Conley Wilds wrote about Andy, “I will always remember his positive attitude. I can’t ever remember him being in a bad mood. Mike Groves from FedLock wrote, “Although Andy was Team Blaydes, it always felt like he was on our team, too, because he was a good soul.”
And fellow Blaydes employee, Mary Davisson, wrote, “His presence, temperament, smile, ‘what’s up’ — as he used to say — and kind words of encouragement always illuminated the atmosphere at Blaydes Lock and Security….he was a true friend to each of us.”
Thanksgiving for the Schwartz family will never be the same. Last year on this sacred American holiday, Sid Schwartz, the legendary founder of Security Lock Distributors, passed away. “For the last 12-plus years, he has been my boss,” David Danberg wrote, “and a fine boss he was. He started a hugely successful business from the ground up and in the process, never changed, always remaining humble and down-to-earth.” “Here is a true inspiration for the word ‘Life,’ ” wrote Steve and Charlotte Murray. “He was active all the time, showing every day the true meaning of family and passion in the industry.”
Treating employees and customers like family is a theme that could be mentioned for all those we’ve lost in the security hardware industry in the last year. Jerry Hoffman, the founder and long-time President of HPC, died in December. Jerry was devoted to locksmiths all over the world and a staple of the industry for more than 50 years. He prided himself on never missing an ALOA show and being a member of SHDA from its beginning as NLSA.
“In my years in the trade,” Allen Murphy wrote, “Jerry was a pioneer in the locksmithing industry, yet always had time for talk and a kind word, inspiring all who knew him to strive to excel, to be more to more people. Through his actions and words, he reminded us all in the trade that we were ambassadors of our occupation, and myself and many others strove to maintain that level of professionalism in our dealings.” Jerry meant so much to the locksmith industry, always striving to give locksmiths better tools for their businesses and working closely with distributors to service those locksmiths.
Jerry and his brother, Al, were as close as brothers could possibly be. I guess it wasn’t surprising as Jerry’s wife, Maida, told me they did everything together, that older brother, Al Hoffman, died only six few weeks after Jerry. Another legend in the locksmith industry, Al had always been devoted to the family business, the H. Hoffman Company, as he was to his friends and family.
Frank Belflower, COO of Kaba Key Systems Americas; Access + Data Systems Americas, wrote, “Al was the most revered person I have ever had the pleasure to have known. A true gentleman, intuitive businessman, and a presence beyond compare.” Longtime friend and business partner, Virl Mullins, who founded IDN with Al, told those present at Al’s funeral that he never had a fight with Al and Al was much like another legend from long ago (Joe Falk, founder of Hardware Sales.) Al, like Joe, was truly a “gentleman and a gentle man.”
Al was a giant in many ways, a “great man,” according to his son-in-law, David Kahl. So many people wrote in his legacy.com guest book how Al urged them and their families to “consider a career in security and locks.” Al was respected and loved by many in the industry, including competitors. Marshall Merrifield of Clark Security wrote, “Al was one of those wonderful people who lived his life reflecting noble values every day. At work, at home, and in the community, he stood for all the right things. He led our industry on a national level with competence, wit, and charm, and with a word of encouragement never far away.” Tom Glavin, locksmith, businessman, and customer, wrote that “Al helped others become better by raising their confidence and expectations. He was a teacher and mentor to me and I will always be grateful that he was part of my life. Goodbye friend.”
When SHDA past presidents, Al Hoffman and Virl Mullins, spoke at the 40th anniversary annual conference of SHDA in April of 2010, few of us would have imagined that less than ten months later, Al...