'20 under 40': Meet the Class of 2012

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—The editors of Security Systems News are pleased to present the “20 under 40" Click here to see photos and interviews with the Class of 2012.

This is the sixth year we’ve asked our readers to nominate talented young people age 40 or younger who display notable leadership skills.

Class members this year hold a variety of job titles and come from all sectors of the industry: systems integration firms like Diebold, monitoring companies such as COPS and Monitronics, and alarm companies big and small.

A few years ago, we had the first class member from a new entrant to security: a summer-sales-model home security company. Since that time, we’ve had several “20 under 40s” from summer-model companies. This year marks the first time we’ve chosen a class member from a different, and more recent, entrant to the industry: a cable company.

Continuing a trend we noted last year, we had fewer second- and third-generation nominees this year. “Legacies” make up 10 percent of this year’s class. Family businesses have a firm foothold in the industry, but it seems more young people are being recruited into the industry rather than being born into it.

And here’s another new category. One class member this year, while he wasn’t born into the industry, seems to be born to do security. Donny Counts, who works for the integration firm Interface Security Systems, tells us he was “building door alarms on my room around age 10 and an access control system on my clubhouse at age 12.”

Candidates this year possess a wide range of skills and technical expertise. Many are drawn to the industry because of their interest in technology and because they have entrepreneurial aspirations.

Rich, Tess and I did not find the task of choosing 20 individuals from a pile of nominees easy. We did find it interesting, enjoyable and encouraging.

It’s heartening to spend some time reading nominations of people who are enthusiastic about their jobs, eager to encourage more young people to consider a career in security, and who believe in the promise of the industry.

The 20 class members who follow do not represent a definitive list of the top leaders in our industry, but we believe this group is a shining example of the motivated and skilled young leaders working in our industry today. We’re pleased to introduce them to you.