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.



TMA Member Steve Van Till of Brivo Receives Hauhn Award at SIA Honors Night

​​On November 15, the Security Industry Association (SIA) presented the Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award to Brivo CEO Steve Van Till at SIA Honors Night at The Current at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

The Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award is given each year to a SIA member who has shown commitment and fostered collaboration between the association and the security industry as well as has advocated for advancements in the industry.

The Monitoring Association Executive Director Hauhn was on hand to present the award to Van Till, whose company, Brivo, is a member of TMA.

Hauhn Van Till SIA Honors Hauhn Award

Steve Van Till (left) and Jay Hauhn at SIA Honors Night, November 15

As SIA Standards Committee Chair, Van Till was instrumental in identifying and bringing Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) to SIA. He has served as an effective SIA volunteer liaison to other stakeholders within the security industry, including integrators and security practitioners. Van Till has ensured that SIA Standards remain in step with the evolving technology demands of the industry and has focused on real business requirements through actionable projects, bringing a new level of commitment to the industry.

Van Till has been a key liaison for SIA to the International Security Management Association (ISMA), which represents the senior security executive practitioners from Fortune 500 companies.  On multiple occasions he has shared his expertise on the  technology trends , and he was a key contributor to the SIA Technology Forecast prepared exclusively for ISMA members. Van Till has presented at SIA’s signature executive event, Securing New Ground, in addition to ISC West and ISC East and has provided context to the 2016 release of the SIA Megatrends report, which was well received by members and end users.

“I’m always eager to to promote interoperability and to forge connections because I love my job and I love the security industry. Receiving the Hauhn Award for doing what I love is a true honor,” said Van Till. “Standards are only effective if everyone adopts them consistently, and I look forward to continuing to press the case for sensible solutions to real-world problems. Thanks to the Security Industry Association and my peers for continuing to give me a platform to do so.”

“When I think of effective communicators among security industry leaders, one of the first people I think of is Steve Van Till,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “His boundless energy and enthusiasm, coupled with a deep expertise in the security industry and more specifically access control has served the industry well as he has forged partnerships around the world. The Security Industry Association looks forward to benefiting from his wisdom for many years to come.”

Steve Van Till is president and CEO of Brivo, a SaaS company offering physical access control, video surveillance, and mobile credentials for commercial buildings. Van Till was a pioneer in bringing cloud technology, starting with his vision and delivery of cloud access control in 2002. Van Till has served on the SIA Board of Directors since 2008, and has been the Chairman of SIA Standards Committee since 2011, focusing on security technology issues. Prior to Brivo, Steve was Director of Internet Consulting at Sapient, a software development and interactive firm, where he led strategy and technology engagements for Fortune 500 deployments. Van Till is the inventor of numerous patents in the field of physical security and the author of the “Five Technological Forces Disrupting Security,” which is likely why he was named as “the top 25 most influential people in the security industry” by Security Magazine.

The Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award is named in honor of Jay Hauhn. As previous SIA Chairman of the Board, Hauhn demonstrated a steadfast commitment to fostering collaboration among industry trade associations and advancing the interests of their collective memberships and the entire security industry.

The Hauhn Award is presented each year to an individual with a SIA member company who has taken specific action(s) to foster collaboration between SIA and industry/practitioner organizations consistent with SIA’s overall strategic priorities. The award will recognize individual contributions to increasing SIA member value through partnerships. These actions could include activities that lead to the pursuit of common public policy priorities, active involvement in the development of SIA Standards proposals, leveraging SIA Education expertise at partner organization education conferences and jointly-branded online education, and SIA membership growth.


TMA Releases New Operator Training Course, Sets a New Standard for Monitoring Center Operator Training

level1bannerMonitoring center operators are the critical link between alarm notifications and first responder dispatch. Their performance level is crucial to positive outcomes. Today, The Monitoring Association releases its all-new training course for monitoring center operators, created to address the challenges of 21st century monitoring.

