Five Questions for Renova CEO Jonathan Pine

CSAA welcomed Renova Technology as a new member earlier this year. We asked President and CEO Jonathan Pine so share something about himself and the company with other CSAA members.

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Jonathan Pine, President and CEO, Renova Technology 

1. What is your company’s mission and how does it intersect with the alarm industry?

Ever since I founded  Renova Technology in 1996 , our mission/vision  has always been to deliver high-end technical repair services emphasizing quality, reliability and customer service. These best practices, when applied to the commercial security and alarm industry result in much higher and reliable levels of security for customers and of course fewer false alarms (which I will explain below). I also became very passionate about environmental responsibility as a result of my 3 sons’ influence and by observing first-hand the harmful effects of dumping non-working electronics in 3rd world countries.  I am proud that as a result of our repairs, we have prevented over 8 million pounds of electronics from entering landfill or cooking pots used for both metals reclamation and later dinner by children in Africa. I have actually seen that occur. The thousands of commercial security devices we now repair monthly were all being thrown in the dumpster before we entered the industry in 2014 .

2. Share a personal experience you’ve had with alarm monitoring or public safety.

Fortunately I have never personally experienced a break-in nor the direct effects of challenges to public safety. I am a firm believer in the proliferation of cameras/monitoring throughout our communities.  I was truly awakened recently to the financial effects of poorly maintained alarm systems upon our community. I returned from a trip overseas only to discover that my home alarm system generated over 50 false alarms due to malfunction. Despite my overseas calls to our service provider of 21 years, they did not remotely turn off our system nor disregard the alarms.  I was fined over $1,000 by my county and I am sure that this cost the police substantially more money and time – which should have been utilized elsewhere.

3. What are your goals for your membership in CSAA?

Renova repairs high end commercial security equipment – DVR/NVR, Cameras, and Access Control Panel Boards for 4 of the 7 largest integrators in the country – as well as for many super-regionals and smaller integrators. Our customers enjoy average savings of $2,000+ on each of our repairs –rather than by replacing the equipment. Our goals for joining are (1)  to continue to learn more and contribute to this important and growing industry, and (2) to begin working directly with self-maintaining enterprises – those retail and other establishments that service their own equipment. We understand they comprise an important segment of the membership and we want to reach out to them. I believe that Renova can help them lower their service costs and increase loss prevention – not by investing money, but by repairing rather than replacing expensive security equipment.

5. What makes your company special?

Firstly: our employees.  Our company is comprised of employees from over 10 countries, that have been with Renova for 10+ years on average.  Many of our engineers grew up in environments where they had no choice but to repair the electronics they had.  So they also share a passion for quality repair and that is one of the reasons why our repair yields (96%+) are so high. We are unique also with the wealth of data we capture about each repair, and the associated data analytics which are used to drive down our customers service costs, increase efficiencies, and promote brand loyalty.  Beyond the OEMs, there may be only 2 other companies that do what we do in the Security Industry.

5. Tell us something about yourself that drives the way you do business. 

I have to admit that my favorite business and inspirational book has always been Og Mandino’s  “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” The most important message of this story is “Only by persistently serving quality to others can we succeed in business.”  I am also a musician now for 55 years and play many stringed instruments and have a passion for foreign languages (of which I speak 3).  I have a background in counseling and spend time each week coaching others outside of my company.

Find out more about Renova in this short video:

 

 

 

Alert for Alarm Companies: Websites and Mobile Apps Must Be ADA-Compliant

WEBSITES MUST BE ACCESSIBLE TO BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CUSTOMERS

The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., better known by its acronym (the ADA), is being used with increasing frequency to capitalize on unsuspecting companies whose websites are inaccessible to persons with disabilities. Last year was a record setting year for website accessibility litigation and there is no sign of abating as we move in to 2017.

Title III of the ADA, with a few narrow exceptions, prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability in places of public accommodation and requires that such places afford individuals with disabilities access to goods and services equal to that which is provided to those without disabilities. The ADA does not specifically address whether commercial websites are considered places of public accommodation. However, most courts have determined that Title III’s accessibility requirements apply to commercial websites of places of public accommodation, reasoning that website accessibility is the functional equivalent of inaccessibility to the physical store. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), which is responsible for publishing ADA guidance, has recently extended this reasoning to mobile apps, filing lawsuits against retailers with non-compliant mobile apps. The DOJ has not yet published website accessibility guidelines (though it is noteworthy that the DOJ has incorporated W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) in some of its website accessibility consent decrees).  According to many commentators, the DOJ is expected to issue guidelines in 2018 though DOJ’s rulemaking process has been delayed several times already.  As a result, there is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding website compliance obligations – ambiguity that has generated litigation with increasing frequency.

