NBFAA Honors Volunteers During Annual Awards Luncheon

The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association's (NBFAA) 2006 Leadership Award winners were revealed Monday during the NBFAA Fall Conference and CSA Symposium annual Awards Luncheon. The Luncheon, held at Ruth's Chris in Weehawken, N.J., was sponsored by Altronix. The following winners were honored:

Chapter of the Year: Louisiana Life Safety and Security Association
President of the Year: Ron Foreman, Louisiana Life Safety and Security Association
Executive Director of the Year: Shelly Pettit, Mississippi Alarm Association
Newsletter of the Year: The Protection Connection, Illinois Electronic Security Association
NTS Instructor of the Year: Larry Mann, Central Station Inc.
NTS Training Coordinator of the Year: Danny Northcutt, Lafayette Alarm Service

Louisiana was honored for its consistency in the face of extreme adversity during the August 2005- August 2006 time frame. In spite of the devastation to the state, and to the industry, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana managed to hold 28 National Training School (NTS) classes for 386 students in calendar year 2005, and as of September of 2006 more than 42 classes, with 381 students, were held. The state chapter also continued to participate in the Youth Scholarship Program, maintained a retention rate of 85 percent (in spite of the loss of businesses in New Orleans), and continued on a sound financial footing.

During this time frame, Louisiana President Ron Foreman, Bayou Fire & Security, Lake Charles, La., "maintained the cohesiveness and unity of the chapter and continued to serve on a national level." For his dedication during the crisis and his steadfastness during the last five years of service, he was recognized as the 2006 President of the Year.

Executive Director of the Year Shelly Pettit of Mississippi was recognized for her dedication and extraordinary efforts. In addition to organizing this year's Mississippi trade show almost entirely on her own as a part-time executive director, she also has handled the rapid membership growth in the state following the passage of a licensing bill. "She is most deserving of this award," said Mississippi President Don Williams. Williams said Pettit was instrumental in increasing membership and member involvement in the association and did much of the background work on the state's new licensing law. Through Shelley's hard work the association realized 87.5% member retention from 2005 to 2006 and held several NTS classes – all this in spite of the havoc caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The Protection Connection, the Illinois chapter newsletter, was recognized as the 2006 Newsletter of the year. The publication's clean, crisp layout and useful content, combined with the accolades of the state board, won the day.

Larry Mann, project manager at Central Station Inc. in Birmingham, Ala., was honored as this year's NTS Instructor of the Year for his assistance in conducting NTS classes in Georgia, and St. Louis, Mo. The success of these NBFAA NTS classes was in large part due to the professionalism and support received from Mann.

The NTS Training Coordinator of the Year award was presented to Danny Northcutt of Lafayette Alarm Services, Lafayette, La. for his efforts in coordinating classes in Louisiana, both prior to and subsequent to the horrific events of Hurricane Katrina, and for his involvement in updating the NBFAA NTS Life Safety Code course.

Finally, in a surprise announcement, NBFAA presented the first-ever NTS Special Recognition Team Award. In 2006 NTS was "recruited" by the US Army to conduct Level One Certified Alarm Technician classes at Fort Meade, Md., and U.S. bases in Germany and South Korea. In accepting this assignment NTS selected its version of the "A-Team" to conduct these classes. NTS Instructors Paul Baran, Bosch Security Systems; John Luzzo, DMP; Joseph Hayes, All County Security Inc.; Steve Spodnik, Northstar Security Corp; and LJ Lynes, Stanley Security Solutions, were recognized for their dedication and professionalism in conducting the NTS courses for the U.S. Army. According to Dale Eller, NTS director, "The A-Team showed the U.S. government just how professional this industry is. Their efforts will go a long way in building a lasting relationship with our armed forces."

"This year saw difficult times for the Louisiana and Missouri chapters due to Hurricane Katrina while chapters in Georgia and Idaho overcame the great difficulty of starting up associations. These factors, and many more, made this year's decisions very difficult. I congratulate each of the finalists and ask them to keep up the hard work and dedication," said NBFAA President George Gunning, USA Alarms, Monrovia, Calif.