Persons of the Year

Each year the current President, Executive Director and past winners have the privilege to select someone to be the TBFAA Person of the Year.


Sam Pieczynski from Southwest Dispatch Center in Richardson has been selected by the past honorees and the executive director and honored at the TBFAA Convention as the 2023 Person of the Year.

Sam began her involvement with TBFAA and NTAA in 2015. She has served on the TBFAA Convention Committee since 2021, as TBFAA Golf Chair in 2022 and 2023, as TBFAA Region 2 Director in 2019, 2020 and 2023, on the TBFAA Board as NTAA President 2021-2022, and as NTAA Treasurer 2015-2016.

She has taught Ethics and NEC Classes at TBFAA Conventions & local meetings and has helped staff convention registration – since 2015.


Van Mayorga from Great White Solutions, Inc. in Orchard, TX has been selected by the past honorees and the executive director and be honored at the TBFAA Convention as the 2022 Person of the Year.

Van has been a member of TBFAA since 2005 has also been an active member of Houston Gulf Coast Alarm Association (HGCAA).

He has been and Instructor for TBFAA and served as Vice President for Fire since 2018. He served as President of HGCAA.


Mary Edmonson has been selected as the 2021 Texas Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s Person of the Year.  

Ms. Edmonson is currently an Account Executive with Southwest Dispatch where she is responsible for dealer relations and product services. She has over 20 years industry experience and started her career in the billing services department.  Throughout the years she transitioned into the role of liaison between the dealer and central station.

In 2007, Mary became a member of the TBFAA and went on to serve as Region Three Director, Newsletter Editor, Membership Director and is currently, Vice President of Security.  Mary also serves as the annual Convention Chair where she oversees sponsorships, the golf tournament and educational content for attendees.  Additionally, Mary serves on the Houston Gulf Coast Alarm Association Board as Vice President.

Mary is dedicated to relations between dealers and the central station while working tirelessly as a champion for industry related issues.  She has authored many articles including “Building Customer Relationships” and “Agree to have Agreements”.

In addition to serving the security and fire alarm industry, she serves as member of the Pasadena Rodeo and member of the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.  



Mitch Reitman received the award at the Roast & Toast Dinner as a part of the TBFAA convention in Rockwall, Texas, in October.2019.

The Texas Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (TBFAA) has named Mitch Reitman, a financial and accounting adviser, as the association’s 2019 Person of the Year.

Reitman was selected for his long-term service to TBFAA and his industry involvement with a multitude of industry associations, according to an announcement. 

Reitman was inducted into the SSI Industry Hall of Fame in 2017. He is also a member of SSI’s editorial advisory board and a contributing columnist to the magazine. He began his involvement with TBFAA as a member in 1996 and joined the board as financial adviser in 2007. Over the years he has served on the association’s convention and legislative committees. He has also worked with TBFAA and local associations to setup and administer a scholarship program for children of public safety officers.

For over 20 years, Reitman has been actively involved in local, state and national security trade associations and held leadership roles on boards with Electronic Security Association (ESA) and the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF).

Reitman is a frequent speaker on business and financial topics at local meetings as well as state and national conventions. He also served as a city councilman for Coppell, Texas.

Reitman began his career at Coopers and Lybrand where he was an audit manager. He has worked in the security industry for more than two decades, including serving as vice president of acquisitions for Select Security and director of acquisitions and business development for Protection One. He is currently Management Principal of Reitman Consulting Group in Fort Worth.


Kathleen Schraufnagel received the 2018 TBFAA Person of the Year. As in years past the selection was made by a committee of past winners and the TBFAA Executive Director.

Kathleen was selected for her long term service to TBFAA and her industry involvement with a multitude of industry associations.  She received the award at the Roast & Toast Dinner as a part of the TBFAA Convention to be held in Austin in October of 2018.

She began her involvement with TBFAA in 1992. Over the years she has served as Secretary, False Alarm Reduction Chair, Newsletter Editor and Convention Chair.  She is currently a Regional Director and Co-Chair of Convention Committee.

