Blog Posts

Electronic Security Expo


August 24, 2023 ESX 2023

Weinstock Leaders throughout history have come from all different walks of life and devoted themselves to all different causes. But they all share one common quality – they blaze a trail for others to follow in. Within the security industry, we have had many shining stars to look to who have brought us to the level of sophistication, technological achievements, and professionalism that today define our industry. It’s safe to say that many of these shining stars fashioned their pursuits by following in the footsteps of the trailblazers who came before them.  

Leading the charge in defining our industry and planting the seeds for continued growth was Morris F. Weinstock. He launched Morse Signal Devices with his brother Jack way back in 1934 in Cleveland and later moved the business to California. It grew to become the biggest independent installing and monitoring provider in the Western U.S. Then, in 1947, Morris Weinstock contacted Ben Call of Call’s Police Signal Corp. in Boston and together they hired an advertising agency to send letters to 165 independent alarm companies across the U.S. to see if they’d be on board with forming an Association dedicated to serving the evolving efforts of the alarm industry. Together with Call, Weinstock launched the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) in 1948, now known as the Electronic Security Association (ESA), and later also served as the organization’s president 

So it was only fitting that in 1970, to honor his remarkable contributions to the industry, that the Morris F. Weinstock Award began being presented each year to an individual who followed in Weinstock’s trailblazing footsteps to advance the security industry. Since its inception, the Weinstock Person of the Year Award has always represented and recognized the best of the best, honoring someone who shines as truly stellar in the security industry. Industry advocates who have worked tirelessly in the security space have well earned this prestigious industry accolade over the years. And Jamie Vos, the 2023 Weinstock Person of the Year Award recipient, has also risen awesomely to this distinction.  

President of Washington state-based Security Solutions Northwest Inc., Vos had industry DNA in him since birth. Security Solutions NW has been in business since 1904, yes, 1904! As Vos explains, the company started off as an everything store back in 1904; it grew into locksmithing and it changed hands a few times and his Dad bought it back in the 1970s. It was his father’s military service that led him to being interested in alarm systems. “After growing the company in the ‘70s, it became clear in the ‘90s that we had to continue to grow, so we started focusing in on the electronic and life safety side of the business. We changed our name in 2004 to Security Solutions Northwest Inc. to commemorate the anniversary of the first 100 years and we haven’t looked back.”  

Indeed, Vos has always looked ahead, and his forward thinking has been instrumental in advancing the ESA and the industry itself to a higher level.  

Vos’ devotion to the electronic security and life safety industry has been evident through his years of volunteering, giving back to the industry, and most recently, working to ensure ESA is on a path of sustainability. In addition to his responsibilities as Chairman, he also played an active role with ESA subsidiaries, the Electronic Security Expo and Security America Reassurance Group. 

So what exactly was it that led Vos to become involved in the ESA some 16 years ago? The short version, Vos recalls, is that “Ultimately, my Dad was a big proponent of associations and thought it was the best way to learn from others.” That sense of humility did not fall far from his father’s tree. Vos credits so many others for catalyzing his work for the industry over the years.

I’ve been able, through the help of many different people in the industry over the years, to serve in different ways.”

Initially, Vos worked to support the industry in its government affairs efforts, and also went on to work on licensing initiatives. As timing would have it, Vos served selflessly as President of ESA and then right after as Chairman during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. His prior work with ESA well prepared him to weather that storm. “It all culminated to that. When you’re faced with COVID, and that really hit during my Chairmanship as I was the last President leaving and the first Chairman coming in then – it was clear that we were at a point that we had to look at sustainable financial futures for ESA,” he recalls. He points out that trade associations are in the process of changing, and when COVID hit, he recognized that the Association needed to rely on unused revenues because its members were struggling through COVID times.

“We had to take a deep dive and I’m excited that we got through that. It was very challenging but very rewarding. A lot of organizations struggled and we came through stronger; I’m very excited about where we are today. 

In fact, when asked which accomplishments in his professional career and work with ESA he is most proud of, Vos says that coming through COVID stronger ranks among the highest. “ESA came out stronger and so did my company. Weathering that challenge, taking it head on and seeing our teams rally behind it has been so inspiring. We charged forward and both organizations came out so much stronger. And we have achieved more sustainability from a financial perspective in a time when that seemed so hard to do.” 

