President’s Message

Messages from NJELSA President Ken Gould

Presidents Message-Ken Gould


September 2021


Dear NJELSA Members,

Welcome to the homestretch of 2021! Despite ongoing challenges facing the industry and our Association, I am awe-inspired by the steadfast commitment of our Board and the unwavering support of our membership. Thanks to your efforts, we held our first large-scale, in-person event in 15+ months, the Training Summit.


2021 Training Summit Highlights

Postponing the Annual Symposium was a difficult decision to make earlier this year; however, we were excited to introduce the Training Summit, a 2-day event held on August 12 and 13 at Harrah’s Atlantic City. Not only did members earn up to 11 CEUs, but they networked with colleagues and vendors with activities such as the Cigar Night and Exhibitor Showcase. Here are some highlights from the Training Summit:

  • 14 companies became new members
  • $1,000 was raised on-site for the A3666 Legal Challenge Fund
  • More than 45 members attended each CEU session

If you missed this event, check out some photos and videos from the Training Summit.


Annual Golf Outing

With less than a week to go, the Annual Golf Outing on September 27 is shaping up to be a fantastic event. Every year, we get together to raise money for the NJELSA Scholarship Fund, which provides college funding to the child of an active-duty police officer or firefighter. We’d love you to join us at Bella Vista Country Club. Please visit the event page to register your foursome.


Our Scholarship Winners

Speaking of the NJELSA Scholarship Fund, we awarded two outstanding recipients in 2021, Jake Inserra of Woodbine, NJ, and Jack Long of Park Ridge, NJ. Jake’s father, John, currently serves at the Port Norris State Police Station. Jake is attending the University of Pennsylvania this semester. Jack’s father, Brian, served with the New Milford Police Department until his passing from kidney cancer in 2016. Jack is attending the University of Georgia. We wish them all the best and look forward to hearing great things. Please read their notes here.


Mission 500 Softball Game

If you’re inspired by the heartfelt gratitude of the NJELSA Scholarship winners, why not join Mission 500 for the Security Softball Game on October 9 at Overpeck County Park? Every $25 donated provides a backpack to a student in need. The event will consist of two games and a home run derby.

On a personal note, Richard Gould, a member of Woodbridge Fire Company #1 for 48 years, and George Mosley, serving the Aberdeen Township Hose & Chemical Co. #1 for more than 50 years, will be honored. In addition, past NJELSA President, Christine Marzano, will also be recognized for her dedication to Mission 500.

Visit the Mission 500 here to register.


Virtual Training This Fall!

Building off the success of our virtual training sessions this year, we have a full slate of classes for October through December 2021. Here is a list of our upcoming sessions:

  • October 2021 Learning Series (every Tuesday in October, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM): Industrial and Construction Site Safety, NJ Uniform Construction Code, Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Understanding the NJ Barrier Free Subcode.
  • NJ Licensing Law on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Smoke Detection Systems on Thursday, November 11, 2021, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Integrated Testing & Commissioning of Fire Protection & Life Safety Systems on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Visit our training page for the details on each class and to register.


Regional Membership Meetings

The NJELSA is excited to hold in-person regional meetings in October. Each meeting includes an opportunity for CEUs, mini-industry tradeshow, guest speaker, networking and dinner. Organizers have put together a wonderful agenda, and we encourage you to attend the following events in your area:

  • Northern Region Meeting: Tuesday, October 5, 2021. The meeting is being held at the Crowne Plaza in Saddle Brook, NJ.
  • Southern Region Meeting: Thursday, October 7, 2021. The meeting is being held at the Paris Caterers in Berlin, NJ.
  • Central Region Meeting: Thursday, October 14, 2021. The meeting is being held at the Galloping Hill Caterers in Union, NJ.
    If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Christine Higgins at


Toys For Tots Drive

Each year, under the leadership of Greg Overholt at B Safe Security, the NJELSA collects new, unwrapped toys for the Toys For Tots organization. Last year, we donated more than $1,500. With the ongoing pandemic and aftermath of Tropical Storm Ida, more children need our help. Show your support by providing a monetary contribution or drop shipping a toy. See our Toys For Tots webpage here.