Schraugnagel began her career in the security industry with Brink’s Home Security in 1991. During her 20 years with Brink’s, she held a number of positions and eventually became their Industry Relations Liaison. She then joined Monitronics and became co-chair of the ASAP to PSAP Outreach Committee.

For over 20 years, Schraufnagel has been active in many local, state and national security industry associations and has held numerous committee and board positions in each. She is currently the Vice President of the North Texas Alarm Association (NTAA), Secretary for the National Electronic Security Alliance (NESA), and a member of the IQ Board of Directors. Additionally, she sits on the Government Relations, Legislative Coalition, and National Companies Committees for the Electronic Security Association (ESA), and is a member of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC).

She has been a member of the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) since 1998. She is also an Essentials of False Alarm Reduction Certified Instructor. In 2001 Kathleen was named Associate Member of the Year by the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA).

A career highlight was her appointment to a multi-association “Think Tank” formed in the late 1990’s that spent four years researching and implementing new false alarm reduction measures nationwide, including what is now known as Enhanced Call Verification (ECV) along with many elements included in the ANSI SIA CP-01 control panel standard and the CSAA CS-V-01 central station standard. The “Think Tank” eventually evolved into the present-day Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC).

Schraufnagel has a long history of working closely with law enforcement and other government agencies in regard to creating and revising ordinances and helping to craft security industry licensing and alarm management legislation. She has taught Understanding Alarms classes for police academies and training centers, as well as helped to conduct alarm user schools in conjunction with different law enforcement agencies and the Texas Crime Prevention Association.


Vernon “Sonny” Sampson received the 2017 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2017 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 26, 2017 in Montgomery, TX. 

“I never thought my name would be on such a distinguished list of TBFAA members,” says Sampson, who has worked in the security industry since 1974. “Over the years, I have gotten to know many security and alarm dealers across the country and I consider all of them my friends. I’m truly blessed to be in a great industry and to serve and work with such great people.”

Sonny was selected for his long term service to TBFAA and the industry as Regional Director, Golf Chairperson and Convention Committee member.

Of particular note, is Sonny’s role in forming and maintaining the Corpus Christi and McAllen Chapters. 

In addition, Sonny has served on local association boards, helped to create the Texas Fire Alarm Association and has been an active member of the International Conference of Building Officials, National Fire Protection Association, National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

After service in the Army for 4 years, Sonny worked as an electrician for 13 years. He began his work in the alarm industry in 1974 by installing alarm systems in large homes Highland Park and North Dallas. Since that time he has worked in sales for installing dealers, distributors, manufacturers reps and third party central stations in a variety of locations around Texas. 


Joe Carr received the 2016 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2016 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 27, 2016 in Rockwall, TX. 

Joe has a tremendous history in the alarm industry as well as involvement in TBFAA, FARA, and the Local Associations

Joe was a Viet Nam Vet that was exposed to Agent Orange and was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma that resulted in End Stage Kidney Failure requiring dialysis.

He passed on Monday October 23, 2017 from complications of his long term illness.

Joe was a long term resident of San Antonio, but spent the past several years as a “road warrior” traveling the roads of Texas and New Mexico to visit alarm dealers.

“Joe was one of a kind in his willingness to help others. His persistence and dedication are examples for all of us to follow. Joe volunteered for so many tasks and tackled them all with good humor and skill. We will truly miss him in so many places and so many ways.” said Brad Shipp, TBFAA & FARA

Joe Carr had over thirty years’ experience in the security industry ranging from designing both physical and electronic security for banks and government high security systems to residential and small business systems. Joe was employed as a Dealer Relations Representative by United Central Control (UCC) for ten years before retiring in 2016. He was active in the Texas Burglar and Fire Alarm Association serving as the Region 4 Director as well as False Alarm Reduction Chairperson for several years.

Joe was also very active in the South Texas Alarm Association, North Texas Alarm Association, and Houston Gulf Coast Alarm Association. On a national level, Joe was part of the core team implementing the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) program. This computer-aided dispatch system was designed by the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) (Now Monitoring Association) and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO Int’l). Joe served as the Co-Chair of CSAA ASAP Outreach Committee.

