Finalists for 2017 TMA Excellence Awards Announced

Four Winners to Be Revealed at ESX 2017 on June 13

The judges for the annual TMA Excellence Awards were, once again, “simply amazed by the depth of talent, dedication, professionalism, and ability in our industry,” as one remarked. TMA is pleased to announce the twelve finalists for 2017:

  • Monitoring Center of the Year Finalists
    ADT, CRC, Vivint
  • Monitoring Center Operator of the Year Finalists
    Darlene Ardey, CPI; Dielle Holmberg, EPS; Stephen (Craig) Pierce, Safe Systems
  • Monitoring Center Manager of the Year Finalists
    Shari Wilson, ADT; Keith Godsey, Dynamark; Josh Sanders, EPS
  • Monitoring Center Support Person of the Year Finalists
    Laura Mellang, CRC; Eric Kantner, Protection Bureau; Mike Tupy, Vivint

“We congratulate our finalists for being recognized as the best of the best,” said Elizabeth Lasko, Vice President of Communications, TMA. “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.”

The TMA Central Station 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 Central Station Excellence ATMA-Excellence-Awards-2017wards Program is sponsored by SDM Magazine, which will publish a feature story on the winners later this summer. Entries are judged by a blue-ribbon volunteer judging panel appointed by TMA. The four winners will be 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.

 

 

— Elizabeth Lasko, TMA, May 3, 2017

CSAA’s Hauhn Joins ESA, ADT in Warning of Deceptive Alarm Sales Practices

On May 25, CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn participated in a press event in Salt Lake City to raise awareness of deceptive home security sales practices. The event was co-hosted by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and ADT. Merlin Gilbeau, executive director of ESA, also spoke at the event, which featured two individuals who had been the target of sales scams relating their stories to the media. Hauhn and Gilbeau both spoke about the deep integrity of the vast number of security companies.

In 2015, consumer complaints about home security sales ranked in the top 25 of the 3500 business categories BBB tracks. CSA members can share BBB tips about buying a home security system with their potential customers; visit www.bbb.org/homesecurity.

Check out media coverage of the event at the links below.

 

WS of Room

ESA’s Merlin Gilbeau, CSAA’s Jay Hauhn, and BBB CEO Jane Driggs address the media. Photo by Bob Tucker. 

Finalists for 2016 CSAA Excellence Awards Announced

Four “Phenomenal” Winners to Be Revealed at ESX on June 9

Once again, the nominees for CSAA’s annual Excellence Awards were, in the words of one of the judges, a “simply phenomenal” group of companies and individuals. CSCSAA-Excellence-AwardsAA is pleased to announce the twelve finalists for 2016. They are:

Central Station of the Year
ADT LLC; Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.; Vector Security, Inc.

Central Station Manager of the Year
Ernie Cole, Doyle Security Systems; Michelle Lindus, Vivint Smart Home; Tom Tardiff, Kastle Systems

Central Station Operator of the Year
 Hollie Smith, Universal Atlantic Systems; Morgan Dieterle, Tyco (Fifth Third Bank); Amy Cerney, Vivint Smart Home

Central Station Support Person of the Year
David Carter, Vector Security, Inc.; William Sims, Kastle Systems; Dave Mann, Kings III

“Our finalists are to be congratulated for being recognized as the best of the best,” said Elizabeth Lasko, Vice President of Communications, CSAA. “Our judges related the extremely difficult time they had choosing not only the winners, but just the finalists from all the nominations. There were some amazing stories of customer relations, innovation, and corporate culture.”

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 will be 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.

 

ADT Goes Live with ASAP in Boca Raton

March 1, 2016 — ASAP Subject-Matter-Expert Bill Hobgood reported that today “ADT went live with Boca Raton at 1:30 p.m. and received the first actual alarm within one minute of going live.”

ADT Boca(Right to left) Tonya George, ADT MAStermind Administrator; Tammie Hilend, ADT Vice President of IT; Bill Hobgood, Project Manager, Public Safety Team, Department of Information Technology, City of Richmond, Virginia; and Cindy Cevallos, Boca Raton Project Manager. The picture was taken shortly after ADT’s go-live with Boca Raton.

ADT follows Vector Security, Rapid Response, Monitronics, Affiliated, Protection One, and Guardian as the first alarm companies to connect with ASAP in the state of Florida. For more information about ASAP, visit csaaintl.org/asap.

ASAP-Concept1D

 

ADT is Live with ASAP®

Automated Secure Alarm Protocol Now Available to PSAPs around the Country

VIENNA, VA (August 27, 2015) — ADT Security Services, ranked as the largest central station in the nation,  went live with ASAP® in the city of Richmond, VA on August 25. The news was met with cheers from security industry leaders who noted that it will cause a surge in the availability of the ASAP program to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) around the country.

ASAP-Concept1D“Having ADT go live is a milestone for the ASAP program,” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow, CEO of Vector Security. “With the size of their account base, ADT’s utilization of ASAP brings instant benefits to most PSAPs.  This is critical because it allows the PSAP to better position the deployment of ASAP among their many initiatives.”

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 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 in seconds, not minutes, 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.

“ADT’s implementation of ASAP is a win-win for ADT, the ASAP project, and the City of Richmond,” said Bill Hobgood, Project Manager, Public Safety Team Department of Information Technology City of Richmond, Virginia. “ADT will experience first-hand the benefits of using the ASAP program that so many other alarm central stations have experienced. This is the ASAP project’s biggest achievement yet. The city of Richmond’s Emergency Communications staff are thrilled about ADT joining the program and anxious for more alarm companies to follow.”

