People and Places May 2012

May 2, 2012

Blind Locksmith A Remarkable Asset to Stanley Security Solutions in Stockholm

Nils-Gunnar Nilsson, 62, is a locksmith for Stanley Security Solutions – a premier, international provider of high quality mechanical access solutions – at the Best Las & Sakerhetssystem AB location in Stockholm, Sweden. He spent the past 40 years mastering the art of manufacturing keys and complex locking systems, deftly configuring cylinders, pins and combinations. What makes this significant is Nisse has accomplished this feat all without the use of his eyesight.

Blind since birth, Nisse developed his locksmithing skills through his intuitive fingertips and keen sense of touch. He began in 1969 at just 20 years old, and has cultivated his expertise over the decades to excel at the demanding precision needed for his craft.

 “I have too few visual cells in the eye,” Nisse explained. “It’s like shooting without film in the camera. There is nothing.”

Initially, Nisse studied at the Tomteboda Blind Institute in Stockholm, then enrolled in a local mechanical engineering trade school. During his eight years at the institute, he became acquainted and developed a lasting friendship with renowned Swedish scuba diver and former head of the Swedish Rescue Corps, Sven Nahlin.

A skilled frogman for years, Nahlin developed the theory that since the visually impaired and blind are accustomed to darkness, they may possess a special ability to orient themselves as well as divers in troubled waters, where reduced visibility is common and a challenge. When Nahlin began a diving team with the students at Tomteboda, Nisse was one of the first to join, and he experienced dives all over the world. Much of their expedition centered around searching for discarded weapons and ammunition to assist in police cases.

Though Nisse eventually left the diving team, it was his friendship with Nahlin that led to Nisse’s discovery of his locksmithing talents. Having witnessed Nisse’s highly developed sense of touch on countless dives, Nahlin approached Hasse Jarkell, his friend and owner of a local Stockholm locksmith business, to take Nisse on as his apprentice. Jarkell agreed, and Nisse entered the locksmith trade. “I have not regretted a single day that I took that chance,” Nisse commented.

In  the 1960s and early 1970s, Nisse worked and trained in Jarkell’s shop, Östermalms Låsservice, copying keys and servicing the customers. The shop’s machines and apparatuses were tagged with Braille, so Nisse was able to learn the nuances of the complex work quickly.

In 1974, Jarkell sold his business to invest in Stanley Security Solutions BEST Access Systems’ Swedish enterprise. Nisse followed his boss to the new operation, and, in 1989, the company was sold to Hasse Edling and Hasse Enhörning.

Today, Edling still acts as principal owner of the firm, and controls the company’s management and product development from Furudal in Dalarna county. The Best Las & Sakerhetssystem AB location where Nisse works is still based in Stockholm, with sales and service departments in Bergdalen in Sundbyberg.

With the assistance of sophisticated computer software that translates directly to and from Braille, including a synthetic speech device that vocalizes the numbers and characters necessary for individual lock configurations, Nisse is able to assemble at least 60-70 locks a day for Best Las & Sakerhetssystem AB customers.

Nisse manually combinates the cores of the locks by “seeing” which of the miniscule pins inside the small-format interchangeable core he is holding through his intuitive fingertips.  Then, based on the combination of the core, he can decide where the pins should be placed, either in his mind, or by consulting the Braille display on his work computer. The smallest of these pins with which a locking cylinder can be equipped accommodates for the possibility of up to 78,000 different combinations, making Nisse’s skillful handiwork all the more impressive.

Nisse is also responsible for making keys; he is able to hand punch as many as 450 keys in a single day.

For nearly half a century, Nisse has and continues to exemplify a devotion to the locksmith profession unlike any in the industry. Regardless of his seeming physical incapacity, he has proven his talents as a remarkable asset to Best Las & Sakerhetssystem AB, and serves as an inspiration for the international locksmith community.