“We are pleased and proud to launch our new ‘Level 1’ training course,” said TMA President Ivan Spector. “Education has long been one of TMA’s key values to our members and to the industry at large. It’s written into our mission, to advance the professional monitoring industry through education, advocacy and public safety relationships. This new course has been created by TMA volunteers and staff with vast experience in the industry and in training, and it has been reviewed extensively by our industry vetting partners. We expect it to quickly be recognized as the gold standard in monitoring center operator training.”

The new course is a manageable introduction to the industry through an absorbing, inspiring e-learning experience. It features current best practices for online learning including:

  • Micro-learning
  • Narration
  • Audio and visual examples for those with differing learning styles

Modules reflect the most current technology capabilities and customer service practices in today’s most effective monitoring centers. The modules are:

  • Module 1 – Introduction to the Monitoring Industry
  • Module 2 – Technology
  • Module 3 – Effective Communication
  • Module 4 – The Monitoring Process
  • Module 5 – False Alarm Prevention
  • Module 6 – Industry Readiness and Monitoring Center Security
  • Module 7 – Monitoring Center Operator Code of Excellence

“The new Level 1 course is an excellent overview of, and introduction to, the industry,” said Jay Hauhn, TMA Executive Director. “The monitoring center operator is an integral part of the alarm monitoring process that keeps people and property safe. Our course is the foundation that operators need to successfully become part of that process.”

“The new Level 1 Training course that has been developed by TMA and industry volunteers is a ‘game changer’ in the central station training world,” said John Brady, president of TMA-member TRG Associates and chair of the TMA Education Committee. “As trainers strive to continue to improve the level of professionalism, accurate response, and customer care within each member of their team, this interactive, online training course will significantly improve a monitoring center’s operator training onboarding process and elevate the training experience for its whole team.”

“TMA sincerely thanks the volunteers who donated countless hours to envisioning and creating the new course,” continued Hauhn. “In particular, we thank Kate Brickner, Corporate Trainer, Training and Development, Vivint; Mary Jo Lakhal, formerly Security Industry Senior Program Manager, West Safety Services; Laurie Mitchell, National Director CMS Services, Siemens Industry, Inc.; and Caryn Morgan, Curriculum Designer, Manitou Elite Certification Mentor, Bold Technologies. Their expertise, dedication, and desire to improve and give back to their industry was inspiring and is exactly the kind of volunteer engagement that strengthens an association.”

The state of Oregon has already accredited the new course for state licensing. Other state accreditation efforts are in progress and will soon follow. The course will be available in French and Spanish next year.

The new Level 1 course will be available at 8:00 AM Eastern Time on November 10, 2017 at www.tmatraining.org. The existing pricing for member companies will stay the same through January 19, 2018. Users who have the legacy “Level 1” training in their transcript may upgrade to the new course version at no cost as long as the final exam has not been taken. Contact technical support at support@csaaalarmtraining.com or 502-254-1506 (8am-8pm ET Monday through Friday) to receive this upgrade. General questions about the course should be directed to education@tma.us.


New TMA President Ivan Spector Kicks Off Term at CANASA Event

TMA’s new president Ivan Spector began his term at the close to the 2017 TMA Annual Meeting on October 11. His first public address as president was the following week at the CANASA Monitoring Symposium — appropriately enough, as he is TMA’s first Canadian president.

Ivan Spector at CANASA October 2017

TMA President Ivan Spector speaks at the CANASA Monitoring Symposium. Photo courtesy of SP&T News.

The CANASA event focused on how the industry is reacting to the issues of self-monitoring and cybersecurity and the growing influence of companies like Amazon and Google on the home automation market.

Spector addressed the participants on topics including disrupters, 3rd party stations, and threats and new entrants.

Read the SP&T News report and view event photos. 


