Elite Wins TMA's 2024 Monitoring Technology Marvel Award! (Click here for full details)
Elite Wins TMA's 2024 Monitoring Technology Marvel Award! (Click here for full details)

A Personal Look at the 2024 Industry Hall of Fame Honorees

By Scott Goldfine

(Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Security Sales & Integration)

One of my proudest security industry accomplishments during my 1998-2023 tenure as Security Sales & Integration Editor-in-Chief was establishing the SSI Industry Hall of Fame in 2004. After several years in the business by that time, it had become apparent to me that for an industry as vital as electronic security (including fire and life safety) — where its practitioners not only safeguard assets but deploy systems that protect people from harm and literally save lives — there was no program or institution in place to preserve the important accomplishments and legacies of the most prominent leaders and innovators behind that noble mission.

The fact those men and women never did it for the accolades or personal recognition while humbly toiling in an industry whose solutions are designed to inconspicuously perform in the background, made them all the more deserving for this type of dutiful recognition. Through the years, it was among my most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences to lead the nomination process, inform surprised candidates of their selection, put together their lifetime career histories for publication, and be on stage for their often-emotional induction presentations before their friends, colleagues and even families during ISC West in Las Vegas.

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I came to know the shock and awe of that experience firsthand when, in 2017, a group of industry icons conspired with SSI’s executive management to surreptitiously elect me to the Hall. I certainly never anticipated being chosen and placed among that hallowed group. Happening less than a month after my father had passed away made it all the more poignant. But that is emblematic of the level of impact and stature this program has achieved. Honorees have traveled from around the globe to be present at the ceremony and celebratory afterparties have not been uncommon.

“The Class of 2024 is especially meaningful for me because I have been directly influenced, inspired and/or mentored by each one.”

Logging its 20th year in 2024, today the SSI Industry Hall of Fame is synonymous as the preeminent acknowledgement of an individual’s contributions to the essential, vast, and rewarding security endeavor. Membership has swelled to more than 125 people who have played key roles propelling the best interests of the industry — and thus society as a whole — forward.

The Class of 2024 is especially meaningful for me because I have been directly influenced, inspired and/or mentored by each one. As such, I can wholeheartedly endorse their inclusion and urge others to emulate their professionalism, dedication, ethics, and fellowship.

Jeff Zwirn, principal of IDS Research & Development, Kirk MacDowell, principal of MacGuard Security Advisors, and Kelly Bond, partner with Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group, are three of the most significant people I was fortunate enough to encounter early on in my security journey. I teamed with Zwirn for many groundbreaking articles, including 1999’s high-profile George Revelle murder case. MacDowell was integral to a 2001 cover story I did on Post Alarm’s Crystal Cathedral security system. Bond started in the industry the same year as me and has helped keep me abreast of security business and M&A.

Coincidentally, it was also during my rookie year that Andrew Lanning co-founded Hawaii’s Integrated Security Technologies along with his equally distinguished wife, Christine. I got to know him through the PSA Security Network, and he taught me about the critical relationship between cyber and physical security. We were both among the founding members of the PSA Cybersecurity Committee and presenters at associated events. Later on, I oversaw the couple’s 2016 SSI cover story.

Finally, I am not sure what year I first met Aria Kozak, founder and CEO of Elite Interactive Solutions, but it was in the very early 2000s when I visited an impressive security command center that he was running in the northern end of Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Well ahead of the curve, he was already pushing the envelope for remote video monitoring to mitigate crime more effectively than traditional burglar alarm systems. His affable disposition, vision and passion for the business left a lasting impression — so much so that I began working for him in August 2023.

Whereas past Hall classes typically included retirees (or the deceased), all of the 2024 enshrinees’ conquests continue to unfold for what will ultimately be some of the greatest security stories ever told. Congratulations to all!

Elite Interactive Solutions Marketing Director Scott Goldfine is an SSI Industry Hall of Famer who spent 25 years as Security Sales & Integration’s chief editor.

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