Joe was also very active in the False Alarm Reduction Association and served as the Co-Chair on the FARA Symposium committee and raised thousands of dollars to reimburse government alarm managers for their travel to the symposium.

Joe was honored by the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) by receiving the W. Rex Bell Associate Member of the Year Award in 2012.


Kelly Ryan received the 2015 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2015 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 29, 2015 in San Antonio, TX. 

Kelly was selected for his service to TBFAA as Associate Director, VP of Security, Level 1 trainer, and numerous committees. He chaired the 2015 Convention Committee.

Over the years Kelly was instrumental in forming the Austin Chapter and assisted with the creation of the RGV Chapter. He has also used social media to expand TBFAA’s outreach. 

He has served on the legislative committee and helped to connect members with key legislators to advance the industries interests. 

Kelly joined the industry in 1993. Since then he has worked as a sales manager and in technical service for installing dealers, as an outside sales rep for a distributor and in sales and marketing for a third party central station.

Kelly became TBFAA Associate Director in 2005 and served until 2013. He served as TBFAA President from 2014 to 2015. He was elected as TBFAA President in 2015.


Roger Byrd received the 2014 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2014 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 2, 2014 in Galveston, TX.

Roger was selected for his long term service to TBFAA as President, Past President, Director Emeritus and chair of the Bylaws Committee and a member of the legislative committee.

In addition Roger has served on the South Texas Alarm Association Board and coordinated their efforts in support of the Blue Santa program.

He founded “Byrd Alarms” in 1981. It was renamed Security One in 1990. 

Roger is a retired police officer from the San Antonio Police force. 

2013 –  ROY HORN

Roy Horn received the 2013 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2013 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 23, 2013 in Galveston, TX.

Roy was selected for his long term service to TBFAA as Vice President- Fire Alarms, Past President, President, Regional Director, Instructor, Liaison to the Texas Fire Alarm Association (TFAA) and member of the TBFAA Legislative, Training and Convention Committees.

Roy has owned his own installing company since 1976. He has been an active fire alarm instructor with TBFAA and NBFAA since the 1980’s. He has done outreach to fire marshal’s throughout the state, including conducting training on codes and standards. 


Chris Russell received the 2012 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2012 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 17, 2012 in Galveston, TX.

Chris was selected for his long term service to TBFAA as President, Membership Chair and NTAA President. Chris currently serves as President of the National Security Alliance (NESA) and on the TBFAA Board as immediate past president.

In 2006, Chris was honored by the False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA) with the W. Rex Bell Associate Member of the Year Award. FARA cited his effort in creating a User Training Video as President of NTAA as a major reason for recognizing him with the award. Chris worked to help the industry cope with the Dallas verified response plan and was instrumental in changing the policy.

As TBFAA President, he spearheaded the development of the new web site, revamped the newsletter and clarified the impact of lead paint rules on installers. He also represented the industry on the Texas Police Chiefs Association (TCPA) Alarm Management Committee. Throughout his term, Chris worked closely with the legislative committee on issues including, CCTV regulation, Door to Door Sales and numerous proposals to alter the way we are regulated.

Throughout his service Chris has brought a unique sense of humor that has entertained his fellow board members.


Mike Samulin received the 2011 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2011 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 26, 2011 in Galveston, TX.

Mike served on the TBFAA Board of Directors as our liaison to the Private Security Bureau and Department of Public Safety.

He has also served us all as TBFAA Vice President, STAA President and STAA Board Member.

Mike resigned as TBFAA Vice President in 2000 when he was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Private Security Bureau Board.

He served on that board for 8 years, ending up as vice chairman, coordinated several committees, worked to bring the various industries together to address common issues and was instrumental in the transition of the agency from a stand alone agency to a Bureau under the Department of Public Safety.

Mike has owned his own installation company since 1984.

2010 – CHIP BIRD

Chip Bird received the 2010 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2010 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 21, 2010 in Galveston, TX.

Chip has served us all as TBFAA President, TBFAA Treasurer and NTAA President. He has served as NESA Board Member since it was founded and is a long term member of the TBFAA Legislative and Convention Committees.

He has also taught at TBFAA Conventions and as a CEU Instructor.

