Security Leaders and Visionaries Recognized at SIA Honors Night

Honors Night 2018

On Nov. 14, the Security Industry Association (SIA) gathered industry luminaries and experts for SIA Honors Night, an annual event featuring a cocktail reception, a gala dinner benefiting Mission 500, engaging entertainment and an awards ceremony recognizing industry leaders. SIA Honors Night 2018 was held at the Current at Chelsea Piers in New York City, concurrently with ISC East.

Following welcome remarks by SIA Chairman of the Board Scott Schafer, SIA board member Janet Fenner presented the inaugural SIA Progress Award to Eddie Reynolds, president and CEO of iluminar Inc. The SIA Progress Award, presented by SIA’s Women in Security Forum, recognizes an individual paving the way to success for women in the security industry. Reynolds, who has been the founder and CEO of multiple established CCTV lighting companies, has been a longtime supporter of initiatives to support the advancement of women and overall diversity in the security and technology industries, recently traveling to the University of Arkansas on behalf of the International Organization of Black Security Executives to speak to students about career development skills and job opportunities within the industry. She contributed to the first women-authored issue of SIA Technology Insights, will speak on a women’s panel at ISC West 2019 and was included in Security Technology Executive and Security Systems News‘ 2016 features on women in security.

SecureIDNews Publisher Chris Corum then took the stage to present the 2018 Women in Biometrics Awards, co-founded by SIA and SecureIDNews and co-presented with sponsors FindBiometrics, IDEMIA and SIA’s Women in Security Forum. The Women in Biometrics Awards recognize distinguished contributions in the biometric identity and security industry. The five winners for 2018’s awards, selected from a global pool of nominees, are Kelly Gallagher, senior account manager at NEC Corporation of America; Lisa MacDonald, director of the Identity Management Division in the Office of Biometric identity Management at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Colleen Manaher, executive director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Lora Sims, senior biometric examiner at Ideal Innovations, Inc.; and Anne Wang, director of biometric technology research and development at Gemalto Cogent.

Next, Honors Night guests enjoyed keynote remarks from Bonnie St. John, a Paralympic ski medalist, Fortune 500 business consultant, Rhodes Scholar, former White House official and best-selling author. St. John discussed her journey to becoming the first African-American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition despite having her right leg amputated at age five and shared her top lessons from mentors and her advice for cultivating resilience.

SIA then highlighted Mission 500, a charity that advocates for children and families living in extreme poverty in the United States; each year, SIA Honors Night raises funds for Mission 500. A group of SIA member representatives traveled to Puerto Rico earlier in 2018 to help with disaster relief and help repair a family’s home; they shared their experiences on the trip and encouraged attendees to donate and get involved. Mission 500 is supported by manufacturers, integrators, distributors, trade shows, end users, alarm companies, associations and media.

Next, Jake Parker, SIA’s director of government relations, presented the SIA Insightful Practitioner Award to Guy M. Grace, Jr., who chairs the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) Steering Committee and serves as director of security and emergency planning for Littleton Public Schools (LPS) in the Denver suburb of Littleton, Colorado. The Insightful Practitioner Award recognizes excellence in promoting the implementation of innovative security solutions. Grace has created and assisted with developing many security-related projects, protocols and practices used today in school safety for both LPS and other school districts. In addition to chairing PASS’ Steering Committee, Grace has partnered with SIA on press releases and blog posts on school security and spoke at ISC West 2017 about how LPS have created a comprehensive physical security information management system across 28 buildings for more than 15,000 students and staff.

SIA board member Kirk MacDowell then presented the Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award to Larry Folsom, co-founder and president of I-View Now. This honor, named for former SIA chairman of the board Jay Hauhn, recognizes a leader who embodies a spirit of collaboration in the security industry. Folsom is a security industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience in the field. He­­ served as president of the Partnership for Priority Verified Alarm Response – which works to educate security stakeholders about the value of video and other technologies in verifying alarm activity during the dispatch process, reduce the prevalence of false alarms and grow apprehension rates for burglar alarm users – from 2016 to 2018. Through his liaison work, particularly with the law enforcement community, Folsom’s contributions have proven valuable to SIA members thanks to the generation of open dialogue between public safety leaders and monitoring firms – with positive outcomes in ordinance and policy development.

Finally, John Stroia, president of Hamilton Safe, presented security industry veteran Pat Comunale with the George R. Lippert Memorial Award, an honor presented annually to a distinguished individual for long-term, selfless service to the security industry and to SIA. Comunale – a retired security industry veteran and former member of the SIA Board of Directors – is the former CEO and president for Tri-Ed Distribution, an Anixter company. He has over 25 years of extensive experience in the security industry and has held senior-level leadership roles in both manufacturing and distribution. In their award submissions, nominators praised Comunale for his active participation in the security industry at both the local and national levels, his strong personal industry relationships and dedication to helping his colleagues and staff grow. In his time on SIA’s board, Comunale guided SIA in its general policy activity and served on the Membership and Marketing Committee.

Learn more about SIA Honors Night;  we hope to see you at the next one on Nov. 20, 2019!