And while leadership definitely requires strength and tenacity, emotions also catalyze the effort. When asked how he has benefited personally and professionally from all his industry engagement and service, Vos is quick to say that so much of it comes from an emotional standpoint. “For me, personally, it’s been relationships, both personally and professionally, that gave me the opportunity to grow,” he points out. On the other hand, however, he adds that “Sometimes in business, you’re faced with challenges. If you’re coming from a place of emotion and not logic you have to re-look at it. That gives you the chance to take the next step as a leader.” 

Vos has clearly been able to strike just the right balance. In answering the questions “What does ‘service to the industry’ mean to you? What inspires you to give back?’, he humbly replies that “It’s looking outside of yourself and your business and looking at what’s best for the industry as a whole. It’s about engaging in growing the overall betterment of the industry. So many people have invested in me. Giving back comes naturally out of getting. If anything, I’ve learned that if someone can help me, I can help someone else.” 

To that end, Vos continues to set goals for advancing the Association and the industry as a whole. His primary goals are to support the efforts of the leadership coming in behind him to continue to drive a stable future for the association.  

His recognition as the 2023 Weinstock Person of the Year Award recipient was a distinction he is awed by. “The lineup of people behind me and who put the effort in to grow the Association, it is a humbling experience. So many of my friends and the power of people who came before me – it’s so extraordinary to see the level of dedication they put into it,” he says.

“I am so humbled to even be considered for and then to receive such a prestigious award, to be honest, it’s something I’ll treasure forever. Boy, I hope that I did everyone of them proud. I don’t have any other word other than humbled. I so appreciate it.” 

Much akin to Morris F. Weinstock himself, whose driving passion was to advance the goals and efforts of the security industry, Jamie Vos is driven by a deep care for the industry and possesses the humility of character to push those efforts forward graciously for the betterment of the industry as a whole.  

May many others follow in Weinstock’s footsteps and those of all of our industry icons to continue to blaze new and innovative trails for the continued advancement of our industry! 

Thank you to Resideo for sponsoring this award.


August 24, 2023 ESX 2023

Named after Electronic Security Association’s (ESA’s) former president, the Sara E. Jackson Award recognizes and honors an ESA member’s work on an association committee, task force or board. ESA Chairman John Loud presented Kirk MacDowell with the award during the opening keynote luncheon at ESX 2023. We interviewed Kirk MacDowell to get a deeper look at his professional life and the steps and people that led him here.   


Beginnings in Law Enforcement 

MacDowell began his career in law enforcement in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a full-time deputy. Wanting to further expand his horizons, he sought out the Security Industry Association, then based out of Santa Monica. There, he met George Weinstock, who became an influential mentor in his life. George’s father was Morris Weinstock, after whom the Morris F. Weinstock Award was named. MacDowell served part-time in the sheriff’s department and part-time in the Association for 29 years. 


Volunteering for the Industry 

Since then, he has also served the electronic security industry as past chairman at Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF); chairman at the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), chairman at the Leadership Identification and Nomination Committee of ESA (LINC); former board member at the Security Industry Association (SIA); former board member at The Monitoring Association (TMA); and past president of the Los Angeles County Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (LABFAA). 

MacDowell is currently the CEO at MacGuard Security Advisors Inc., which specializes in working with electronic security companies to assess business operations, review short- and long-term business initiatives, and provide blueprints for long-term success. 


Best-Practice Sharing Above Accolades  

Despite his extensive knowledge and experience, Kirk does not consider any professional achievement to be of too much importance. The most meaningful moments to him are when an old mentee approaches him and says, “Do you remember when you told me this or the other?” or “you mentored me and helped me get to x or y place.”  

“I’d rather mentor others and have them remember and use that. Because to me, that’s the legacy. What I personally do is going to be forgotten, but what I can portray and share and what others can do that knowledge will be long remembered.” says MacDowell. 

