Shipp resigns from top post at the NBFAA

Monday, April 1, 2002

SILVER SPRING, Md.-Brad Shipp, who has headed the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association for the past five years, unexpectedly announced his resignation in March during the ISC Show in Las Vegas.

Shipp's resignation as the association's executive director comes amid varying views with the association's recently elected executive officers. The officers, elected last year, are set to formally take their seat in July.

"Each year there are elections and there's a change of leadership within the executive committee," said Shipp. "In this past time that they had an election I think the majority of the executive committee feel it's time for a change and I don't want to stand in their way."

While Shipp announced plans to leave, he intends to stay on board with the association until the July timeframe. The search for a replacement executive director, however, is just beginning, said Cecil Hogan, president-elect.

"It's still a work in process," said Hogan. "We are working on the transition and Brad is helping us make it smoothly."

Neither Shipp nor the NBFAA's executive committee elaborated much on their differences. But Shipp said that after a series of meetings during the ISC show it was clear the board wanted a change. He said one discussion centered around altering his duties.

"They proposed possible changes in my role, in specific, and how somebody in a parallel role would take on some tasks," said Shipp, who has been with the association for 11 years in various capacities. "I just felt like a two headed monster was not the right way to run an organization."

Like the other industry associations, it's a pivotal time for the NBFAA with the rapid changes now taking place in the security market, said Joe Freeman, an industry analyst and head of J.P. Freeman Co.
"Everybody is trying to get into the security industry and they're squeezing integrators real hard," said Freeman.

For the NBFAA new leadership will come as the association posts its first balanced budget in about three years. The past three years the association was running at a deficit, due to revenues lost from being edged out for the ISC Show sponsorship by the Security Industry Association.

At the time the NBFAA lost its sponsorship, the show brought in $600,000 in revenues for the association. To close the gap, the association relocated to less expensive offices and went to an electronic newsletter, all awhile maintaining current programs. The association did, however, dip into its reserve account which now stands at $1.3 million, said Shipp.

Hogan said one change he envisions for the association is growing substantially in the coming years and evolving with the changing industry.

"We want to be able to reach out to all the other dealers. I would like to see us have two or three the membership we have now," he said. "We are a different industry than we used to be. We are not just burglar and fire alarm anymore."