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Finding your potential

The security industry is filled with people willing to share their time and expertise


July 26, 2021
By Richard McMullen

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Congratulations, SP&T News, on the occasion of your 25th anniversary. This milestone has caused me to reflect on my own time in our industry.

Like many, I began working for a small alarm company, in a monitoring station in the early 1980s. This was a rewarding experience for a student. I was able to learn, develop and progress, having many opportunities and guidance along the way.

Pioneers helped to shape the broader industry and certainly this young fellow who was just embracing a working world.

This industry is full of kind, generous people willing to help develop others. These early interactions helped me develop my own leadership and mentoring skills.

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I was fortunate to have many wonderful leaders help me on my journey. These included my own family members (Tom and Don) who supported and guided me along the way. John Aiken was the general manager at Golden Triangle Alarms when I first began working in the industry. He took a chance on a young student with no real industry experience or skills to offer.

Not long after starting, we learned that the company was being sold to Honeywell Amplitrol. I found myself at a crossroads and was offered employment with another small alarm and security company, Pro-Tech Security and Investigations. Thankfully, Pro-Tech offered a rich environment to learn and develop.

Opportunities were plentiful in those days and I thrived with support from our leadership team of F. Glen Hagan and Bevan McGarry. They grew a small security firm into an integration and alarm company with many successful projects. More importantly, they developed people and helped many move forward to successful leadership roles in law enforcement and our industry.

Unfortunately, economic circumstances forced the company into receivership and sale.

I found myself at another crossroads. I returned to Honeywell and continued there for 14 years, until ADT acquired the Canadian business operations of Honeywell Protection Services in 2000. Leaders like John Pistilli, Ron Gagnon, Mario Morin and others helped me embrace new challenges while continuing to learn.

ADT offered exciting opportunities while working with many lifelong industry leaders. We had a great mix of experienced technicians and others who took immense pride in their work. Along the way, I worked with some incredible folks. In 2007 I joined Fleming Communications Inc. (FCi) to help build and develop our security line of business.

I was fortunate to spend time volunteering with our Ottawa CANASA chapter, eventually being elected to lead our Ontario chapter and in 2015, elected to become the National President. While the experience was not without its challenges, I thoroughly enjoyed my term with CANASA. Giving back to the industry was a rewarding experience.

I was also fortunate to develop some lifelong friendships with other like-minded CANASA volunteers and industry icons. Volunteering is an incredible opportunity to contribute to the community. I also began volunteering with our local Crime Stoppers program, eventually becoming president of our National Capital Area Crime Stoppers program in 2013.

Tremendous technology advances have certainly had significant impact on our industry. We have come a long way from protecting premises with foil, direct wire communications and two zone alarm panels.

I cannot imagine what the next quarter century will bring. One constant will be change. We have all embraced change along the way and I hope the industry will continue to thrive and develop. I am confident in the outstanding people who make a living helping others remain safe at home, work and play.

Thank you to the entire team at SP&T News for helping to connect our industry with impactful stories and education over the last 25 years. Your contribution to the success of the industry has been much appreciated. Congratulations!

Richard McMullen is partner, security solutions, Fleming Communications Inc. (FCi).


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