 MacDowell has served in various official and unofficial mentorship roles, including an ESA mentorship program. Over the years, he has spent a lot of his time helping others in the industry pro bono, using his years of experience for their benefit. Now, working as a consultant, he works with dealers and creators, helping them learn the skills they need in order to move forward. “I think when we serve our colleagues, our families, and our communities with a servant leadership role, we become better for it. The older I get, the more that has become clear to me.” says MacDowell 

MacDowell says he was shocked when he heard his name announced at the awards ceremony. Admittedly, he was distracted on his phone during the announcement, not expecting to hear his name called. Those around him told him afterwards his expression was of pure surprise. When we asked Kirk how he felt about receiving the award, he said he was honored but isn’t naturally comfortable with receiving awards. Instead, he told the story of Sarah E. Jackson, after whom the award is named, saying it’s critical that we remember why the award even exists in the first place. 


A Bit of Background on Sara E. Jackson 

Sara E. Jackson co-owned Denver Burglar Alarm with her husband in 1948. When her husband passed away unexpectedly, she took on full responsibility for the company. A year or two later, she was asked to step in as president for the NBFA, ESA’s precursor. Despite still being in a grieving period, she stepped up and ran the company successfully.  

“To me,” says Kirk. “When I look at receiving the Sara E. Jackson Award– if I can do half of what she did, I’m a happy guy. It means a of a lot to me [to receive this award] because she was an amazing person. I’m very honored.” 


A Thank You to Kirk MacDowell’s Mentors & Peers 

Kirk MacDowell mentioned a few mentors of his own that helped him become the leader he is today. First and foremost, were Sherman Block, the LA County Sheriff he served under, and George Weinstock. They were some of the first prime examples of good leadership Kirk encountered in his professional life. Over the years, there were many others, including Bob Cowan, Joey Chetta, who owned an alarm company, and Bob Jennison, a recipient of the Weinstock Award in California. These were all men who led by example and gave willingly, precepts Kirk strives to live by.  

“To me, it’s not about setting oneself up to be acknowledged, to win an award. It’s about taking the necessary steps to make sure that the industry is stronger, that we are better for it…It’s about trying to leave a legacy that somebody else can grab onto and say, ‘that’s who I want to be like’. I get up every morning and pray that I can be better than the day before. So, I think if we could set our sights on helping others thrive in the industry, then we’ve done our job, and we can all die happy and contented people.” 

Just hours after receiving the Sara E. Jackson Award, MacDowell also received the William N. Moody Award from SIAC for his passion to advance positive alarm management and best industry practices. 

“We salute Kirk MacDowell’s unwavering commitment to outstanding committee leadership. ESA’s achievements are shaped by the skill and expertise of volunteers like Kirk. We gratefully acknowledge his commitment to excellence by presenting him with the Sara E. Jackson Memorial Award.” says Merlin Guilbeau, CEO, of the Electronic Security Association – ESA 

The Sara E Jackson Award is not only a recognition of past accomplishments but also a testament to Kirk MacDowell’s potential to shape a better future for the industry. By honoring those who dedicate themselves to service, it creates a ripple effect that inspires others to follow in their footsteps. Congratulations, Kirk MacDowell, on this well-deserved award. 

Thank you to Telguard for sponsoring this award. 


August 16, 2023 ESX 2023

Real World Advice to Bring Back to Your Business.

ESX 2023, the premier educational event for the electronic security and life safety industry, left its attendees buzzing with excitement and enriched with real world knowledge. It offered a comprehensive array of educational programming, boasting over 32 meticulously curated education sessions that catered to the diverse needs of integrators. These covered various topics, allowing attendees to delve deep into the areas most relevant to their business interests and professional aspirations. 

The education sessions were separated into tracks including; Sales, Operations, Monitoring, and Management, which offered a well-rounded perspective on critical aspects of running a successful security and life safety business. Attendees had the opportunity to gain insights from industry leaders, thought-provoking speakers, and experienced professionals who shared their strategies and best practices.  

RMR Focus 

But the excellence of ESX 2023’s educational programming didn’t stop there. The event also featured specialized focuses which garnered significant attention, one being Recurring Monthly Revenue (RMR).  Industry veterans shared their proven methods for increasing RMR streams and attrition reduction, empowering attendees to build stable and sustainable revenue models. 

Fire Focus 

Another compelling addition to the lineup was the sessions centered around entering the Fire business vertical. With the electronic security industry witnessing an increasing demand for integrated fire safety solutions, these sessions proved invaluable for businesses looking to diversify and tap into this market segment. 

