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Frank De Fina

Lippert Award given to Frank De Fina posthumously


SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association today announced that Frank De Fina, former senior director, strategic sales, for Hikvision USA, will receive the 2015 George R. Lippert Memorial Award posthumously.

De Fina: A forward-looking industry veteran

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Like others here at Security Systems News and across the industry, I was saddened to learn of Frank De Fina's death.

Over the past 10 years I got to know Frank and I admired him a lot. He was a great businessman who knew his technology and the security industry inside and out, but one of the reasons I liked talking to him is because he knew as much about music and art as he did about IP video.

And more than just talk about music, he was a musician. If you've been to PSA-TEC, you've probably enjoyed watching Frank play guitar at Bill Bozeman's annual PSA Jam. Here's a link to a 2010 performance.  And here is a photo of Frank playing at the House of Blues in Chicago at ASIS a couple of years ago.

Frank was a security veteran—he spent more than 30 years in security—but he was not one to pine for the good old days of the security industry.

He welcomed a challenge and he was forward-thinking.

Recognizing that the security industry is too gray, too male and too white, he worked to prepare the security industry for a financially healthy and vibrant future in many ways.

He was a mentor to many, he was active in security industry associations, and he was the driver behind a security college degree program at Mercer County Community College, which will launch in September.  De Fina worked with the Security Industry Association, Northland Control's Pierre Trapanese and System Sensor's Dave Lyons on the idea. The two-year program  will combine security-specific training, liberal arts and business classes and will lead to an associate's degree in applied sciences. 

As the industry “aggressively moves into IP, these new [degree-holding] professionals will be well equipped to fill upcoming positions,” De Fina told me in an interview. He was excited that the new degree program will expose young professionals to the security industry, an industry that most college students do not know about. Noting the "tremendous lack of diversity in the security industry," De Fina said one of the reason organizers chose Mercer County Community College for this program is because it “draws a higher-than-normal percentage of African Americans, Hispanics and women."

Frank did great things at Panasonic and Samsung and he was poised to do the same at Hikvision, but he leaves a legacy that goes way beyond impressive profits and sales goals achieved. As SIA CEO Don Erickson pointed out "he put forth ideas and proposals that would strengthen the industry rather than any one single company." 

And I think he had fun doing it. Frank De Fina was a multi-talented guy who was one of the most well-liked and respected people in our industry. He will be missed.



Frank De Fina, security industry veteran, dies

Executive at Panasonic, Samsung, SightLogix and Hikvision; accomplished musician; founded college security degree program

PRINCETON, N.J.—Security industry veteran Frank De Fina, 61, who served as a top executive for a number of video surveillance companies including Panasonic, Samsung, SightLogix and most recently Hikvision USA, died July 26 at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Hikvision partners for STEM ed in low-income schools


CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif.—Video surveillance provider Hikvision USA has teamed up with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools in low-income communities, to provide STEM education.  

Camera companies collaborate

SightLogix announces new Strategic Partner Program, Axis Communications is first partner

ATLANTA—In an effort to make it easier for integrators to provide comprehensive outdoor security solutions, smart thermal camera provider SightLogix on Sept. 29 launched a Strategic Partner Program, and announced that its first strategic partner is network video giant Axis Communications.

De Fina joins SightLogix

Former head of Panasonic, Samsung, joins smart thermal camera manufacturer

PRINCETON, N.J.—Calling it the “next great company,” Frank De Fina announced today that he’s joining smart thermal camera manufacturer SightLogix as EVP of sales and marketing.

Samsung leader departs

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Samsung Techwin America’s EVP Frank De Fina announced May 28 that he is leaving Samsung for personal reasons.

"As of June 2, I will no longer be there. I made the decision on my own, the departure is amicable," he said. A replacement has yet to be named, though De Fina said there are "a couple of obvious potential choices. There is a very capable management team there."

De Fina joined Samsung in February 2010, and said he is proud of how far Samsung has come in the security industry since then. "Five years ago we didn't even appear on the IMS [Research, now part of IHS]  list [of top IP camera providers]," he said. "This year our business grew over 75 percent." And he expects to "move up a couple of notches on the IHS list."

De Fina, who has "retired" twice before, said he is not even going to say he's retiring now. He is simply "taking a breather" and will likely return to the industry, perhaps in a consulting role.

Asked about the biggest challenges getting Samsung up to speed, he said "building the brand and credibility in the security space."

"I will take credit for organizing a great team," De Fina said. "But the credit for building the business goes to [that team]," he added.

"I'm leaving Samsung in much better shape [than when I arrived] and the team is spectacular," he said.

Before Samsung, De Fina was the long time president of Panasonic Systems. He retired from Panasonic Systems in 2008 to run Paul Reed Smith Guitars for two years before joining Samsung.

De Fina can play guitar in case you didn’t know. Here’s a video that my former colleague Sam took at the PSA-TEC jam a few years ago. Scroll down to the video; it features Paul Michael Nathan on harmonica, Frank De Fina on guitar, Daved Levine on bass, and Jerry Cordasco on drums.

The biggest opportunities in the security industry? De Fina said he did lots of research during a recent month-long tour of the Silicon Valley. "I spoke to big name companies [Google, Yahoo, others] and asked them what their [security] concerns are. "They look at us [the security industry] as a bit naive" in terms of cyber security. They also are concerned about the physical security of some critical infrastructure in this country such as data centers and cell towers, De Fina said.

De Fina identified the biggest challenge for integrators as shrinking margins. He recommends that integrators "pay attention to solving the problems that are not so easy to solve ... to reinvent themselves to mimic the growth opportunities I mentioned earlier."

De Fina is vice chairman of the Security Industry Association Board of Directors Executive Committee.

He was instrumental in the establishment of a security degree program that will be launched in 2015 at Mercer Country Community College.

He also holds positions in the International Biometrics Industry Association (IBIA) and is a board member of the Paley Center for Media (formerly Museum of Television and Radio) as well as a member of the board of the New York Friar’s Club Foundation.

De Fina named to SIA leadership role


RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.— Frank De Fina, Samsung Techwin SVP of sales and marketing, North America, has been appointed to the Security Industry Association Board of Directors Executive Committee.

Samsung releases new panoramic camera


RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.—A newly released Samsung Techwin camera offers wide, high-definition images for surveillance, the company announced Dec. 3.

Red Hawk joins Samsung Techwin’s IP partners program


RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.—Red Hawk Fire & Security, an integrator based here, has joined Samsung Techwin’s Certified IP Partners Program, and will add Samsung’s line of IP video, analog and hybrid systems to its technology portfolio, according to a company statement.