SAMMY Winners Receive Loud Ovation From Peers

The 10th Annual SAMMY Awards proved to be a nightlong appreciation for alarm dealers and integrators who represent the finest the electronic security industry has to offer.

Getting invited to attend the SAMMY Awards as a finalist was something Digatron Inc. CEO and founder Tony Ibarra couldn’t keep to himself. Along for the ride to attend the April 5 awards ceremony was a group of five from Digatron that included Tony’s brother, Greg, and son, Nick.

That meant for a loud reaction when Digatron of Denver was announced as one of the big winners at Security Sales & Integration’s 10th Annual SAMMY (Sales and Marketing) Awards at Las Vegas’ Venetian Casino Resort on the eve of this year’s ISC West (see complete ISC coverage in Industry Pulse and on page 14 of June issue).

A victory at the SAMMYs meant not only a win of personal glory, but also respect from others in the electronic security industry.

“This means recognition among your peers,” says Ibarra, who accepted the award for Integrated Commercial/Industrial Installation of the Year, one of the grand prizes. “It lets your peers know you’re just as serious as the big companies like Honeywell.”

Recognition came not just for the 11 companies named winners in this year’s SAMMYs, but also for the 29 alarm firms that were chosen as finalists out of more than 100 entries. A company that doesn’t enter the SAMMYs can’t win one. Such was the case the past few years for Life Safety Engineered Systems Inc., which hadn’t ever sent in an entry until this year’s competition. It was better late than never, as the Buffalo, N.Y., alarm company came away with the award for Best Commercial/Industrial Brochure.

“I always said I’ll do it next year so I finally did it,” says Life Safety Engineered Systems President Robert Vezina. “We had to enter this. People told me we had the best brochure in the business and it turned out, they were right.”

For repeat SAMMY winners like Peak Alarm of Salt Lake City, there isn’t any big secret to winning a SAMMY award. The company doesn’t set out to perform work or marketing designed to win — Peak’s employees just set out to do the best work they can. That’s what the firm’s Boise, Idaho, branch manager Bill Herbert says of Peak, which was the only multiple winner of this year’s awards — including a grand prize for Best Integrated Marketing Program of the Year.

“This award means recognition for a job well done,” Herbert says. “You just do the job. Not being afraid to do what you think is the right approach. If we win, that’s fine, but we don’t just do it for notoriety.”

If your company is looking to follow Life Systems Engineered Systems and enter the SAMMYs for the first time, or if you believe your company’s work deserves an award, go to to find out how you can enter this exciting competition.

Come next June, it may be your company receiving an honored place in the pages of Security Sales & Integration.

Click here to take a look at this year’s crop of SAMMYs winners to not only see what it takes to win a SAMMY, but also get ideas on what it takes to perform the best sales, marketing and installations in the industry.