ESX 2023’s exceptional educational programming left a lasting impact on attendees, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to thrive in an ever-changing industry landscape. As the event came to a close, participants departed with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, armed with actionable strategies. 

The Sales track was sponsored by Prima, the Operations track was sponsored by TCX – The Connection Exchange, the Management track was sponsored by Napco, the Monitoring track was sponsored by RSPNDR. 



August 9, 2023 ESX 2023


The ESX Main Stage welcomed award winners, industry disrupters, and motivators for the audience of electronic security and life safety pros.


ESXers met with visionary leaders that helped them rethink the future of the industry. This lively panel, from various segments of the industry focused on what’s likely to happen and how it’s going to impact your business in the near term and long run, including technologies that you should pay attention to, like Chat GPT.


  • ELIZABETH PARKS, President and CMO, Parks Associates 
  • BART PROCTOR, CEO and Managing Partner, Pye-Barker 
  • TYLER TRIBE, CTO and Product Officer, Becklar 

Sponsored By: Becklar, Security Business Magazine, Security InfoWatch


SOUNDTRACKS: How the Best Teams Overcome Overthinking to Navigate Change, Increase Productivity, and Win Consistently, Featuring Jon Acuff

Overthinking isn’t a personality trait. It’s the sneakiest form of fear. It steals time, creativity, and energy. It’s the most expensive, least productive thing companies invest in without even knowing it. What if you could navigate change, increase productivity, and win consistently? If overthinking steals time, creativity, and energy, guess what your team is about to get back? Time, creativity, and energy.


  • Retire the broken soundtracks that have been holding you back
  • Replace them with new soundtracks that propel you forward
  • Repeat the new ones so often they become as automatic as the old ones

“If you can worry, you can wonder. If you can doubt, you can dominate. If you can spin, you can soar.” – Jon Acuff

 Sponsored By: Security Systems News, Security America Industry Specific Insurance

ESA’s Sara E. Jackson Award was presented to Kirk MacDowell, President at MacGuard Security Advisors Inc. at this Main Stage event. This award was sponsored by Telguard

“I get up every morning and pray that I can be better than the day before. So, I think if we could set our sights on helping others thrive in the industry, then we’ve done our job. When I look at receiving the Sara E. Jackson Award, if I can do half of what she did, I’m a happy guy. It means a lot to me to receive this award, as she was an amazing person. I’m very honored.”- Kirk MacDowell


“The Bucket List Life” Create More Experiences, Share More Stories, & Live More Fulfilled, Featuring Kenyon Salo 

Kenyon Salo showed attendees how his three simple concepts of living “The Bucket List Life” can lead to fulfillment on your life-long journey. During this highly energetic and engaging presentation, security pros learned how to create phenomenal experiences, share powerful stories and help others along the way.  

“Kenyon delivers high energy, powerful, and heart touching content to help you create incredible experiences, connect with others, and live life more fulfilled.” 

Sponsored By: Sponsored by ADI and SDM Magazine

ESA’s Weinstock Award was presented to Jamie Vos at this Main Stage event. This award was sponsored by Resideo

“I am so humbled to even be considered for and then to receive such a prestigious award, to be honest, it’s something I’ll treasure forever. Boy, I hope that I did every one of them proud. I don’t have any other word other than humbled. I so very much appreciate it.” says Jamie Vos, President of Security Solutions Northwest, Inc.


F.L.Y. First Lead Yourself, Featuring Elizabeth McCormick

Former US Army Black Hawk Pilor, Elizabeth McCormick, took the main stage and shared the professional development secrets for success with her stories of overcoming overwhelming obstacles, while…

  • Inspiring you to soar to success!
  • Unlock the key to boosting YOUR Confidence, elevating your effectiveness with customers and co-workers.
  • Prove the power of language on your personal power and your impact on those around you.
  • Soar to a higher level of advancement through influencing others to lead.

As a decorated former US Army Black Hawk Helicopter pilot, Elizabeth flew command and control, air assault, rappelling, top-secret intelligence missions, and also transported high level government VIPs including the Secretary of Defense. From there ESA’s Youth Scholarship, sponsored by COPS Monitoring, and SIAC’s William N. Moody Excellence Award were presented.  