Hamilton County/Chattanooga is 1st PSAP in Tennessee to Implement ASAP

ASAP-Concept1DOn November 1, Hamilton County / Chattanooga, TN became the 30th 9-1-1 PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) in the United States and the 1st in Tennessee to implement the ASAP-to-PSAP service (ASAP®). Tennessee is the 11th state plus the District of Columbia now open for ASAP traffic.

ASAP, launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, is designed to increase the accuracy and efficiency of calls for service from alarm companies to PSAPs. The ASAP service utilizes ANSI standard protocols developed cooperatively by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and The Monitoring Association (TMA).

“Implementation of the ASAP-to-PSAP [service] will help eliminate the potential for clerical errors, cut call volume to the 9-1-1 Center, and most importantly, reduces 9-1-1 call-processing times by as much as 2-3 minutes. This will help save lives, protect property, provide faster response times to in-progress events, and potentially help apprehend more criminals,” Hamilton County officials said.

Nashville-based ADS Security was the first alarm monitoring company to go live with Hamilton County. “The district is very appreciative of ADS Security’s support and work in helping us bring this new technology to our citizens,” said John Stuermer, executive director for Hamilton County Emergency Communications District.  “ADS demonstrated great leadership and commitment to providing the highest level of alarm service response to their customers.

Additional alarm companies quickly followed ADS. Vector Security and Rapid Response went live with Hamilton on November 2, and Vivint, Protection One, Monitronics, Guardian Protection, and Affiliated are scheduled to go live in the upcoming days, followed by ADT.

Read Hamilton County’s announcement

More information on ASAP


TMA 2017 Annual Meeting Recap and Photo Gallery


Missed the TMA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale earlier this month? Check out the photos from the event (below — click to enlarge) and the recap in Security Systems News to find out what you missed. (It’s not too early to save the date and plan the budget for the 2018 Annual Meeting in Palm Beach – October 13-17!)


Photos by Brandon Freedman and Elizabeth Lasko.

Rapid Response’s Morgan Hertel Honored with Stanley C. Lott Award at 2017 TMA Annual Meeting

Morgan Hertel, vice president of Technology and Innovation for Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc. was awarded The Monitoring Association (TMA)’s highest honor, the Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award for Exemplary Service, at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ on October 11.

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

“As always, the Lott Award was presented to a person who has demonstrated above and beyond commitment to our association and to the industry over a number of years,” said Pamela J. Petrow, then-president of TMA, who presented the award. “Morgan is someone who gives tirelessly of his time through committee work, responding on our digital community board, and in one-to-one consultation, all in an effort to improve our

Morgan and Pam Lott Award

Morgan Hertel (left) and Pam Petrow. 

association and to educate others in the industry … including his competitors!”

“Morgan is a chair or participant on numerous committees – not only TMA’s, but on SIA, ESA, AICC, PPVAR and UL groups,” Petrow continued. “I would guess that the majority of people present when we announced his name at the Annual Meeting have benefited from Morgan’s knowledge and wisdom, which he shares so generously. I am honored to be the president who presented Morgan with the Lott Award – it is richly deserved.”

Hertel has been with Rapid Response since 2012. His work has led to many technological enhancements to the company’s infrastructure and the development of its west coast monitoring center in Corona, CA. He is well known throughout the industry, is a contributor to many industry publications and has served in various capacities in its education programs and in the development of standards. He is the chair of TMA’s Contract Monitoring Council and, in June 2017, was elected to the position of Vice President on the TMA Board of Directors.

“This is really an honor and a privilege – not only to receive this award but to be here at the TMA Annual Meeting,” said Hertel. “One of the reasons I do what I do is a personal belief in the importance of giving back. I think many in our industry feel the same way. You give back to your community, church, faith, your industry that’s provided you with a great living over the last 40 years. I’m honored to receive this and it’s great to be recognized, but really it’s another opportunity for inspire other industry members and their kids and the people following behind us to start giving back.”

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