As always, I encourage you to reach out via phone or email if you have any questions or concerns. The NJELSA is a member-driven organization, and we are dedicated to you. I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.



Kenneth J. Gould





June 2021


Dear NJELSA Members,


With the start of summer upon us, we are looking forward to a busy season for the NJELSA. While we all look forward to more time at the beach or golf course, we hope you’ll join us for an exciting calendar of events.


The Power of Community

As you may be aware, Mission 500 honored me with the 2020 Humanitarian Award. Upon receiving the recognition, I thought about my amazing support system, particularly the NJELSA Board and members. You all make it easier for me to take on more significant initiatives with organizations such as Mission 500. Thank you for your dedication to the NJELSA and for contributing your time despite unprecedented challenges over the last 15 months.


The NJELSA Legal Challenge and Donation Raffle

One such challenge for the NJELSA is our fight against NJ Bill A3666/S3071, significantly altering the existing Public Works Contractor Registration requirements and mandating that companies participate in a Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program. To contest this unfair law, we have formed a committee and retained the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP to spearhead our legal efforts. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

To date, we have received money or pledges above $50,000, but we need more as we continue our negotiations with the State and fund additional and required legal work, regardless of the outcome. As such, for every $100 that you contribute to the NJELSA Legal Challenge Fund, you will receive one entry to win a special prize package. You have until tomorrow (Thursday, June 17, 2021) to donate and enter the raffle.

Discover more about our legal fight and donation raffle here with a special video presentation.


Sunnier Days Ahead

Aside from our work above, the NJELSA is excited by a combination of fun and educational offerings, such as:

  • Cigar Night – June 17, 2021, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at the Bella Vista Country Club. The entry fee includes dinner, an open bar, and two hand-rolled cigars. In addition, we will be holding our drawing for the NJELSA Legal Challenge Fund Donation Raffle.
  • A Day of Training – June 30, 2021: Enjoy a new full-day training program in which you choose all or some of the sessions with topics such as the “Basics of Excel,” “Social Media,” “Hiring For Success,” and “Leadership Skills for Small Businesses.”


NJELSA Training Summit

Lastly, we can’t wait for this year’s Training Summit, scheduled for August 12 – 13, 2021, at Harrah’s Atlantic City. We are proud to announce that COPS Monitoring will be sponsoring our event, and we are thankful for their support.

Members will have an opportunity for members to earn up to 11 CEU credits and be part of an Exhibitor Showcase. As things open up, we are planning additional opportunities to get together during our time in Atlantic City. In the meantime, please visit our page here to register.


Thank you all again for your hard work, and please contact me via phone or email if you have any questions or concerns. The NJELSA is a member-driven organization, and we are dedicated to meeting your expectations. I look forward to hearing from you! 



Kenneth J. Gould




March 2021

Dear NJELSA Members,

As we make our way toward the Spring, we look forward to a 2021 filled with renewed optimism and can’t wait to see many of you at future meetings and events, whether in-person or virtual.


Thank You to The NJELSA Board

First, I want to take a moment to thank an incredible group of industry leaders on the NJELSA Board this year. The challenges brought on by COVID-19 have not inhibited our team in any way. In the face of enormous adversity, each Board Members has shined. I also want to publicly welcome two of our newest additions to the Board, Shawn Kane, General Manager of Tustin Security Solutions, and Erin Barsanti, Area Sales Manager for Brivo. Both of these professionals have offered a unique perspective and contributed to the organization’s success.


The NJELSA Legal Challenge

Aside from the obvious challenges we have faced this year, we are fighting Bill A3666/S3071, which was rushed through the NJ State Legislature in late 2018. The law significantly altered the existing Public Works Contractor Registration requirements to mandate that companies must now participate in a Department of Labor approved apprenticeship program with an ERISA pension trust fund. In order to challenge this arbitrary, oppressive, and unreasonable law, we have formed a committee and retained the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP to spearhead our legal efforts. In order to fight this legislature, we need your help by donating to our Legal Fund. Please watch this video summary from Brian Arenofsky and contribute here.


