2017 Fall Ops Brings Industry Professionals Together

TMA’s Fall Operations Management Seminar, “the one industry event for monitoring center personnel presented by monitoring center personnel,” took place November 5-7 in Rosemont, IL. The event’s education program, with the theme “Evolutionary Monitoring,” focused on best practices in monitoring centers, including updates on the latest industry standards, staff management, software and equipment news, and other operational best practices, processes and procedures. Participants were also treated to two extraordinary tour experiences: UL headquarters and testing laboratories and Walgreens’ Security Operations Center.

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“The visit to Walgreens Central Station was one of the main reasons for coming,” said Elizabeth Wargacki, Vice President Merchants Alarm Systems. “It was a great opportunity to see firsthand how other stations have set up and how they operate. The HR and Employee training sessions were great training programs. It was also good to hear how proprietary companies (like Wegmans) and large monitoring companies (like Vivint) deal with HR issues, employee training, etc.”

“Along with the good advice/training, the networking opportunities were outstanding,” said Scott Ludrick, Kroger Central Alarm Control Management Team Member. Wanda Griffith, Central Station Manager, The Protection Bureau, agreed: “I enjoyed seeing old faces and reconnecting. The networking opportunities [at Fall Ops] are priceless.”

“As a relatively new SOC Manager, the opportunity to get insights on how others are dealing with situations similar to mine is invaluable,” said Brian Ridge, SOC Manager, Interface Security Systems. “This was my first time attending and I look forward to hopefully returning next year.”

The dates and location for the 2018 Fall Ops will be announced in the coming weeks.



Why Monitoring Center Personnel Should Attend TMA’s “Fall Ops”

By Chris Newhook, Central Station Manager, American Alarm

The Monitoring Association (TMA, formerly CSAA) is my number one resource – my one-stop shop — for industry feedback, as well as educational and operational best practices. As if this wasn’t enough, it also serves as the backbone of my peer network.

While its strength lies with its members, it is TMA’s sustained commitment to actively listen to that membership, gather the insight and effectively channel this wealth of knowledge into a platform for industry growth and development that serves as the organization’s greatest triumph.

For me, the culmination of its collective efforts manifests itself each year with the TMA Fall Operations Management Seminar.


Chris Newhook (pictured second from right with trophy) was TMA’s 2014 Monitoring Center Manager of the Year.

The 2016 “Fall Ops”, with its theme Monitoring Excellence, was no exception!

TMA focused its usual world-class coordinative talents last year, directing a stellar line-up of speakers and timely topics ranging from ASAP-to-PSAP, PERS monitoring, UL Standards updates, and a real show-stopper on cybersecurity. The event was thoughtfully balanced with a selection of dynamic round-table exchanges and lively break-out group discussions.

The TMA Fall Operations Management Seminar is my annual reload – a getaway to assess my current objectives, develop my goals and rethink my direction; all in the company of the industry’s best talent.

TMA Fall Ops Tag 2017Register now for the 2017 Fall Operations Management Seminar, featuring tours of UL Headquarters and Walgreens Security Operations Center, November 5-7 in Rosemont, IL. Visit .

CSAA Announces New Leadership for the Proprietary Council

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhil Hempen, Manager of Physical Security & Fire Services Team for Walgreen Co., is the new Proprietary Council co-chair and is appointed to the Board of Directors as Proprietary Council Liaison. Hempen says that he has “been associated with CSAA for 10 years, starting with my first Fall Operations meeting in Seattle. I have enjoyed the experiences and getting to know other proprietary members along with industry leaders, and look forward to being part of the continuing success and growth of the organization.” Hempen has more than 32 years’ experience with Walgreens, the last 6 with the Asset Protection team and more than 19 years of support for retail technology. His experience includes both insourcing and outsourcing support functions, and managing significant growth and change within support organizations. He says he sees his new CSAA positions as “an opportunity for me to increase the depth of knowledge in the industry, contribute to improvements in our industry, and share my knowledge and experience with other monitoring centers.”

daniel-jackman-photoDan Jackman, product manager for LDS Alarm Monitoring, is the new co-chair of the Proprietary Council. Jackman says that “LDS started our central station in 2008 to monitor a handful of locations. I was asked to manage our central station in 2010 and have had that responsibility since then. We have now grown to over 3000 accounts across the United States, Canada, and U.S. Territories.” His background includes being a police/fire/911 dispatcher, police officer, and Network Engineer: “Initially I was hired (by the LDS Church) as a trainer for security officers, then transferred into alarm monitoring.”

Also new to the council is Michele Levcik, Asset Protection Manager for the Communication Center, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. She will take the position of recording secretary. Prior to her current position, she worked as Asset Protection Manager, Sr. Fraud Analyst, and Team Manager for Wegmans.

CSAA sincerely thanks past chair Joe Miskulin (State Farm) and past recording secretary Umit Ozbas (Wegmans) for their dedicated service.