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Pam Petrow

Vector Security acquires IRG, managed network services company

CEO Petrow says deal is just the beginning of Vector's move into managed infrastructure and business intelligence space
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08/19/2013

PITTSBURG—National integrator Vector Security will be able to offer managed network services to its customers and will have access to the "Who’s Who of retail customers”—including American Eagle, Estée Lauder and Coach—as the result of its acquisition of Industry Retail Group (IRG), a managed network services company based in Bethesda, Md.

New door-knocking scams prompt ethics code revisions

ESA revises its code of standards to specifically prohibit posing as a ‘preferred monitoring company’ for alarm manufacturer
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06/25/2014

NASHVILLE—ADT says unscrupulous door-to-door sales reps have some new scams and the Electronic Security Association has updated its code of ethics to specifically ban them.

Petrow stands out

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pam Petrow stands out in the industry as one of just a handful of female CEO’s of a leading security company.

Now, four years into her leadership as CEO and president of Vector Security, Petrow is being distinguished again, this time for winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for her region, the Pittsburgh-based company announced this week.

As the Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia award winner, Ms. Petrow will be automatically eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 national program, the winners of which will be announced in November, according to a Vector news release.

The EY award “honors distinguished entrepreneurs who demonstrate widespread success, a commitment to innovation and forward thinking and unwavering passion for business,” the release said. Former recipients have included CEOs, private capital investors and regional leaders of a wide range of businesses.

Petrow succeeded Vector’s longtime president, John Murphy, after his death in October 2010. She formerly was Vector’s EVP and COO.

In a prepared statement about her EY award, Petrow credited company employees and the community with the win. “Being recognized for this prestigious award is not only a testament to the dedication of our employees, many of whom have made serving our customers their careers, but also to the stability and pioneering spirit of the people and businesses in our communities,” she said.

Vector serves nearly 300,000 residential and business customers. The release said Petrow “challenges managers to learn what their direct reports do on a day-to-day basis and to adapt their management style to extract the best performance from their employees.”

It also noted that she “held leadership positions in a number of security industry associations and received a number of awards including the Public-Safety Communications Officials International President’s Award and Central Station Alarm Association recognition for her outstanding contributions to the electronic transmission of signals between central stations and 911 dispatch centers. In 2012, Ms. Petrow was inducted into the Security Sales & Integration Hall of Fame.”

Pretty impressive!

Vector promotes White to VP of business development

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09/30/2013

PITTSBURGH—Vector Security has promoted Steve White to corporate vice president of business development, to help further Vector’s focus on growth in managed infrastructure and business intelligence, the company announced Sept. 24.

Barnes Buchanan conference to kick off Feb. 7

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01/29/2013

PALM BEACH, Fla.—The 18th annual Barnes Buchanan Security Alarm Conference is scheduled for Feb. 7-9 at The Breakers resort.

ASAP to PSAP: Full speed ahead

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

For central stations wondering if they’ll ever be part of ASAP to PSAP, there was good news from ESX 2012: Progress continues to be made.

Show attendees got an update on the protocol at a seminar led by Mark McCall of United Central Control, Glenn Schroeder of the Security Network of America, Pam Petrow and Anita Ostrowski of Vector Security, and Melissa Courville of DICE Corp.

While ASAP might not be advancing fast enough to satisfy everyone in the industry, the panelists in Nashville listed a number of bullet points that detailed the gains. Among them:

—A CSAA-owned message broker is up and running at the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets) facility in Arizona. The server acts as a scrubber for transmissions being forwarded from monitoring companies to public safety answering points.

—A trademark process has been completed to certify the ASAP name and logo.

—ANSI version 3.3 of the protocol is currently live in Richmond, Va., and it is scheduled to go online in other pilot project locations by the end of the year.

—ASAP leaders have expanded their outreach to the PSAP community in 2012, with presentations to groups including the Texas Police Chiefs Association and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

The three municipalities involved in the pilot project—Richmond, Va., York County, Va., and Houston—are scheduled to be joined soon by Tempe, Ariz., and James City County, Va. On the monitoring side, Alarm Detection Systems and ADT are in line to join pilot participants Vector Security, UCC and Monitronics.

McCall, director of information technology and facility security officer at UCC, told the seminar audience that central stations planning to become part of ASAP may find that the requirements “are a little bit more than what your operation is used to now.”

“Remember what we’re connecting to,” he said, referring to Nlets. “We’re connecting to the same network that every police department, every fire department and every emergency agency is connected to. Nlets is responsible for the integrity of that network, and for us as an industry to play in their sandbox, we have to meet their security requirements.”

On the plus side, most of those concerns were alleviated with the deployment of the message broker, McCall said. Other ASAP issues involving the preparation of automation vendors and CAD providers are being addressed, and the CSAA is creating a new website—www.asaptopsap.org—to keep interested parties informed.

