Ron Walters hung up his SIAC spikes a couple of weeks ago. We knew it had to happen at some point, but similar to other expected news you receive in life, you’re still never prepared for the news. We certainly weren’t.
There’s no need to go through Ron’s tangible accomplishments because what SIAC and the security industry are losing goes far beyond what Ron rang up number-wise as a police officer, running his alarm business or with SIAC the past 15 years. What Ron leaves is an emotional and leadership gap that can’t be filled. It’s not easy to stand up in front of a city council and sway an opinion. Very few people are capable of meeting with a police chief and through his or her force of will and experience get the chief to not only consider your position, but change his own and then adopt yours. Ron was a master at both of these skills. We saw him time and again masterfully present timely and sensitive materials to key elected officials, and come away with a win for our industry.
Thank you, Ron. We thank you for your SIAC contributions, and how frequently you stepped up – catching flights at early morning hours and returning home late. We thank you for the often thankless task of sitting in with state associations and meeting with officials for long hours to get specific information introduced and adopted into local laws. We thank you for the tedious but tremendously important work of rewriting ordinances all over the United States. We thank you for your dedication to improving industry equipment standards.
We will miss Ron’s sense of humor. We will miss his drive. We will miss his fun side. We’ll miss his commitment. Our industry is lesser because of his retirement, but he’s enriched many of our lives along the way, and we’ll retain those memories.
If you happen to know or worked with Ron Walters face-to-face, you recognize his penchant for storytelling. No industry gathering was complete without some insanely insightful critiques on human behavior from Ron, whether that story was from his days as an officer, running his business or on the road for SIAC. He shared many of those stories with you when he was invited as a guest speaker to industry meetings, enriching the lives of those having the opportunity to be in the audience. He has the gift of taking something complicated and spinning a simple tale so you got his point and he sold you on it. That encapsulates much of Ron’s success. He connected with people and his passion came through. You heard him, you paid attention, and then you’d say something like, “That makes sense. Let’s do it.” And he’d move on it.
That type of talent, energy and communication is rare. He will not be duplicated. Our past and present staff here at SIAC – Stan Martin, Glen Mowrey, Dave Simon, Jon Sargent, Ron Haner, Tom Sweeney, Steve Keefer, David Margulies – all know Ron’s longstanding service to our industry and what he’s meant to SIAC and our mission. He’s been integral to our success for all the reasons outlined above. We’re better off because of him, and all of us on staff have benefited from Ron’s wisdom, his willingness to share and help at a moment’s notice and his unfailing commitment to fundamentally HELP OUR INDUSTRY IMPROVE. And that is really what Ron is all about – a guy wanting to do what’s best and giving it everything. We’ll miss you, brother.