NJELSA Spring Events

On a brighter note, the NJELSA will be busy this Spring and early Summer with several exciting events:

  • Virtual Membership Meeting – March 30, 2021
  • Clay Shoot – April 29, 2021 at the Pin Valley Gun Club in Berlin, NJ
  • Nine & Dine – May 13, 2021 at the Bella Vista Country Club and
  • Nine & Dine – May 20, 2021 at the Ramblewood Country Club
  • Cigar Night – June 24, 2021 at the Bella Vista Country Club

Our team has worked incredibly hard to organize the virtual and in-person events for our membership.

Membership Benefit Programs

We are excited to announce the launch of new Member Benefit Programs from our preferred vendor, Mehalick Insurance Agency. The program includes:

  • Two carriers, Allied National and National General, for much-needed, more affordable group healthcare options
  • Member access with discounted premiums for disability income protection
  • Long term care insurance with member discounted premiums

For downloadable brochures and more information, follow this link.

The NJELA Scholarship

The NJELSA Scholarship Program is our way to thank the public safety community and support the sons and daughters of active-duty police and fire personnel to achieve an advanced education. Awards are based on a combination of academic achievement, national test scores, extracurricular participation and their essay, explaining “What it means to me to have my parent or guardian involved in securing our community.” The deadline for submission is April 30, 2021.

Upcoming Evening Classes

We have two fantastic webinars for March, both in the evening to accommodate the busy schedules of our members.

  • March 11, 2021 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM: Using Z-Wave Technology to Lock in RMR and Retention offers CEU credits and is free to members. It is also an opportunity for locksmiths to earn licensing credits.
  • March 25, 2021 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM: Site Survey covers the proper method of conducting a site survey while meeting the customer’s needs.

To register for either class, we encourage you to visit our Training page.


Thank you all for your dedication to our Association, and please feel free to contact me via phone or email if you have any questions or concerns. We are always seeking the help of members on committees and would love to hear from you. 



Kenneth J. Gould


July 2020

To NJELSA Members,

We have reached the summer months and are still dealing with COVID-19. I know how difficult it has been for all of us and I am hoping that you and your family are safe and well.
NJELSA Committees
On a bright note, I am happy to say that in spite of the challenges and social distancing, our Board and committees are working hard as a team. In fact, several committee chairs are also Board members. Click HERE to view the Board structure. 
I am so proud to be part of such an amazing team I would like to acknowledge the committee chairs here.
AHJ: Ken Gould
Annual Symposium: Rob Rudolph
Apprentice Program: Brian Arenofsky
Bylaws: Jamie Kerth
Codes, Standards, and Licensing
Education and Training: Ken Nelson
Fundraising: Duane Warehime
Golf Outing: Jamie Kerth
Grievance: Ken Gould
KPI: Chistine Marzano
Membership: Larry Little
Public Relations, Social Media, and Website: Heather Ferarra
Scholarship: Ken Gould
Click HERE to download a PDF of all the committee members. Keep in mind that this is your association and we are looking for more committee members. Let us know if you would like more information about our committees.
NJELSA Member of the Month
As you know, we already have chosen an NJELSA Member for the Month for May and June. Now we are looking to honor someone in July. Send us your nominations (you can even nominate yourself).
The Public Works Contractor Registration Law
On the legislative front, the NJELSA is actively working to address the new public works contractor registration law that went into effect last year in New Jersey (A-3666 / S-3071), requiring participation in an approved apprenticeship program as a prerequisite for registration. We hope to have more to report in the coming weeks and months, but please rest assured that the NJELSA Board of Directors has been working diligently on this issue.
In closing, I want to thank you for being a member of this great association. Stay safe and well.
Kenneth J. Gould

June, 2020

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:


Stay well and I look forward to seeing you at the zoom membership meeting.


Kenneth J. Gould
Presidents Message-Ken Gould

April 13, 2020

To NJELSA Members,

I hope this message finds you safe and heathy.
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.


The Association Board

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.


NJELSA Communication

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 NJELSA Symposium

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.

The Future

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.


What I Have Learned

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.

I was the general manager of ADT at the Manhattan branch on September 11 and helped rebuild the office after the attacks.

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.

Your president,


Kenneth J Gould