Audax Group Acquires Tri-Ed/Northern Distribution

BOSTON, MA – April 4, 2012 – Audax Group announced it has completed the acquisition of Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution. Headquartered in Woodbury, NY, Tri-Ed / Northern Video is a leading independent distributor of low-voltage electronic security products including video, intrusion, access/fire, and other ancillary products. With 47 locations across the United States and Canada, Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution serves both commercial and residential markets through its branch and technical sales business units.

Geoffrey S. Rehnert, Co-CEO of Audax Group, said “Tri-Northern is a leading distributor of electronic security products with a best-in-class distribution model and an industry-leading management team. We look forward to working with Steve Roth, Pat Comunale and their team to build the company through add-on acquisitions, greenfield expansion, and building out the organization.”

Steve Roth, Chairman of Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution, said “We are excited to have Audax Group as our new partner. Their success sourcing and integrating add-on acquisitions along with their distribution experience will be key resources for us as we continue to build Tri-Ed / Northern Video into a national player in the electronic security industry.”

Pat Comunale, President and CEO of Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution, said “This transaction positions Tri-Ed / Northern Video to build on our past success. Audax Group’s proven track record building middle market distributors into national leaders will be a great asset as we embark on our next stage of growth within this fragmented industry.”

TLA Elects Officers

The Texas Locksmiths Association would like to announce the election of John C. Helweg  as president. Helweg. is a second generation locksmith. He has been active in his regional association the Greater Houston Locksmiths Association serving as Editor, Parliamentarian and Treasurer and served as Editor for the Texas Locksmiths Association for the past couple of years. He has been actively involved legislatively for the past two terms (2009 & 2011) at the State Capital in Austin, TX.

Additional officers are: Don Hiser, First Vice President; Steven Sharp, Second Vice President; Jason Stewart, Secretary; Billy Garrett, Treasurer; Mark Dawson, Membership Director; John Laughlin, Sergeant-At-Arms;’ Troy Maynard, Chair, Board of Trustees; and Glenn Koons, Webmaster.

For more information, visit

LaserKey Names Sales Manager

Jim Hetchler has been named national sales manager. LaserKey. Hetchler has extensive experience in the automotive locksmithing industry. He owns a company called Key Pro LLC and website and is half-owner of the Just Cars LLC tradeshow.

Hetchler can be reached at phone  281-339-3501 or e-mail [email protected].

OnSSI Names Sales Manager for North Central U.S.

Pearl River, NY  – OnSSI, a market leader in open-architecture, intelligent IP video surveillance and security software, has named Russ Caldwell as regional sales manager, North Central United States.  Caldwell will manage key relationships in the region, including the certified dealer channel, distribution and key technology partners. He will also focus on architect and engineering (A&E) firms and end-user relationships, and coordinate product demonstrations and territory events in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and northern Illinois.

 “Russ Caldwell's proven success in building account relationships and developing customer solutions is a strong basis for his new position leading our sales efforts in the North Central United States,” said Mulli Diamant, VP of Sales, OnSSI. “Russ has already demonstrated his strong advocacy for OnSSI technology products and has an outstanding record of achievement in the industry. We are pleased to welcome him to OnSSI.” 

Ocularis solutions by OnSSI include video management software and physical security information management (VMS/PSIM) platforms which enable users to increase security while lowering l operational costs. OnSSI’s innovations include event fusion, push video, command and control center, event monitoring and video delivery.

GPLA Announces 2012 Officers

The Greater Philadelphia Locksmith Association announces the election of  new row officers and board of directors.

ALOA President Tom Demont  recently  administed the Oath of office to the 2012 GPLA Row of Officers: President Cliff Shafer;. Vice President Nelson Dayton; Treasurer Jim Sundstrond; Corresponding Secretary John Williams; Sergeant At Arms Paul Kline and Recording Secretary Mike Nimmo.

New GPLA Board of Directors are Dana Barnum,Ed Pfeil Jr., Sven Hellwig, Orvis Kline, Barry Wilensky and Ed Fitzgerald.

For more information, visit

Linear Re-Structures Sales Force

Carlsbad, CA  – Linear LLC, a leading supplier of electronic products for residential and commercial applications, announces the re-organization of its outside sales representatives into the new System Sales Group.

