Merlin Guilbeau, CEO of ESA Shares Some Thoughts, Goals, & Reflections

Merlin Guilbeau, CEO of ESA Shares Some Thoughts, Goals, & Reflections
Jillian Bateman — February 7, 2023

With ESA celebrating its 75th Diamond Jubilee in 2023, we sat down with Merlin Guilbeau, the CEO of the Electronic Security Association to ask him some questions regarding his thoughts on ESA’s historical contributions to the industry, his goals as the association’s CEO moving into the future, and how ESA members can join in the celebration and get more involved in this upcoming monumental year.  


What do you think is one of ESA’s biggest contributions? 

Prior to 1948, there was no cohesive voice to speak on behalf of electronic security and companies. Today, ESA is that voice, whether through advocacy efforts at the federal level or state level or working with regulators to help craft the best state licenses for industry professionals. 


What do you hope to accomplish as ESA’s CEO in its 75th Year? 

We have worked hard over the last few years to enhance ESA’s culture. We are very selective in the people that we bring on as professional staff, making sure they align with our core values and have a passion to serve our members and industry. I also think the 75th year will be a time of reflection and innovation. A time to celebrate what was done well and a time to stretch ourselves to reach new heights.  


What do you think will be the industry’s biggest challenge going into 2023? What is ESA’s role? 

I think the challenge for the industry in 2023 is the same as in 2022. It is finding and retaining good employees that are dedicated and loyal to your company and help achieve the mission of delivering safety, security, and peace of mind to your customers. The role ESA can help with this is training and onboarding new employees. We can customize a training program for your company’s specific needs.  


How do you plan on including ESA’s members in the 75th year celebration?  

We will celebrate ESA’s 75th year with a record-breaking membership engagement campaign! You can help ESA by becoming an engaged volunteer for the association and win great prizes with our new membership campaign! ESA will give away raffle prizes, cash — and for volunteers who raise $15,000 or more — an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation for two. There’s no better testimonial to the power of membership than the voice of current members who are utilizing their benefits. ESA will also have a 75th Year Diamond Jubilee Celebration at ESX in Louisville, KY at the Frazier History Museum. In addition to celebrating the association’s 75 years of service, we will also commemorate ESA’s Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award- the association’s most prestigious honor. It will be a time for members to enjoy great conversation, live music, and local Louisville fare! In addition to that, we’ll have a security artifact exhibition. We’re asking Ralph Sevinor and Charlie Darsh, who have a warehouse full of antiques to bring some out. As for the rest of the year, we’ll be highlighting fun times from the past as well as honoring our ESA volunteers in Integrator, our weekly email newsletter. 


If you could say one thing to all ESA members, what would it be? 

If you are not involved in some capacity with ESA, get involved. That does not necessarily mean volunteering to be on a committee or board. For example, you could take advantage of one of our savings programs. About 50% of our members are not taking advantage of the full value of their membership, and we are on a mission to change that. You will be amazed at how meaningful your experience within ESA will be if you get engaged. If you want to learn more about ESA’s benefits, even if you have been a member for a long time, I encourage you to schedule an “onboarding” call with our Membership Team. You will be glad you did!  


What would you say to people who are considering joining ESA as members?  

There is no better time to join ESA than right now. We have an exciting campaign launching that’ll be fun, competitive, and will involve exciting prizes. Sign up, go through the onboarding, and become part of a great community that is passionate about growing their businesses in an industry they love. You can see it for yourself in person by attending ESX in Louisville June 5-7, 2023. You’ll be surprised how much you learn just hanging out with other security professionals for a few days at ESX and participating in our great educational sessions, all while enjoying fun activities at night and on the show floor.