Frank De Fina, security industry veteran, dies

Executive at Panasonic, Samsung, SightLogix and Hikvision; accomplished musician; founded college security degree program
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Monday, July 27, 2015

PLAINSBORO, N.J.—Security industry veteran Frank De Fina, 61, who served as a top executive for a number of video surveillance companies including Panasonic, Samsung, SightLogix and most recently Hikvision USA, died July 26 at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Active in industry associations, De Fina was instrumental in putting together a security degree program at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey in collaboration with the Security Industry Association. That program will be launched this fall.

De Fina served as vice-chairman of the executive board for SIA’s board of directors. Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, said "Frank epitomized the ideal SIA board member. He demonstrated incredible industry knowledge, insight into emerging technology trends, worked effectively with professional staff, and put forth ideas and proposals that would strengthen the industry rather than any one single company."

Erickson told Security System News that De Fina's "passion for building a new education program to benefit the whole industry was indicative of his selfless character. Most memorable of all, he treated me with kindness. His periodic texts or emails to me just to 'check in' and be supportive without asking for anything in return says a lot about him as a person, given his stature in the industry."

De Fina joined Hikvision in May as senior director.

Alex Asnovich, head of marketing and director of North America at Hikvision USA, told Security Systems News: "In a relatively short time with Hikvision, Frank made great contributions to the organization and his expert advice and direction are well recognized by everyone in the company. We are devastated by the news of Frank’s passing and we send our deepest condolences to his family. I am honored to have had an opportunity to work alongside Frank. He was highly respected by everyone in the industry and all of his colleagues at Hikvision."

De Fina was the longtime president of Panasonic Systems Solutions Company. He retired from Panasonic in 2008 and took a two-year hiatus from the security industry. During that time he served as VP of global sales & marketing for Paul Reed Smith Guitars.

In 2010 he returned to security as EVP of Samsung Techwin America. In the next four-and-a-half years, De Fina helped Samsung achieve significant market share. 

De Fina spent about one year working with smart thermal camera company SightLogix before joining Hikvision.

An accomplished musician, De Fina was a frequent participant in the PSA-TEC jam session, an annual event at PSA Security’s May conference. De Fina also played guitar at other industry events.

De Fina was a board member of the Friars Foundation of the New York Friars Club. He also served as a member of the media board of the Paley Center in New York, formerly the Museum of Television and Radio.

Frank Paul DeFina was born in Brackenridge, Pa. He graduated from the Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He moved to Plainsboro with his family in 1999. De Fina is survived by his wife of 38 years, Patricia A. DeFina; his sons and daughter-in-law, Frank and Cynthia De Fina, and James De Fina; his grandson, Frankie; his parents, Frank and Angelina De Fina; his sisters, Maria Colonna and Josephine Taddeo, and his many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Frank P. De Fina can be made to the trustees of Columbia University NYC to support Dr. Lamanna’s CLL research gift fund. (Gifts by credit card – contact Marilyn Mullins at 212.304.7206)

A viewing will be held on Friday, July 31, from 5 - 9 p,m. at A.S. Cole Son & Company (Saul Funeral Homes), 22 N Main Street, Cranbury, N.J.  Funeral services will be a Catholic Mass on Saturday Aug. 1 at 10 am at Queenship of Mary Roman Catholic Church, 16 Dey Road, Plainsboro, N.J. Those who desire may proceed to: Holy Cross Burial Park  840 Cranbury South River Rd, Monroe Township/Jamesburg, N.J. Those who wish to join with family and friends may return to the Cranbury Inn at 21 S Main St, Cranbury, NJ 08512 following interment.