“The materials are continually being added to and the CSAA will let everyone know when [the information] is ready for public consumption, as it will be sending out ASAP-dedicated email blasts to confirmed charter members at that time,” said Courville, co-chairwoman of the ASAP to PSAP Outreach Committee.

In the interim, she said inquires about the protocol should be addressed to Becky Lane (membership@csaaintl.org) or Monique Talbot (communications@csaaintl.org) at the CSAA.

Vector expanding into Cleveland market, gets new look

Company acquires 5,000 accounts in Ohio and updates its logo to reflect new business strategy
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06/20/2012

PITTSBURGH—Vector Security has acquired American Alert Corp. based in Geneva, Ohio. The acquisition adds 5,000 customers and will help Vector expand into the Cleveland market, according to Art Miller, VP of marketing for Vector, which is based here.

Vector Security Acquires in Ohio

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06/15/2012

Content: PITTSBURGH—Vector Security has acquired American Alert Corp., based in Geneva, Ohio, Vector announced this week. The acquisition adds 5,000 customers and makes Vector a stronger player in the Ohio market, the company said.

Vector: National accounts in play; we want them

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vector Security says national accounts customers are “in play” due to acquisitions and corporate break-ups. And, Michael Grady, Vector Security’s EVP told me, in an email interview that Vector is poised to expand its national account business for a number of reasons: Vector is still privately owned and it has money in the bank (something Vector president Pam Petrow talked to me about recently when Vector got a new $225m credit facility.)  Also in Vector’s favor, he said, is its move, announced Tuesday to a new National Service Center in Gainsville, Va.
The new facility is about 10 miles away from its former facility in Manassas, Va.
Grady said that there’s a “hyper consolidation” in the loss prevention industry similar to what happened in 2001. Further, he said, “companies that have long established histories of serving national customers are today literally ‘in play’ again, due to factors such acquisitions and corporate break ups. That always creates doubt in customers, but this time, they only need to look back ten years.  So those who are really concerned and indeed recognizing a trend here ... and that bodes well for Vector Security because of our high level of corporate independence and stellar financial stature.”
Last year, I interviewed Vector’s VP/GM for national accounts Joe English, who told me that Vector expected to take retail national accounts market share from ADT. He said ADT had about 50-55 percent of the market, and uses the same AM EAS technology that ADT uses.  He said his goal is to “make [Vector] the predominant number three player in the EAS industry.” He further said that Vector expected to do about $75 million in national accounts business in 2010.
Grady declined to give me revenue figures for 2011 or gains in marketshare figures, but he did say that “As far as our sales figures last and this year, we experienced strong growth in 2010 and the trend is continuing in 2011.”
Vector’s new National Service Center is 27,000 square feet, has 130 employees who are involved with “Project Design and Coordination – Field Installation - our National Service Center – National Compliance Management – Billing – Engineering – TSP Recruitment and Management – Product Testing and Evaluation – our CRM department and Equipment repair.”
The center has a Virtual Loss Prevention Services Lab, which Grady described thus: “As our national account customers look towards newer and innovative technologies to resolve loss prevention, emergency communications, systems performance and ROI measurement, disaster preparedness, RFID applications, LP case management, managed EAS, IP video and analytics, and Network Management, we wanted to construct an environment whereby we can bench test the equipment itself, define new applications and compile ROI data. This facility allows us the technological platforms, space and environment to do so.”
The new facility is set up to enable Vector to service video, access, and EAS equipment onsite. Previously, “like most LP services providers, we sent malfunctioning equipment back to manufacturers and arranged for it to be repaired and sent back to us. But as we took on large-scale deployments of video and EAS equipment, we found that model to be unacceptable to our CRM commitments,” Grady said.
Testing new equipment will help the company stay on top of new LP protocols—both best practices and government regulations, Grady said. “It could mean New protocols such as SOPs, new product applications,  adherence to national compliance, and reliance upon exceptions based instantaneous information are required to be managed and even anticipated from our national customers based upon changes in the nature of crime, employee theft, shoplifting and even litigation such as slip and fall and insufficient security suits.”

And Vector is not solely interested in retail national accounts. "While most earlier national account models were built upon the vast expansion of retail, our key defining element for likened customers is 'multi-site' with a need to control security, loss prevention and employee safety on a national basis," Grady said. "Today, all types of services; that were performed previously by local purveyors, and being targeted by national suppliers.  The “Doc in a Box” in and out treatment center was just one area of the new entries in the market. There are many more to come."
Vector has national accounts customers in 44,000 locations. The company says it receives 26,000 service calls per month, all of which are qualified, and result in about 4,000 qualified service visits. Those service calls are resolved in an average of 2.6 days. All of Vector’s national accounts are monitored at Vector’s central station in Pittsburgh.
 

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