Messages from NJELSA President Ken Gould
To NJELSA Members,
I´m hoping that this message is finding you safe and in good health under these trying times.
The Executive Board, Board of Directors, and Committee Members have been working very hard behind the scenes under these very difficult circumstances. We have made some very tough decisions including cancelling our regional meetings as well as the golf outing this year. But we don´t want to stop communicating and “getting together” so we programmed a special zoom membership meeting with no cost to NJELSA members . This meeting replaces our three Spring regional meetings and is an opportunity to update everyone on the Association. Plus, we have a special guest speaker, ex NY Giant Scott Brunner.
We will keep you posted on the status of the Fall meetings. So far, we still plan on holding those meetings, but of course, your health and safety is our first and highest priority.
I gave my first speech as President on March 13th, little knowing the extent of what lay ahead of us. I shared that we, as a Board and an Association, can´t follow the 80/20 rule (meaning only 80% works). I am very happy to say that 100 percent of our Board is working very hard for you!
I am including in this Presidential message email an organizational chart (below) with our Executive Board members. We recently added members to our committees who are not Board members. They will be a big help as we move forward.
In closing, please feel free to always reach out to me. I will soon have a phone extension at the Association office. As well, you can send a message to my NJELSA presidential email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay well and I look forward to seeing you at the zoom membership meeting.
April 13, 2020
To NJELSA Members,
A Personal Note
I am writing my first President’s message during a difficult and unprecedented time and with a very heavy heart. For myself and the rest of the Gould family, the virus hit very close to home. My cousin and fellow NJELSA board member, Mike Gould, lost his dad to the COVID-19 virus last week.
Rich Gould, my father´s youngest brother, was a 60-year veteran in the industry and a true pioneer, He not only loved our industry but was a long-time member of our great association and was always supportive.
When I first started in the industry as an installer in 1974 in Fords, New Jersey, Uncle Rich told me, “We are in the life safety industry. We save lives. There is no room for error…we have to do it right.”
Uncle Rich was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and was also the commissioner of the Woodbridge Fire Department. He will be greatly missed.
The NJELSA and the Coronavirus
The COVID-19 virus has spread throughout the whole world. Our country, state and local communities are now fighting a war against this virus.
During my first speech at the luncheon during our Annual NJELSA Symposium, I doubt any of us knew what was in front of us. I said that presidents and boards come and go but our members are always the most important consideration. Now more than ever, we need to function as a team.
With that being said, we are always looking for help on our committees. As we consider all the challenges ahead, there is a greater need now more than ever before for even more participation and help than before.
Normally, boards function under the 20/80 rule where only twenty percent of the board does all the work. However, I am proud to say that this board is 100%! We have spent our time on many, many conference calls, making tough decisions and planning for the future.
We have not sent out many emails, understanding that you are already receiving many messages about COVID 19. But we will now be sending out more email messages so please look for them. They will keep you up-to-date on the Association and will contain good information to help you past these difficult times.
The board made the difficult decision to continue with the symposium, taking into consideration all the circumstances. Despite the uncertainty at the time, we had an amazing turnout. Thank you to all exhibitors and attendees who made the difficult decision to attend.
This is a different world we live in today. But we are still moving forward by implementing several new programs and ideas. Plus, we will still have to deal with various legislation and day to day issues.
We will most likely have to cancel upcoming meetings and training, so we are in the process putting into place online CEU training classes.
The apprenticeship program (which we will share more about in the near future) will be a tremendous amount of work but a very valuable program for New Jersey youth and our industry.
I am still learning, but I can bring my experience as president of other associations with me as we meet these new challenges. For instance, when I was president of the Staten Island Association, we dealt with the introduction of free systems and many companies merging or being sold.
I have also faced many challenges in my 45 years in business. For instance, I helped get AMERICAN Security past the 2004 and 2005 recession and worked on rebuilding the company.
Hurricane Sandy took quite a toll on all of us in the region with many deaths and devastation. We also lost most of the fire alarm systems in downtown NYC and had to restore and service. As president of American Security, it was my job to help staff get past this terrible time and do our jobs.
This all took a tremendous amount of teamwork, which is what we need now from both the members and the board. This is certainly the most challenging time I have seen in my career and lifetime. We need to be strong and stand together.
I am humbled to be your president during this unprecedented period. You have my promise that I will work hard for you. I am always open to your phone calls.