Gunning takes helm at NBFAA

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

MONROVIA, Calif.--Unveiling a national apprenticeship program for security systems installers at this October's ISC East show is among the many items on newly installed National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association president George Gunning's to-do list.
"I believe an apprenticeship program on a national basis would give the industry a more professional look and build a career path for young people" starting out in the security industry, he said.
Gunning, who assumed the NBFAA presidency on July 1 and has been involved with the NBFAA board since the 1990s, helped develop an apprenticeship program here in his home state of California.
In the alarm industry for many years, Gunning and his business partner, Frank Burke, own USA Alarms, a full-service fire and security company located here.
During a July 25 interview, Gunning outlined an aggressive agenda that aligns with the NBFAA's 10-year plan and includes several projects in four major areas: government and industry affairs, education and training through the NBFAA's National Training School, networking opportunities, and communication services.
The most important goal, Gunning said, is to serve and expand the NBFAA membership. Currently there are members in every state, and 32 state charters. Gunning would like to increase the number of state charters. However, it's the individual member companies that are the priority. "We need to do things that are good for their businesses," he said.
The NBFAA needs to help alarm companies at all levels of government, including state and local levels, he said.
At the federal level, legislation such as reciprocity for licensing across state lines will be a priority.
There's much work to be done at the local and state levels as well. Gunning said he'd recently returned from a Texas Alarm Association meeting where the president, Chris Russell, noted that he always "feels like the bad guy at municipal meetings." Gunning said he's heard that sentiment before and said he'll be working over his two-year term to encourage alarm company owners to proactively get involved in local government.
"They should be participating in meetings with the city council and city managers. They should be out there always," he said. "Go in and meet your fire chief and your city councilor. ...They need to know that there is an alarm industry out there."