ESA Announces Election Results: Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

ESA Announces Election Results: Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors
Jillian Bateman — July 7, 2021

Members of the Electronic Security Association recently voted for several open positions on its Board of Directors.

These positions were vacated by outgoing board members, having made significant impact on the association including: Dee Ann Harn, CEO of RFI Enterprises in CA, Steve Firestone, owner of Firestone Strategies in SC, and James Lee, owner of Alarmguard Security in NC.

“I have had the honor of working closely with these professionals, who helped steer the association through some major transitions,” says ESA Chairman, Jamie Vos. “They helped to restructure the association and guide us through the acquisition of ESX — and through the pandemic. Their impact on ESA will be felt for years to come.”

The purpose of a director on the ESA Board is to work collectively as a team to provide good governance of ESA affairs and to set direction to optimize the growth and performance of the organization. Each Board Member has a responsibility for ensuring strategies and policies that are developed, discussed and implemented will enable the organization to achieve its mission and vision, and to monitor the organization’s implementation of those strategies and policies.

In accordance with the recently amended and adopted ESA Bylaws, two (2) Integrator and one (1) Associate Member Director positions were open for two-year terms.

Voting opened on June 7, 2021 and concluded at 2:00pm (CDT) on June 29, 2021. With the recent amendments to the ESA bylaws, all current ESA members were eligible to vote for all open positions on the Board. Balloting was conducted electronically through a third-party platform that maintained election integrity and security.


ESA Announces Election Results: Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

At the conclusion of balloting the following candidates were declared the winners of this election and will be inducted onto the ESA Board of Directors in July:

Integrator Directors (Two-year term)

Melissa Brinkman, CEO, Custom Alarm, Rochester, MN

Melissa started her career in the security industry after moving back to her hometown, Rochester, MN in December 1998. Since starting in the ‘family’ business in 1998, Melissa has held several positions within Custom Alarm from marketing to sales manager, business development director, and customer services manager. She was Chief Operating Officer before Leigh J. Johnson, founder and CEO at the time, announced his retirement and Melissa’s promotion to CEO in February 2014. She has always been very committed to learning as much as possible about the security industry and Custom Alarm with a focus on taking care of the customer.

Melissa currently serves on the boards of directors for SPARK, Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. (RAEDI), Lourdes Foundation Inc. (LFI) and Think Bank. She also serves as an advisor with some security industry manufacturers. Melissa received the Mayor’s Medal of Honor- Community-Wide Service in 2013, was recognized as “10 Who Make a Difference” in 2012, Rochester Chamber Volunteer of the Year 2008 and named as one of the 5 Extraordinary Women by Rochester Women Magazine in 2009.

Custom Alarm has grown to over 65 employees and has been in the SDM top 100 for 23 consecutive years. Melissa is proud of her team and the culture of Custom Alarm and has been named Best Places to work in SE Minnesota for 5 consecutive years. And last year was named by SSI 2020 Installer of the Year (small to midsize).

“This industry is so important to me because it has been part of me my whole life in some way shape or form having grown up in it — literally,” says Brinkman. “It is a great honor and I am excited about the opportunity to ‘officially’ get more involved in the organization and represent the voices and interests of the security dealers.”


Jeremy Bates, President, Bates Security, LLC / Sonitrol of Lexington, Inc., Lexington, KY

Jeremy Bates serves as President of Bates Security, LLC / Sonitrol of Lexington, Inc.  His family’s company is based in Lexington, Kentucky and has a total of four offices.  The Company is serving primarily a commercial customer base but maintains a strong residential business as well. The Bates family and their team have grown the company over the last several years to #37 in the most recent SDM 100 and have earned several industry and local awards including being a two-time recipient of the SAMMY’s Installer of the Year for Small to Mid-Size Companies and is also a former recipient of Lexington’s Small Business of the Year.

Jeremy recently completed his term as the Kentucky ESA President and has recently served as the Sonitrol National Dealer Association’s President and currently serves on the board of Lexington’s YMCA organization.  The Bates Family and their Company are the proud recipients of the 2018 SDM Dealer of the Year Award.

“It’s an honor to be selected by my peers to serve on the ESA Board,” says Bates. “As a second generation person in my family working in our industry, I take pride in providing services that families and businesses in our communities rely on for peace of mind in protecting their loved ones. I look forward to working with other committed industry professionals.”


Associate Member Director (Two-year term)

Jason Lutz, Distribution Sales Leader, Resideo Technologies, Austin, TX

Jason Lutz’ security industry career began over twenty-five years ago as a sales rep for a national company in Houston, TX.  Through a twist of faith, he moved to his current home of Middle TN where he spent the next decade in Security Company ownership.  During that time, Jason was a member of ESA (Formally NBFAA) and TNESA (Formally TBFAA) and received multiple levels of NTS Certification.

In 2002 he joined the ranks of manufacturing as a District Manager for the mid-west region of Resideo (Formally Ademco/Honeywell) and since that time has moved up to his current role as the Distribution Sales Leader.  Throughout his career with Resideo Jason have always been active in the associations and sits on multiple industry boards.  Jason has served as the ESA Associate Board member for the past three years and represents the interest of the associate members on the STRAP and Bylaws Committees.

“I am honored to be re-elected to represent the ESA Associate Members on the Board,” says Lutz. “Just as I challenge ESA staff to think outside the box and recruit new offerings, I also challenge our members to support our associate members.”


Congratulations to all newly elected board members! The installation of the new Directors will be held at the first scheduled ESA Board meeting in July.