Chip also served on the Advisory Council for the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office.

Chips accomplishments include helping to:

  • write the TBFAA Texas Model Ordinance
  • fight non-response in Arlington, Ft. Worth, Dallas and Burleson
  • create the Person of the Year Award and dinner
  • create the TBFAA Chapter program
  • revitalize the TBFAA conventions
  • create NESA

Chip has been in the alarm industry since 1979 working as the branch manager for a local distribution facility and as operations manager for an independent installing company before playing a dominant role in starting Southwest Dispatch Center in 1989. 


Rodney left us on May 8th, 2018 after battling cancer for several years.

Rodney Hooker received the 2009 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2009 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 8, 2009 in San Antonio, TX.

As the TBFAA Legislative Chair and Vice President, Rodney’s exceptional efforts representing TBFAA in Austin have earned him awards and letters of appreciation from the Department of Public Safety. Rodney has worked tirelessly with the Private Security Bureau to deal with unlicensed alarm sales in Texas.

Rodney’s accomplishments include helping to form the TBFAA chapters in the Rio Grande Valley and Central Texas. He worked with the PSB to allow CEU credits for attendance at qualified membership meetings. As president of the Dallas County Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NTAA), he led the fight to allow a special conversion period for the alarm industry to convert from 7-digit to 10-digit dialing plan. In the late 80s and early 90s, he actively worked on the RBOC issue in Washington DC.

Rodney has served TBFAA as Vice President and Legislative Chair for 6 years, 2 years as President and 8 years as board member. Rodney also helped to form the Gulf Coast Alarm Association that ultimately merged to become the Houston Gulf Coast Alarm Association. He  has also served on the alarm management committee for the Texas Chief of Police Association.

Rodney began his career in the security industry in 1987, working as an alarm intaller for a UL listed Alarm Company in the Dallas area. He started his Central Station career in early 1988 working for one of the largest central stations in the U.S. at the time. He managed the construction of two other branch central stations in Texas, and helped in the first live networking of three active redundant UL Listed centrals.

He has been an active member of all of the local associations in Texas for the last 20 years, and has held the office of President for not only the North Texas Alarm Association, but also for the TBFAA on two separate occasions. He has been the Legislative Chair for the TBFAA for over 12 years at different times. 

2008 – REX ADAMS

Rex Edward Adams received the 2008 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2008 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 23, 2008 in Dallas, TX.

Rex has served our industry for over 20 years as TBFAA President, North Texas Alarm Association President and National Electronic Security Alliance President.

Rex has worked in the industry since 1984. He began as a sales manager for installing dealers and went on to open his own installing company in 1988. 

Rex joined the TBFAA board as Regional Director in 1998. He served as TBFAA President the first time in 2000. He was elected President a second time in 2002.

Rex joined the North Texas Alarm Assn. board as Secretary in 1993. He went on to serve as President from 1994 to 1996 and again from 1999 to 2000.



Malcolm Reed received the 2007 TBFAA Person of the Year honor at the 2007 TBFAA annual convention and trade show on October 25, 2007 in Galveston, TX.

Malcolm has served our industry for over 20 years as TBFAA President , Dallas County BFAA President, TBFAA Legislative Chair, and TBFAA Instructor.

Malcolm started his career with Smith Alarm Systems in the 1970’s before he and Bryan McGee started Knight Security Systems in early 1983.  After selling Knight Security Systems, Malcolm joined Southwest Dispatch Center.

Chip Bird had this to say about “Malcolm has the unique ability to not only to read and understand bills, but to craft legislation as well”.

Rubin Fechner summed up Malcolm by saying “He was never self serving. He was always looking out for others, he was always one to help”.

Rodney Hooker recalled sitting in the gallery of the legislative chamber when he and Malcolm heard words in legislation that Malcolm had written and he learned where Malcolm’s father had sat when he served in the legislature.

Roger Byrd summed up the feelings of most when he said “It’s a person of the year award, but it’s really a lifetime achievement award, because he has done so much for the industry. I really think that every person in this room should strive for this award because of what that will do for our industry if everyone works together in that manner.”

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