NBFAA members may select association status after approval

Sunday, May 1, 2005

LAS VEGAS --National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association members are closer to having a choice when it comes to association status, now that the NBFAA board of directors approved moving forward membership revisions in the beginning of April that would enable members of the organization an option to join at the state or the national level--a first for this industry association.
The changes, which were recommended by the ad hoc committee formed by the Chartered State Association a year ago, would give a choice to either become a member of the national association or the state association. Under the proposed membership clause, state associations do not have to be fully associated with NBFAA to be recognized as part of the national association, said Dan Jacquish, CSA committee chair.
In part, these changes will give the association more flexibility, he said.
The next step is to carry the revisions to the bylaw committee for approval, which is scheduled to happen in the next few months. That committee will thoroughly review and document the necessary changes and submit the changes to the general membership for vote and approval.
"The recommendations are in line to move the association forward," said Merlin Guilbeau, executive director of the NBFAA. "The bylaws were written years ago and need to be updated."
The proposal reads that any association that serves the electronic life safety and security industry whose membership consist of 51 percent of qualified companies is eligible to be a chartered state. While a minimum of 33 percent of the state association's regular membership must also be members of NBFAA.
In the past, the NBFAA offered two membership options for companies and individuals--the chartered membership and the Affiliated Alarm Association membership. However, after a struggle of collecting dues, the NBFAA decided to dissolve the AAA membership. Some states that were under the AAA membership became chartered states and others declined membership and were not recognized as affiliated with the NBFAA. In part, after the announcement of making the chartered state association the only option, NBFAA's membership declined.
The changes drafted might drop membership numbers, Jacquish said. "When you allow people to make a choice there is give and take, so it will take some time to adjust," he said.
Guilbeau noted that the NBFAA is strong today and has grown in strength for the past three years.
"The NBFAA board of directors feel that the changes to the program, have resulted in a chartered state program that is conducive to attracting even more participation from more state chapters," he said.