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Comment on associations
June 1, 2019
Comment on associations
            I am always amazed when people rile against our industry associations.  For 30 years I have been actively involved in associations and the hard work that is done for every company from the largest to the smallest, we all benefit. 
            My first recollection of the power of coming together was the threat of the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC) entering the alarm industry and creating a very uneven playing field in their favor. The NBFAA under the leadership of Stan Martin mounted what many legislators rated as one of the most effective grass roots lobbying effort ever. Obviously the RBOC’s had very deep pockets and the industry had very empty pockets, but against all odds we prevailed. Without associations we would have been trampled.
            For many years all of the work being done by associations was done by committees made up of members who would meet about 4 times a year during other organized events. The problem with this was that it took forever to get anything done.     Today we still have those committees but now each one is coordinated by an employee of the appropriate association. This employee monitors and records the committee’s decisions and keeps things going so that conclusions are reached very quickly and then brought to the membership for a vote. The standards that impact every facet of the industry are now developed in this manner and a process that used to take years can be resolved, often in less than a year.
            Another respondent mentioned the Security Industry Alarm Coalition or (SIAC). 
In the mid 1990’s there was a move by law enforcement to cease responding to alarm calls. Had SIAC not been there the landscape today would be very different. SIAC worked hard, often traveling at very short notice, to meet with law enforcement and elected officials to convince them that it wasn’t necessary to penalize all alarm owners, but instead to work on those that abused the response of law enforcement. There is no way that we can place a dollar value to this effort.
            For many years we had no relationship with law enforcement leadership. Today, through SIAC and the four associations who make up our Board of Directors, we sit on committees along with law enforcement leaders at both the states and national level.
            One of my favorite sayings is that “10% of the people watch things but 80% ask what happened?”
            Imagine what we could accomplish if every company belonged to our associations.
Ronald Walters
            Many appreciate the hard work done by few for the benefit of all.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301