The electronic security industry has lost of two of its most prominent and influential figures with the passing of Jim L. Morris, vice president of the Electronic Security Association's Chartered Chapter in Missouri and a strong advocate for the association and the industry; and John W. Mabry, a past president of ESA as well as director and past president of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).
Mr. Morris, who was founder and owner of American Detection Specialists, Inc. in Springfield, Mo., died suddenly of a heart attack on Nov. 21. Mr. Mabry, who founded the American Alarm Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, which eventually became a part of Honeywell, was involved in a fatal automobile accident on Nov. 18 near Dublin, Georgia.
Jim L. Morris: A Champion of Service and Safety
Mr. Morris' legacy in the security industry is clear and far-reaching. He founded American Detection Specialists in 1989, and spent more than 27 years as a security professional. In addition to being the current vice president of ESA's Chartered Chapter in Missouri, he served for many years on the ESA Board of Directors. He was also active in the association's Sales & Marketing Professionals (SMP) group.
He was past president of ESA's Chartered Chapter when it was formerly known as the Missouri Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (MBFAA), and was currently president of the southwest Missouri regional association. Also, in 2006, Mr. Morris was selected as a member of the GE Security Pro Hall of Fame.
His attitude toward his craft and his industry is best summed up from a quote on his company's website. "Security is something I take very personally,” he said. "I approach every situation with an eye to life safety. It's not so much the sales, but the morality of what I do that's important and matters to me.”
Information regarding services for Mr. Morris is available by contacting J.D. Lee & Sons Funeral Home, 7405 E. Ferrel Lane, Rogersville, MO, 65742. The telephone number is (417) 753-4300.
John W. Mabry: Tireless Advocate for the Security Industry
Mr. Mabry also leaves a lasting legacy of service, including his tenure from 1984 to 1986 as president of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), which is now known as ESA. During that period, the association began the National Training School and industry certification program, which has grown since its inception in 1985 to serve more than 45,000 students. He also served as CSAA president from 1981 to 1983.
He founded the American Alarm Co. in 1969, and built it into one of the prominent independent alarm companies in the region. The company was sold to Honeywell in 1983, and Mr. Mabry later became vice president of Honeywell's Protection Services Division, as well as vice president of its Home and Building Control business unit.
Mr. Mabry was honored in 1983 as recipient of the ESA's Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year award, given annually to acknowledge the outstanding achievement of an individual and his or her continued efforts on behalf of the association and the industry. He remained active after his presidency, continuing to serve in numerous volunteer offices and positions in ESA and a number of other organizations.