Five Questions: Ronald Virden

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Ronald Virden was recently appointed COO for ACRE, a global provider of security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets. Virden is a seasoned global executive with extensive experience with Fortune 50 organizations, including most recently at UTC. Security Systems News asked him five questions.

Are you married? Kids?

I have been married to my wife Eileen for 26 years. We have two kids. My daughter, Kate, just got married a month ago, and she is a Georgetown graduate. My son, Michael, is currently in Fort Lee, Va., for his training; he went through ROTC at Oregon State and is a second lieutenant in the Oregon National Guard.

What are some of your hobbies?

Living in the Pacific Northwest, my wife and I do a lot of biking when it is not the rainy season, and I fish a lot and also like to do some running. It is a pretty nice place to live.

How did you first get started in security?

I was part of General Electric and I worked for the financial services division and I lived in Phoenix for most of my life. Then my mom and sister moved to Oregon, and I saw that GE had completed an acquisition that was to be known as GE Interlogix, so I was one of the first GE people to come in as an operations leader in the company’s Tualatin, Oregon, site, which is how I ended up in Oregon.

What do like most about the security industry?

I love the security industry—it is what I am passionate about! And it is tied into the fact that what we do makes a difference, however clichéd that might sound. I am really excited to be working with [ACRE CEO] Joe Grillo, as he knows the industry so well and really understands where technology is going.

Have you read any good books lately?

Recently, I read Crazy Horse and Custer by Steven E. Ambrose. My wife and I completed a long trek this past summer in South Dakota, so I got to see where the Battle of Little Bighorn was. Another good book I read recently is Endurance by Alfred Lansing, which is about [British explorer Ernest] Shackleton’s voyage to reach the South Pole … getting caught in the ice, saving his crew.