Customers now have a single point of contact for all of Linear’s products and brands, inclusive of:

Garage Door Operators Personal Emergency Reporting Systems

Commercial Door Operators Security Solutions

Gate Operators Audio/Video/Data Solutions

Access Controls Communication Systems

Radio Frequency Controls Central Vacuums

 “The single-representative model will allow us to work even more closely with customers, understanding and supporting their market’s needs,” says Larry Foisie, Vice President of the System Sales Group. Foisie, a 20-year veteran at Linear, was formerly the Vice President of Linear Entry Systems.

Todd Hokunson, formerly Linear’s Vice President of Electronic Systems, was concurrently named Vice President of the Business Development Group, which includes Linear’s international sales, and custom OEM/ODM manufacturing services.

With responsibilities for the expanded product line, Linear’s sales staff has been undergoing intensive training during the last several months, and is fully equipped to guide customers in all areas. The company has already seen the change welcomed by its professional distribution and installer base.

Duane Paulson has been named Senior Vice President, Product & Market Development, responsible for technical services, marketing, and product and business development, and will report directly to Linear President Mike O’Neal.

In his 20-year security manufacturing career, Paulson has served in executive product management, business development and marketing roles. He was Vice President of Marketing for ITI and its successor organization, Interlogix, and Vice President of Global Residential Marketing for GE Security after GE’s acquisition of Interlogix. In 2005 Duane co-founded Sequel Technologies, a provider of hybrid security systems primarily aimed at the residential integration market. Immediately prior to founding Sequel, Paulson served as President of Gibson Audio, the consumer electronics division of Gibson Guitar Corporation.

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SSI Adds Branch, Staff

Roseville, CA – Surveillance Systems Integration (SSI) is opening new Tulsa, Okla., branch, expanding the Las Vegas office, and adding two key management positions. Al Croteau is business development manager, Las Vegas, and Travis Isom is branch manager, Tulsa. The expansion and hiring comes as SSI continues to be awarded more contracts, especially in the casino market, as well as other industries looking to retrofit their aging surveillance systems and control rooms, many with specific or unique requirements, a strength of SSI.

 “We have an exciting year ahead of us in 2012 and see many growth opportunities, as the industry shifts from traditional analog camera surveillance to install new control centers and IP-based, high definition cameras for state-of-the-art security surveillance, many by upgrading their existing systems,” said Todd Flowers, President of SSI. “With over 15 years in the Security Industry, Al will drive new business with his expertise in market development and management. In addition, Travis and the new Tulsa branch will look after our customers’ needs as SSI will be in a prime location and position to offer our unsurpassed customer service and support in the region.”

Croteau will develop business opportunities with current and new customers, and provide knowledge and guidance to SSI for continued growth. One of Mr. Croteau’s previous projects included designing a unique camera system built into the security bars surrounding the cash cage at a major Las Vegas strip resort casino, which received accolades from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Previously, Mr. Croteau served as Vice President of North American Video. 

For more information, contact Surveillance Systems Integration at (800) 508-6981 or visit the company website at

ASSA ABLOY acquires Traka

ASSA ABLOY has acquired Traka PLC, a leader in the fast growing segment of intelligent key cabinets and asset management solutions in the United Kingdom. The sales are evenly split between the UK and export markets.

"I am very pleased to welcome Traka into the ASSA ABLOY Group," says Johan Molin, President and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. "With the addition of Traka we will add advanced locking technologies and solutions to our strategic global product portfolio."

"Traka's leading technologies and solutions will provide us with access to new markets in the UK where we are not active today and will enhance our offering in other regions. Traka brings to ASSA ABLOY an attractive product range and an excellent team" says Tzachi Wiesenfeld, Executive VP ASSA ABLOY and head of the EMEA Division.

Traka was established in 1995 and is based in Olney near Milton Keynes, UK. The company employs 92 people. The deal was closed April 6, 2012.