Meet the Class of 2013

More women, lots of interest in technology in this year's class
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

YARMOUTH, Maine—The editors of Security Systems News are pleased to present the “20 under 40” Class of 2013

Each year, the "20 under 40" class has some notable characteristics. In 2013, we have more diversity in the nominees and in the honorees.

This is the seventh year we’ve asked readers to nominate talented young security professionals age 40 and younger who've displayed leadership qualities. We've always had at least four women in each class, and there were six in the Class of 2008. This year, we're pleased that eight women are among the honorees.

In years past, we've had several legacy honorees among those selected. By legacy we mean folks who are second- or third-generation employees in their family-owned business. This year, the sole legacy honoree is Bryan Bates from Bates Security/Sonitrol of Lexington.

There's no doubt that multi-generational family-owned businesses still have a strong and important presence in the security industry, but for SSN's "20 under 40" awards, we've definitely had increasing numbers of nominations from security companies that are not family businesses.

This is the second year that one of our "20 under 40s" has come from a cable company or telecom. Last year, the honoree was from Comcast. This year, we chose Erik Evans from Cox Home Security.

While Evans works for a company that's a new entrant into security, his sentiments about why he believe in his work are similar to ones we've heard from others over the years. Evans said his house was burglarized shortly before he started his job.

"I felt like I was fighting back against crime and making it possible for our customers to avoid ever having that sickening feeling my family and I had. I can’t put on a Batman suit and fight crime, but this is something I can do," he said.

Technology is something that "20 under 40" honorees mention every year during the interviews. Tech is what's cool and interesting about security, they say, and it's what many believe will draw more talented young people into the industry.

Security technology is something the public has learned more about in the past several months after the school massacre in Newtown and the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon.

During his interview, Robert Gaulden, VP of sales for Kratos, spoke about the reasons for his dedication to his work.

"I think the shootings that happened at Virginia Tech, my alma mater, have had the largest impact on my career. I never imagined such a tragic event could happen at a place I considered my home away from home," Gaulden said.

"From an industry standpoint, a tragedy like that weighs heavy, and you tend to take an analytical approach and think about what could have been prevented had the right systems been in place," he added.

It's never an easy task, but Rich, Tess, and Leif and I always enjoy the process of choosing and interviewing SSN's “20 under 40” honorees. There are many interesting, funny and inspiring stories among the following profiles. Congratulations to this year's class. We think you'll agree that they're all deserving of this honor. Click here to read profiles of the winners.