The Alarm Association of Florida, Inc. (AAF) was founded in 1968 by a group of alarm dealers seeking a collective voice for dealing with widespread problems facing the Alarm industry as a whole. By 1970 the first set of Bylaws were adopted and a Code of Ethics enacted for AAF members.
The first President and founder of the Alarm Association of Florida was William Donald “Don” Kovacs in 1968 and he served from 1968 through 1970 as its President. The original officers were:
Don Kovacs, President (Alarmtec International Corporation)
Herb Fishwick, Vice President (Miami Burglar Alarm Company)
Judge Walter B. Lebowitz, Treasurer and Corporate Attorney
Barbara Kovacs, Secretary
In 1968 Mr. Kovac had just completed an Underwriter’s Listed Central Station in Hollywood Florida. This was the first U.L. listed central station in Broward County and the conversions of the accounts from direct Police connect to hard copper direct wire was imminent.
Unfortunately when Mr. Kovac reached out to the local phone company to do the conversion, they began a series of delays with claims of no available facilities, even after all orders had been submitted. With pressure from his considerable investment in the new facility Mr. Kovac headed to Freeport to attend the national association in the hopes of getting the support he needed to resolve his issues with the telephone company.
However the Association declined to help. They claimed that the dispute with the phone company was a local turf battle and they could not supply the necessary legal help. Distraught at his failure to secure help Mr. Kovac flew back to Florida.
On the return flight to Florida, Don and wife Barbara discussed the concept of a Florida association. With Don piloting his Cessna winging his way back to Florida, the Alarm Association of Florida was conceived and born at 2000 feet above the ‘Devil’s Triangle’.
After filing the legal papers the AAF became a corporate entity, and with the above listed officers began its existence. One of the first orders of business was for Attorney Lebowitz to file suit against the telephone company and subsequently win. This then was the first practical use for the new association, helping a dealer compete on a level playing field.
It was not long until another issue regarding circuit pricing occurred and once again the Association rose to the occasion. A meeting was held in Hallandale at the old ‘Hemispheres Hotel’, where a new slate of officers and plan of action were created. Don Kovacs was re-elected President, Jim Kertz as Vice-President and Alan Black as Secretary/Treasurer. They proceeded and prevailed again and the Association began a life of its own.
In 1976, the Association officially registered as a not-for-profit corporation with the Secretary of State’s Office and was given a Charter Number: 736383.
The first official office location of the association was found in the Fort Lauderdale home of the AAF’s first Executive Director, Floyd Neely. In 1985, Mr. Neely relocated to Lake Placid, Florida and set up the AAF office in his new home in that city.
Presently the AAF headquarters office is located in Plantation Florida west of Fort Lauderdale.