Business & Marketing
Q&A with Frank Pietrobono
Frank Pietrobono was recently elected president of CANASA. SP&T News spoke with him about his plans and vision for the association.
By Jennifer Brown
SP&T: Why did you seek the position of president of CANASA? Have you thought about taking on this role for some time?
Pietrobono: Over the
years as a member of CANASA I often thought “what if?” however there
was always a perception that the national and executive boards were an
exclusive old boys’ club, so when the opportunity presented itself to
join the national board as an associate representative I was glad to
accept the position. I learned very quickly that the old boys’ club was
just a perception. In fact, most of the executive and national board
members were exhausting many volunteer hours dealing with myriad issues
across the country and were more than happy to step aside and have some
new members take on the daunting tasks. I would venture to say that we
have one of the most diverse executive boards CANASA has ever had, with
good representation from across the country. I am honoured to be
elected to this position and I will serve the members with integrity
SP&T: In your new role as president, what are your goals for CANASA?
Pietrobono: During my
tenure as president I would like to engage all members to be more
involved in their local CANASA chapters. Without the help of the
volunteers CANASA would still be an obscure organization struggling to
maintain its members. The Quebec chapters have truly demonstrated what
we can accomplish when members converge on a common goal.
One other goal I have is to ensure that CANASA is truly the voice of
our industry. With the help of other associations such as SIA, NBFAA
and CSAA we can share best practices and develop strong alliances to
disseminate industry information and programs. I am currently working
with SIA to develop a President’s Council for the respective
Our members need to understand that CANASA is an inclusive club, not
exclusive, and all decisions are made with the support of the members
who are represented by their local chapter officials.
SP&T: What do you see as CANASA’s main challenges in the year to come?
Pietrobono: Some of the
main challenges we will face will be growing our membership to include
emerging specialties in electronic security. Our prime target is
integrators. We must determine how to reach them, how to provide value
to this segment, and how to deliver on this value promise.
Also, the promotion of our tradeshow as an avenue for related but
peripheral offerings to the electronic security segment. CABA has left
the show market, CEDIA has scaled back its plans to introduce a spring
show in the U.S., and many exhibitors at the Tech-Sec show in the U.S.
are looking for a segue into the Canadian market. We want to explore
how CANASA can tap these unsatisfied markets in a way that has meaning
for our core tradeshow audience which will be paramount to achieving
great success going forward.
We also want to raise the CANASA profile with governments, police
forces and the media. We need to develop the right communications
strategy to get CANASA top-of-mind status with key public officials.
SP&T: Do you think CANASA can be successful in uniting other security associations in Canada under the CANASA umbrella?
Pietrobono: CANASA has
many strengths to offer other associations. If we can develop a model
that allows other security associations to benefit from these
strengths, yet still keep their own identity and their own autonomy,
there should be a way to unite Canada’s security professionals. CANASA
has sustainable revenues, a full-time staff of 12 across the country,
association management expertise and a new website that will soon be
launched with dynamic association management tools.
We also have a demonstrated history of working cooperatively with CSIS,
ASIS, APSA and other security associations.
membership is currently at about 1,200 — does the executive have plans
to actively increase that number over the next few years?
Pietrobono: The current membership is 1,260 members. CANASA grew 10 per
cent in 2006/2007. We foresee consistent upward growth in the
electronic security segment, particularly as legislation and
regulations change across the country. CANASA’s staff is working on
membership development strategy and Membership Advantage Program to
extend the CANASA offering to aligned security professionals. As the
world of electronic security changes, benefits of CANASA membership
will become apparent to more and more security professionals.
Frank Pietrobono is Director of Sales, Corporate accounts with Digital Security Controls in Concord, Ont.