Even the court system has struggled to identify the outer limits of website compliance obligations. Courts in the Third, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits have required plaintiffs to show there is a “nexus” between a company’s website and the enjoyment of goods and services offered at a physical location of the company. In National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corp., 452 F. Supp. 2d 946 (N.D. Cal. 2006), for example, the court found that Target.com violated the ADA because the website was not accessible to visually-impaired individuals and prevented them from enjoying goods and services of Target’s physical store, such as ordering prescription refills, photos, or purchasing products. Notably, courts in the First and Seventh Circuits have demanded website compliance without regard to whether companies operate a physical location that has traditionally been considered a place of public accommodation.

Notable cases from 2016 include the following:

  • Marett v. Capital Grille Holdings, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-08913 (S.D.N.Y. 2016). Plaintiff brought this case as a class action on behalf of a group of similarly situated (blind) individuals.  Plaintiff was allegedly unable to make dinner reservations on The Capital Grille’s website. Plaintiff claimed defendant’s website was inaccessible, in relevant part, because it was an “entirely visual interface” and that it was unable to interface with assistive screen-reading software. The case is ongoing.
  • Marett v. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, L.L.C., No. 1:16-cv-08877 (S.D.N.Y. 2016). Plaintiff brought this case as a class action on behalf of a group of similarly situated (blind) individuals. Plaintiff was allegedly unable to make a reservation, read testimonials, or provide the same through the hotel’s website. Plaintiff asserted that that the website was not compatible with the use of special keyboards and screen reading software and that the website failed to use alternative text, accessible forms, descriptive links, resizable text. The case is ongoing.
  • Jahoda v. Nat’l Basketball Assoc., No. 2:15-cv-01462 (W.D.P.A. 2015). Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against the National Basketball Association (NBA). Therein, it was alleged that the NBA’s website violated the ADA because visually-disabled individuals are unable to access all of the website’s features, even with the aid of assistive software. Plaintiff sought to have the NBA create and utilize an internal management team that would develop web-based content in an accessible manner. The case settled in 2016 before a decision was reached on the merits.
  • Dudley v. Miami University, et al., No. 1:14-cv-00038 (S.D. Ohio 2014). Miami University entered into a Consent Decree with the DOJ requiring the University to ensure that its web content and other technologies comply with the WCAG 2.0 standards. The decree also required the University to revise its technology procurement standards to ensure future compliance.

As 2017 begins, there is no sign that ADA website accessibility litigation is abating.  Companies should consult with their attorneys to determine whether or not they are considered a place of public accommodation under the ADA.  They should also audit their website(s) to determine whether they should remediate accessibility barriers; whether they should conduct ADA training for responsible stakeholders; whether they should update their ADA policies and procedures; as well as taking other important steps to put them in the best possible position to defend against website accessibility litigation.

–Contributed by Kelly H. Kolb, Esq., of CSAA member Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, PC. Kolb participated in the panel discussion “The Impact of the New Overtime Rukolb_kelly_189x186le and Minimum Wage Increases on Your Business” at the 2016 CSAA Annual Meeting and is a contributor to CSAA Dispatch.

CSAA Honors Cumoletti for ASAP Support

In December, CSAA presented Colonel Steven Cumoletti of the New  York State Police with special plaque for his support of the ASAP-to-PSAP program. Cumoletti retired from the force on November 22.

“We would not be nearly as close to deployment of ASAP in New York State as we are now without Col. Cumoletti’s assistance. Working collaboratively with John Merklinger, the director of the City of Rochester/County of Monroe Emergency Communications Department, he was instrumental in making the New York State switch compatible with ASAP,” said Pam Petrow, president of CSAA. “The alarm industry community joins me in thanking Steve for his efforts and for his 33 years of service to public safety.”

For more information about ASAP, visit the ASAP website.

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SIAC: St. Cloud FL Police Reporting 67% Reduction in Dispatches

 

Frisco, Texas (January 26, 2017) – The city of St. Cloud, Florida and its Police Department were presented with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) Director’s Award of Distinction, and the Alarm Association of Florida’s (AAF) Alarm Management Award for its outstanding work in reducing alarm dispatches.

