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ESA welcomes new members to Board of Directors

ESA welcomes new members to Board of Directors

ESA welcomes new members to Board of Directors

DALLAS—Members of the Electronic Security Association (ESA) recently voted for several open positions on its Board of Directors.

These positions were vacated by outgoing board members, having made significant impact on the association, including Dee Ann Harn, CEO of RFI Enterprises in California; Steve Firestone, owner of Firestone Strategies in South Carolina; and James Lee, owner of Alarmguard Security in North Carolina.

“I have had the honor of working closely with these professionals, who helped steer the association through some major transitions,” said ESA Chairman Jamie Vos. “They helped to restructure the association and guide us through the acquisition of ESX — and through the pandemic. Their impact on ESA will be felt for years to come.”

The purpose of a director on the ESA Board is to work collectively as a team to provide good governance of ESA affairs and to set direction to optimize the growth and performance of the organization. Each Board Member has a responsibility for ensuring strategies and policies that are developed, discussed and implemented will enable the organization to achieve its mission and vision, and to monitor the organization’s implementation of those strategies and policies.

In accordance with the recently amended and adopted ESA Bylaws, two Integrator Director positions and one Associate Member Director position were open for two-year terms.

Voting opened on June 7, 2021 and concluded at 2:00pm (CDT) on June 29, 2021.

With the recent amendments to the ESA bylaws, all current ESA members were eligible to vote for all open positions on the Board. Balloting was conducted electronically through a third-party platform that maintained election integrity and security.

At the conclusion of balloting, the following candidates were declared the winners of this election and will be inducted onto the ESA Board of Directors this month:

Integrator Directors (Two-year term)

Melissa Brinkman, CEO, Custom Alarm, Rochester, MInn. 

Brinkman started her career in the security industry after moving back to her hometown, Rochester, MN in December 1998. Since starting in the ‘family’ business in 1998, Melissa has held several positions within Custom Alarm from marketing to sales manager, business development director, and customer services manager. She was Chief Operating Officer before Leigh J. Johnson, founder and CEO at the time, announced his retirement and Melissa’s promotion to CEO in February 2014. She has always been very committed to learning as much as possible about the security industry and Custom Alarm with a focus on taking care of the customer.


“This industry is so important to me because it has been part of me my whole life in some way shape or form having grown up in it — literally,” Brinkman said. “It is a great honor and I am excited about the opportunity to ‘officially’ get more involved in the organization and represent the voices and interests of the security dealers.”

Jeremy Bates, President, Bates Security, LLC/Sonitrol of Lexington, Inc., Lexington, Ky. 

Bates’ family’s company is based in Lexington and has a total of four offices.  The company is serving primarily a commercial customer base but maintains a strong residential business as well. The Bates family and their team have grown the company over the last several years to #37 in the most recent SDM 100 and have earned several industry and local awards, including being a two-time recipient of the SAMMY’s Installer of the Year for Small to Mid-Size Companies and is also a former recipient of Lexington’s Small Business of the Year.

“It’s an honor to be selected by my peers to serve on the ESA Board,” Bates said. “As a second-generation person in my family working in our industry, I take pride in providing services that families and businesses in our communities rely on for peace of mind in protecting their loved ones. I look forward to working with other committed industry professionals.”

Associate Member Director (Two-year term)

Jason Lutz, Distribution Sales Leader, Resideo Technologies, Austin, Texas

Lutz’ security industry career began over 25 years ago as a sales rep for a national company in Houston. Through a twist of faith, he moved to his current home of Middle Tennessee where he spent the next decade in Security Company ownership.  During that time, Jason was a member of ESA (Formally NBFAA) and TNESA (Formally TBFAA) and received multiple levels of NTS Certification. In 2002 he joined the ranks of manufacturing as a District Manager for the mid-west region of Resideo (formally Ademco/Honeywell) and since that time has moved up to his current role as the Distribution Sales Leader. 

“I am honored to be re-elected to represent the ESA Associate Members on the Board,” Lutz said. “Just as I challenge ESA staff to think outside the box and recruit new offerings, I also challenge our members to support our associate members.”


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