NESA, a new association, sets up shop

Saturday, January 1, 2005

DALLAS - A new alarm association is in the early stages of taking shape, with the aim to provide member states with legislative information and networking opportunities amongst peers.

The state of Texas is leading the way to form the National Electronic Security Alliance. The group is also in the beginning stages of soliciting others to join its ranks.

Its formation comes as some state alarm associations, such as Texas, look for an alternative organization to join other than the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association. Texas was once a member of the NBFAA, but left the association about a year ago.

Texas was looking for a different structure, according to Rex Adams, chairman and president of NESA and past-president of the TBFAA, one that does not require every member of the state association to join NBFAA if the state is a member of the national association. Its members also wanted legislative information on a regular basis, something Adams claims the NBFAA had not been providing.

“I don’t think NESA is against the NBFAA,” said Adams. “The NBFAA has a lot to offer.”

NESA has tapped former NBFAA executive director Brad Shipp to work on the effort. The group has drafted bylaws and created a web site that will a launch in January. NESA is still working on its dues structure.

“They asked me to explore it with other states, the possibility of some group that would fill the void on a couple of different issues,” said Shipp, who is also executive director of the TBFAA and several other state associations, about his involvement with NESA.

Those issues, said Shipp, include monitoring and influencing national legislation and giving states the opportunity to exchange information.

But despite the criticism, the NBFAA said it does provide these services, and many others, to its members. Not only does the national association offer legislative tracking, said Scot Colby, president of the NBFAA, but it has recently hired a professional lobbiest to represent the NBFAA on Capital Hill.

The issue in the past, said Colby, may have been a lack of communication between individual member companies and the national association. Previously the NBFAA disseminated association information to a representative within a member state, who would then pass that info onto others at the state level. Now, the NBFAA is sending legislative updates and program information directly to the individual member.

The formation of NESA brings with it concerns for Mike Miller, a member of the NBFAA’s executive committee. “I’m concerned that we have a new organization that feels that they need to come together to do some of the same things that the NBFAA is already doing,” he said.