St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett was given SIAC’s Award of Distinction for his work on this project, along with the AAF award.

The city reduced its alarm dispatches by 67% in its first 12 months utilizing the model ordinance developed by SIAC and the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA). The awards were given during a recent city council meeting.

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s National Law Enforcement Liaison, Glen Mowrey, and AAF representatives worked with the St. Cloud Police Department, city staff and the city attorney’s office on the project.

“Our success in reducing alarm calls allows officers to be more proactive in community policing activities,” said Chief Gauntlett.

Mowrey added, “Utilizing the FPCA Model Ordinance streamlines working with the agency in establishing an alarm management program.”

“In the case of St. Cloud, this positive outcome benefits the police department, the local community and our industry. It demonstrates that well-implemented alarm management practices provide the intended results, fewer dispatches,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “Police are freed to address other calls that may have greater public safety consequences. Customers are happy that they don’t have unnecessary alarm activations. In turn, security companies are in better shape because they can sell improved alarm management practices. The result equals fewer fines to the customer.”

 

 

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(L-R) SIAC’s Glen Mowrey, AAF’s Bob Neely, Sgt. Denise Roberts, Chief Pete Gauntlett, Mayor Rebecca Borders

About SIAC

SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues, communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement. SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations – Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA). For more information, go to www.SIACinc.org , www.siacinc.wordpress.com, or follow us on www.twitter.com/siacinc.

–Contributed by James Roth

Town of Lexington (SC) PD Receives SIAC Award for Reducing Alarm Calls

Lexington, SC (January 26, 2017) – The town of Lexington, SC and its Police Department were presented with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) Director’s Award of Distinction for its outstanding work in reducing alarm dispatches. The town reduced its alarm dispatches by 46% freeing up officers for community policing activities and problem solving projects. The award was presented to the town of Lexington, Chief Terence Green and staff during a recent town council meeting.

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition and representatives from the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association’s (SCPCA) Alarm Management Committee worked with the Lexington Police Department staff and the city attorney’s office using SCPCA’s Model Alarm Ordinance in reducing alarm dispatch requests.

“We feel very good about the success of our alarm management program, the results we’ve realized, and look forward to even greater reductions in the future,” said Chief Green. “Our partnership with SIAC and the SCPCA Alarm Management Committee has certainly aided us in reducing our alarm dispatches.”

SIAC’s National Law Enforcement Liaison Glen Mowrey added, “Developing strong partnerships and utilizing the Chiefs Association’s Model Alarm Ordinances adds to the success of an agencies alarm management program.”

“In the case of Lexington, this positive outcome benefits the police department, the local community and our industry. It demonstrates that well-implemented alarm management practices provide the intended results, fewer dispatches,” said Stan Martin, SIAC Executive Director. “Police are freed to address other calls that may have greater public safety consequences. Customers are happy that they don’t have unnecessary alarm activations. In turn, security companies are in better shape because they can sell improved alarm management practices. The result equals fewer fines to the customer.”

 

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(L to R) Patrolman First Class Ryan Whitlock, Mayor Steve MacDougall, Glen Mowrey, Chief Terrence Green, Lt. Matt Timmerman, Major Matt Davis, and Lt. Thomas Stowe.

About SIAC

SIAC represents one voice for the electronic security industry on alarm management issues –communicating solutions and enhancing relationships with law enforcement.  SIAC is comprised of four major North American security associations–Canadian Security Association (CANASA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), and the Electronic Security Association (ESA). For more information, go to www.SIACinc.org , www.siacinc.wordpress.com, or follow us on www.twitter.com/siacinc.

–Contributed by James Roth

 

CSAA General Membership and Committee Meetings at ESX 2017

The schedule of CSAA meetings at ESX 2017 is now available. Meetings will be held during the afternoons of Monday, June 12 and Tuesday, June 13.

Make your plans now for ESX — hotel rooms are in high demand in popular Nashville, TN.
The ESX Premium Pass, with access to all event activities, is just $199 at the early bird rate. This fantastic rate is offered in celebration of the 10th annual ESX event.

Register early to receive ESX premium registration for only $199! Take advantage of this spectacular opportunity to attend for the first time or to bring additional staff from your company.

Check out the “Maximize Your Monitoring Center” education track to get a preliminary look at the professional development CSAA has in store for you at ESX.

Register Now. $199 Early Bird rate is offered through April 21.

View the CSAA Meetings Schedule for June 12 and June 13.