Committee, and his commitment to engaging the alarm industry in FirstNet’s activities, has been critical to the advancement of our relationship with FirstNet and our favorable positioning for the future,” said Hauhn.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 or ewlasko@csaaintl.org.

 

About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards. www.csaaintl.org. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

ASAP® Network Widens with Addition of CMS

Implementation of the “Automated Secure Alarm Protocol” is Building Nationwide

VIENNA, VA (November 3, 2015) — Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS), one of the largest wholesale alarm monitoring companies in the United States, went live with ASAP® in the city of Richmond, VA on October 21. “Awareness of ASAP’s very real benefits to PSAPs is spreading,” said Jay Hauhn, executive director of CSAA. “The program gathers momentum with each prestigious national monitoring company that comes on board. Having CMS go live is a big step in the process of implementing this service around the nation.”

“CMS is now live with its ASAP-to-PSAP adoption,” commented Tony Wilson, President, CMS. “Our hope is that the ASAP program will increase the speed and accuracy of our dispatches.” CMS serves more than 3,500 alarm companies and their 800,000 customers. Their broad range of monitoring services includes response to security, fire, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), environmental and interactive services such as two-way voice and remote video.

“It took about a year to launch the ASAP program,” continued Wilson. “We did this intentionally so that we could minimize the impact to our dealers. ASAP-to-PSAP is currently implemented for our 21 dealers located in the city of Richmond, VA; this affects approximately 500 subscriber accounts. Our Richmond contact, Bill Hobgood, was an excellent resource and helped to make this project easier. Our operators are excited for this new technology to communicate dispatches electronically and can’t wait for more and more PSAPs to follow suit. Over the next few weeks we will begin working on expanding our ASAP implementation to include our dealers located in Henrico County, VA and Washington, DC.”

ASAP was launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, designed to increase the efficiency and reliability of emergency electronic signals from central station alarm companies to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). ASAP utilizes ANSI standard protocols developed cooperatively by the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO) and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

With ASAP, critical life safety signals and accurate information is processed more quickly, through the Nlets system of state-to-state PSAP communication, insuring that complete and accurate information is transmitted to the PSAP every time. The ASAP program has the potential to save PSAPs and emergency services millions of dollars.

Bill Hobgood, Project Manager, Public Safety Team Department of Information Technology City of Richmond, Virginia, has noted that “The percentage of alarm notifications transmitted to Richmond using the ASAP service has increased exponentially with the addition of each new central station to the ASAP program. In contrast, the Richmond Emergency Communications staff are receiving fewer telephone calls from central stations, which is one of the ASAP goals.”

For more information on ASAP or to access ASAP resources (videos, webinars, training and outreach materials), contact CSAA at asap@csaaintl.org or 703-242-4670, or visit csaaintl.org/asap.

 

About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Approvals, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards. www.csaaintl.org. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.