New CANASA president outlines strategic objectives
Don Budden, who accepted the role of the Canadian Security Association’s new National President in October, says that one of his main goals is to engage members by connecting them with the public and government policy-makers.
By Neil Sutton
“One of my key priorities is going to be to help re-engage the involvement of the chapter volunteers. I think that’s going to have to be a key as we move forward,” said Budden. “One of the things that I’ll be working hard to do is to help build the re-engagement of the volunteers at the local level as it relates to advocacy efforts.”
Budden was installed as CANASA’s president during the Security Canada Central conference, Oct. 19-20, in Toronto. Budden replaces Karen McGee, who will continue to serve CANASA as past president. The new executive also includes vice-presidents Philippe Bouchard (ADI) and Carl Jorgensen (Core Products Group Canada Inc.); secretary Kevin Hincks (DSC); and treasurer Carol Cairns (Cairn Control Systems Inc.).
“I am thrilled to have Don as our new President,” said CANASA executive director JF Champagne. “He has gained the respect and admiration of all the CANASA volunteers who have had the chance to work with him and I know that he will be a great source of inspiration for myself, our staff, our board and our members.”
Budden has been in the security business for 30 years — all of them with ADT Security Services Canada Inc., mostly in the Atlantic region. He currently holds the title of operations manager, and works in the company’s Dartmouth, N.S., office. “I started with ADT in 1981 as an operator in a central station that we had at the time in St. John’s, Nfld. I have worked most of the jobs at ADT from field technician and sales to customer service, and for the last 20 years or so in management, in Newfoundland, New Brunswick and since 1999 in Nova Scotia.”
Budden said he has been affiliated with CANASA on the East Coast for more than 15 years, working with the New Brunswick sub-chapter and the Atlantic chapter. He has been involved with CANASA’s national board “for half a dozen years and on the executive committee for the last couple of years.”
Advocacy and engagement will the bedrock of his term as president, said Budden. He wants to see more CANASA members at the table when key decisions are being made by legislators, lawmakers and emergency responders, particularly at the local level. As experts in the field, CANASA members are in a unique position to address security issues that affect constituents like false alarms, he said.
“There’s going to be more and more pressure on municipalities in particular to balance their budgets,” said Budden. “Some of that is going to come at the expense of the first responders. To that end, I think there’s going to be some budget squeezes there, and fire and police agencies will probably be looking at things like false alarm bylaws, response policies and potential for cost recovery in some fashion. I’m of the opinion that we’ve got a lot more of that to come.
“I think that’s going to be the biggest new thing to tackle. All the while (we’re) positioning CANASA as the definitive voice of the industry, and also as a resource partner to the police and fire departments.”
By attaching itself to relevant political issues, CANASA can also raise its profile in the public eye and further establish itself as a security authority, said Budden. He acknowledged that CANASA has already done valuable work in reaching out to the public by placing supplements in national newspapers.
“I believe there will some media outreach to help share the message that there is value in dealing with a CANASA member. More importantly, it’s up to the CANASA members in every chapter across the country to be there, to be at the table, to be at the discussion. As a result of that, I think there will be great opportunities to address legislation in either a private or a public format,” he said.
CANASA should also be working to raise its profile within the industry it serves, said Budden. The CANASA name and logo should ideally be present when a security deal is closed or transaction processed. “Every time we touch a customer or a potential customer out in the field and the CANASA name is mentioned, I believe it adds credibility and further strengthens the organization,” he said.
Budden also said he would like to see CANASA membership grow and to ensure that the organization is serving its members by providing educational opportunities that are relevant and helpful. He acknowledged that CANASA member and past president Ivan Spector made some valid points when he called CANASA to action in a column published in the June/July 2011 edition of SP&T News. Spector criticized CANASA for losing ground to other security groups that were providing comprehensive education programs, saying “CANASA seems to be shying away from education as opposed to being a leader.”
“I think he makes the point very well,” said Budden. “As with any product in the industry, our product needs to appeal to the marketplace. We’ve got a very active education committee that’s working hard to get the feel of the industry. Another thing that we’ll want to do there is make it widely available.”
Budden said that the recent strides the CANASA executive has made in forming an education agenda have been effective, particularly the “education flashes” seen at the most recent Security Canada Central show. (The education flash sessions were held on the exhibit hall floor; they were shorter than seminars presented in past years and focused on practical knowledge.) Budden said CANASA could focus more on e-learning in the future and needs to provide “more of the general education-type initiatives. The glue that holds the various components and integration pieces together I think is an area that will probably be of some value to us, going forward — the simple things, like helping to drive improved craftsmanship and quality within the installer/technician. That can be of significant value.”
Budden also praised the executive for its recent efforts in fine-tuning the organization and establishing an effective administrative base. “We’ve invested a pile of effort into that over the last few years to the point that we’re really better positioned now than we’ve ever been to tackle some of the initiatives and strategic objectives.”