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Give back to the industry that supports you

I was lucky enough the other day to meet and listen to Ferguson Jenkins address a group of high school kids on a chilly Thursday morning.


February 23, 2011
By Ivan Spector

Getting up in front of a packed auditorium, speaking comfortably without any notes, we were thoroughly entertained by his stories of his years as a National Baseball League All Star pitcher. In celebration of Black History Month in Canada, and in commemoration of the unveiling of a stamp in his honor, Jenkins delivered a captivating talk covering his baseball past and the history of blacks in Canada.

I was asked to attend because Frank Martinez, our installation manager is very involved in minor league baseball in Montreal. Frank has children in the program (whom he hopes will one day make it as professionals), but more importantly his passion goes beyond security systems. He is and has always been a passionate baseball player and coach. And because of that passion he has arm twisted Sentinelle to sponsoring a team every year. It is not hard to indulge Frank, as dedicated as he is.

Besides amusing us with stories of his glory years and name dropping legendary players like Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Carl Yastrzemski and the like, Ferguson Jenkins also had a very strong message to all of us in attendance. And his message was quite simple – be passionate about what you do, and give back.

I find it easy to be passionate about this business. There are not a lot of service businesses where you can be responsible to save lives. I know that in our business there have been at least a dozen occasions where that has happened. And that just about validates all the annoying things that you need to do in order to get there. If this business does not grab you, then the sleepless nights and service intensive nature of this business means that it is just not for you.

Giving back is also a big part of being a leader in your community. The people I work with like Frank exemplify this. But giving back should also be doing so to your industry as well. CANASA is an organization that we are all familiar with, and one which many of us have dedicated countless hours to. When I look at the CANASA board profile I have to wonder where these people are coming from. I can tell you where they are not coming from – the independent installers, dealers and monitoring stations. I can only suggest that those of you who are members and are not contributing had better wake up. And those of you in the industry and are not even members – you should consider another profession. If we are ever to be taken seriously we need to be united. And that starts with our trade association.