New SIA Member Profile: Connaughton Group

Connaughton Group

Thomas Connaughton recently formed the Connaughton Group, where he serves as President and CEO, to bolster testing and certification for security products. Based in Hillsborough, New Jersey, the Connaughton Group specializes in product compliance, and the company is a new member of the Security Industry Association (SIA). SIA chatted with Connaughton about the mission of his firm and the value of SIA membership. For more information, visit http://www.connaughtongroup.com.

How did your company get its start?

The Connaughton Group got its start after I decided to leave my position as the Global Director of Life Safety & Security (LSS) Services with Intertek Group PLC (ETL) after 18.5 years. Over my career, I was not only able to gain great insight into the conformity assessment side (testing/certification laboratory) of the industry but also into the political, regulatory, sales and marketing sides as well. The opportunity to organically build such global LSS services gave me the insight needed to understand that we were not just testing “toasters” or “TVs,” we were testing equipment and systems that save lives and property.

Over the years, I have seen countless innovative products that have been submitted to various Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) that honestly were not even close to being in a certifiable condition. We are talking about game-changing technologies that remain sidelined because the standards, codes and other considerations were not applied to the concept or design. At the Connaughton Group, we want to see these technologies in the field making the difference that they are intended to make, and some good old-fashioned return on investment as well. Therefore, we have launched a “Product Integrity Consulting Firm” to provide the global manufacturing and product certification communities the support necessary to further promote innovation and advancements in technology AND get your product out of the test laboratories and into the hands of your customers and the professionals that need them.

How did it get involved in the security industry?

I got involved with the security industry in 2005 while building the fire side of the LSS service line. There was an increasing demand for fire detection certification alternatives due to the UL 864 9th edition industry bandwidth challenges. Plain and simple: We needed to offer a complete testing and certifications portfolio covering fire and burglar equipment and systems for use in both residential and commercial applications. In addition to the professional involvement in security, there is a personal connection as well. Several members of my family, and friends, have careers in security and a few have even retired. For example, my grandfather worked private security for Rockefeller Center in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.

Who are the prominent executives at your company? If someone wanted to meet a key person at an industry networking event, who would that be?

The executive at the company would be myself, Thomas Connaughton.

What’s your company’s biggest challenge right now?

The biggest challenge right now is getting the word out about our services and clearly conveying the value proposition that The Connaughton Group brings to the world of product integrity.

What trends does your company foresee for the security industry in the next year?

At the Connaughton Group, we are very keen on the megatrends like concerns connected to Big Data, which feeds artificial intelligence and of course the over-arching Internet of Things.

What does your organization receive from membership in SIA? How do you plan to be active in the association in the near future?

Our organization expects to receive the opportunity to network, stay abreast of industry news topics and discussion points, and to have a strong pulse of the future of the industry.

Will your company participate in an upcoming event with SIA such as ISC West, New Product Showcase or Government Summit? If so, what aspect of the event appeals most to your company?

Yes, the Connaughton Group will be at the ISC West events and several other events throughout the course of the year.

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