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Security Connected

Security Connected

When I arrived in Louisville this week for ESX 2023, one of the first things I noticed while walking to the registration area was a big display with balloons and neon lights celebrating 75 years of the Electronic Security Association (ESA).

I said to myself, “Wow, that is quite an accomplishment.” 75 years of ESA serving as the largest trade association in the U.S. representing the electronic life safety and security industry.

ESXI’m not exactly going out on a limb to say that the industry has dramatically changed since ESA’s inception, and throughout the years, the association has continued to support its membership with the benefits, resources, and programs it provides to members and non-members.

Of course, one of the programs that the association offers its members is ESX, ESA’s annual gathering of integrators, dealers and monitoring professionals designed to give them the opportunity to learn, share, interact, network, and ultimately, grow their business.

This is the second year I have attended ESX, and one thing that has really stood out to me is how the daily schedule is set, with educational sessions in the morning and the expo as the main event for the afternoon, giving attendees ample opportunity to learn during the first part of the day and network on the show floor during the latter half of the day.

And one thing I’ve learned when walking the expo floor at ESX is that it’s not focused on product demos and pitches. It’s more about having - as ESX calls it – “quality conversations” related to marketing, sales, merchandising, installation training, and other areas that are critical to the integrator, dealer, and monitoring communities.

One session I had the pleasure of attending on Tuesday, June 6, centered on “Spotlighting Women in Security: Next Stage of Growth.” Moderated by Kelly Bond of Davis Mergers & Acquisition Group, she was joined by panelists Amy Becker of Astute Financial Consulting; Tracy Larson of WeSuite, Tondria Isaacs Lopeztello of ADT Commercial; Nicola Oakie of Netwatch North America; and Joey Rao-Russell of Kimberlite for an informative discussion on where market growth is coming from, as well as the challenges faced when implementing new technology – such as AI – into operations. 

In addition to the education sessions and the expo, ESX offers inspiring keynote speakers and awards presentations for individuals and innovative companies.

The opening keynote luncheon featured New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff, who talked about overthinking based on his most recent book, "Soundtracks, the Surprising Solution for Overthinking.”

Acuff’s advice for those, including myself, who tend to overthink things, is based on three principles:

1) Retire the broken soundtracks that have been holding you back.

2) Replace them with new soundtracks that propel you forward.

3) Repeat the new ones so often they become as automatic as the old ones.

Acuff pointed out that if you follow those three principles, you’ll get back the time, creativity, and energy you lost when you were overthinking. And as a result, you’ll be able to navigate change, increase productivity and win consistently. Sage advice indeed.

As for the awards, Kirk MacDowell was recognized for his more than 40 years of contributions to the security industry by winning the Sara E. Jackson Award, which recognizes an ESA member's work on an association committee, task force or board.

Just hours later, MacDowell, who currently serves as CEO at MacGuard Security Advisors Inc., also collected the William N. Moody Award from the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) for his passion to advance positive alarm management and best industry practices. Congrats to Kirk for two honors well deserved!

In addition, ESX announced the 2023 Innovation Award winners, recognizing next-gen products and services that will offer significant opportunities for growth for integrator companies. Congrats to all winners!

Kudos to ESA Executive Director and CEO Merlin Guilbeau, ESA Chairman John Loud, ESX Chairman George De Marco, and the entire ESA staff for putting together another successful ESX.

Can’t wait to return to Louisville next year so I can remain “Security Connected.”




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