“ADT has supported ASAP thoroughly since its inception, and now that they are connecting, PSAPs throughout the country will take notice,” said Jay Hauhn, CSAA Executive Director. “With Protection One on line and other nationals at the doorstep, 2016 will be a great year for ASAP.”

In the August 2015 issue of APCO’s Public Safety Magazine (PSC), David Cutler, director of the Houston Emergency Center (HEC), reported savings of nearly $400,000 annually from reduced call volume following ASAP implementation. “These dollars were re-purposed within the department to expand training, supervisory and administrative positions,” Cutler said. He estimated that Houston will eventually achieve a 30% reduction in call volume as more alarm companies come on board with ASAP, for a savings of $1 million.

Also in PSC, Hobgood stated that “… all PSAPs currently using ASAP should experience a significant reduction in 10-digit call volume once ADT goes live with each agency. Those PSAPs will experience the luxury of having ADT’s alarm notifications delivered efficiently and accurately via the ASAP program. ADT monitors more than 6 million alarm systems, so the announcement is likely to [prompt] other alarm companies to step up and participate in the ASAP program as well.“

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. http://www.csaaintl.org. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

Electronic Security Industry Joins Forces to Fight Deceptive Sales Practices

With the summer selling season in full swing, door-knocking scams are on the rise. Companies like ADT are reporting nearly twice the number of consumer complaints versus the prior year as awareness increases of a major issue threatening the image of the security industry. Representatives from business and industry organizations are teaming together to help fight this major problem.

On June 23 at the Baltimore Convention Center, against the bustling backdrop of ESX 2015, CSAA participated in a news conference about Deceptive Sales Practices in the Alarm Industry. CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn was among those addressing members of the local and industry press on this sensitive topic.

David Bleisch, General Counsel of ADT, noted that ADT continues efforts to thwart these practices, including offering a reward to anyone who can provide lawfully-obtained information showing how alarm companies are training employees to engage in deceptive sales practices. “Another new addition is that we are requiring all ADT sales representatives to provide their ADT ID number when asked by a customer,” he said. “With that information, the customer would then call ADT to verify the sales representative’s employment status.”

Baltimore resident Diane Pruitt described how she was recently solicited by a scammer, as did former Baltimore police officer Derrick Layton.

CSAA’s Hauhn said that CSAA members are committed to trust between companies and customers. “We are not knocking door-knocking,” he said. “Door to door selling is a very effective tool, practiced for decades. But it must be done the right way. Companies must train their sales reps to follow the ESA Code of Ethical Conduct and take swift and actionable responsibility when they fail.” His words were echoed by ESA President Marshall Marinace.

From left, CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn; ESA President Marshall Marinace

From left, CSAA Executive Director Jay Hauhn; ESA President Marshall Marinace

Casey Callaway of the  Council of Better Business Bureaus closed the session with the following information to help members of the public thwart would-be scammers.

  • Always check bbb.org first. Do your research and read customer reviews and complaints before you do business with anyone.
  • Think of your safety first. Always remember that you don’t have to invite salespeople into your home.
  • Ask for ID. Sales people should be able to provide proof that they actually work for the company they claim to represent, and you can also ask to see a sales license if your jurisdiction requires it.
  • Read everything. Don’t default to trust and quickly sign contracts without fully understanding what you are agreeing to.
  • Don’t give in to high-pressure sales tactics. “Must act now” offers and overly aggressive salespeople should raise a red flag.

— Reported by Elizabeth Lasko, CSAA, and Bob Tucker, ADT

ADT’s Steve Shapiro Appointed to CSAA Board of Directors

Steve Shapiro, vice president of industry relations for ADT — a leading provider of home and business security and automation solutions in the U.S. and Canada — has been appointed to the CSAA Board of Directors beginning in October.

“Every volunteer organization depends on the participation and contributions of its members. Steve has been heavily involved in our Alarm Industry Communications Committee for years and has long been an active supporter of CSAA,” said Jay Hauhn, president of CSAA. “We are pleased to welcome him to the CSAA Board, and I look forward to the contributions he will make as a board member.”

Steve Shapiro

Steve Shapiro

As vice president of industry relations for ADT, Shapiro is responsible for the planning, execution and management of the company’s strategic relationships with key North American security and automation industry organizations, alliances and initiatives.  Prior to assuming this role, he led ADT’s product strategy and engineering initiatives for an extensive portfolio of ADT products, including the company’s revolutionary smart home automation system, ADT Pulse®, as well as intrusion, fire, and home health care systems.

In 2014, Shapiro was elected to represent ADT as a Board member to the Z-Wave Alliance and in 2013, he was appointed as a Board member to the Security Industry Association.

“I am honored to join the CSAA Board of Directors,” said Shapiro.  “I’m eager to begin working with CSAA and fellow Board members to address the rapidly changing technology environment in communications, net neutrality, and first responder response requirements.”

Prior to joining ADT, he was a consultant to Sirius XM Satellite Radio where he developed product roadmaps and product definitions for mobile and portable devices.  His career in product marketing and product management began at Motorola, where he was responsible for many communications products and marketing plans over 20 years that included two-way radios, pagers and mobile phones, including Motorola’s first color and camera phones.

Shapiro graduated from Florida International University with an MBA in Business Administration. He holds FCC professional and amateur licenses, has been awarded eight patents, and earned a Black Belt in Marketing for Six Sigma.