“Kenyon delivers high energy, powerful, and heart touching content to help you create incredible experiences, connect with others, and live life more fulfilled.” 

Sponsored by Hybrid Moon

The William N. Moody Award started in 2004 by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), and it is given annually to an individual who demonstrates a passion for advancing positive alarm management and best industry practices. It’s 2023 recipient, Kirk MacDowell, President at MacGuard Security Advisors Inc., received the award on stage with honor. 

Through all of these sessions, the ESX Main Stage lineup challenged and provoked passionate security professionals to make an impact as the heroes they are by taking security to the next level. 



August 2, 2023 ESX 2023


The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) is the largest tradeshow open exclusively to security professionals, providing a platform for industry experts to gather and exchange knowledge, insights, and experiences. In addition to the wealth of information available through education sessions and the expo floor, ESX offered various networking opportunities that contribute to professional growth and relationship building. 

Opening Celebration with a Live Karaoke Band 

The kickoff networking event for ESX was the Opening Celebration, which set the tone for the entire event. This lively gathering offers security professionals an opportunity to come together in a relaxed and entertaining environment. The presence of a live karaoke band adds a unique element of fun, encouraging attendees to unleash their inner rock star or dance along while their fellow security pros hit the main stage. Attendees were also provided with local beer and spirits and a mix of local Louisville, Kentucky flavors. This event cultivates a sense of camaraderie among participants, fostering connections that extend beyond professional interests. 

Sponsored By: Affiliated Monitoring 

The Pub Crawl 

At the pub crawl, ESXers visited the local Louisville nightlife while engaging in meaningful conversations with friends within the industry. By visiting multiple local establishments, attendees have the chance to interact with new people, fostering new connections and expanding their network. The relaxed and social atmosphere of the pub crawl encourages open dialogue, enabling individuals to exchange ideas, best practices, and industry insights in a relaxed setting. The pub crawl is an excellent avenue for establishing long-lasting relationships that extend beyond the confines of the tradeshow. 

 Sponsored By: immix and JLM Wholesale 

Weinstock Celebration

ESX’s Weinstock Celebration was the event that honored and recognized ESA’s Weinstock Person of the Year, Jamie Vos, for his outstanding achievements and service within the industry. In addition to celebrating this award, it was also ESA’s Diamond Jubilee which commemorated the association’s 75th anniversary. This milestone signifies the ESA’s long-standing commitment to the industry and offers attendees and ESA Members a chance to connect and reflect on how the association and its many volunteers contributed over the years. The event was 1920’s themed, and attendees were encouraged to dress in their finest prohibition-era attire while enjoying some giggle juice and exploring the Frazier History Museum in Louisville.

Sponsored By: Resideo 



August 31, 2022 ESX 2023

The UNevent for Quality Interaction and Collaboration. 

The ESX Community is a group of passionate professionals who share, learn and brainstorm each year to elevate their game — both personally and professionally.  

To create and support this community, ESX focuses on quality engagements and creative ways to encourage interactions and break the ice. It’s time to rethink what an industry event should offer. Stop settling for shallow interactions that leave you lost in a crowd — and join a community of passionate security professionals ready to make a difference.  

As an intimate event that focuses on relationships, ESX is defined by the passionate professionals who attend. Networking events focus on shared experiences that forge lasting connections, and the expo floor is designed to give adequate time for in-depth discussions.  

By providing these opportunities, ESX becomes a launchpad for new ideas, plans and partnerships that move the industry forward. The networking events included the Opening Celebration and Pub Crawl, and the ESA’s Weinstock Celebration.

Opening Celebration

The 2022 Opening Celebration, sponsored by Affiliated Monitoring, welcomed security pros with live music and great conversations after a few years away from an in-person ESX.

The Pub Crawl 

The Pub Crawl made stops at The Library for games and live music and pros took to the mic for a night of singing at Pete’s Dueling Pianos. Stops were sponsored by JLM Wholesale and immix.

Weinstock Celebration

ESX’s NEW Weinstock Celebration provided an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2022 Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year, Steve Firestone, at ACRE Distilling. Pros were treated to live music, liquor tasting, cigar rolling, and more — all sponsored by ESA’s Diamond Partner, Resideo.