Brad Norris and his brother Harty co-founded Norris Inc. nearly 40 years ago with the following mission: “Norris Inc. strives to help businesses and organizations create a safe environment by providing quality engineered systems for security, life safety, and communications along with unparalleled service and support.”
They built their company, hiring the best people around and always striving to exceed customer expectations.
Norris’ devotion to his professional development included his active participation in the security industry’s leading professional development society the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), particularly focusing close to home in the Society’s Maine Chapter. Norris began working with ASIS officially as member in March of 2006, though he “worked with them often before [he] was a member.”
On Thursday, April 11, 2019, Norris was honored by the Maine Chapter at their monthly meeting for all of his selfless and tireless energy and time working on behalf of the society making the security profession more professional.
Of the honor, ASIS Maine Chapter Assistant Regional VP Bruce Lewis said Norris was well-deserving.
“I know he served I think 2 terms as vice chairman and 2 years as chairman and I think 2 years as secretary of the Maine chapter. He was also Instrumental in numerous chapter events, lunch and learn technology sessions, was the chef at at least 3 chapter Lobster bakes,” Lewis said. “He is well-respected among his peers and the numerous dual meetings with homeland security and law enforcement on active shooter, shot detection and the latest security technology. Given that Brad was leading Norris and still found the time to participate, volunteer and lead the Maine ASIS chapter it is no wonder why the members of the Maine chapter felt we needed to recognize his contributions to ASIS.”
ASIS Maine chapter chairman Jim LaPrade presented to Norris on behalf of the chapter.
Norris confirmed he had held many roles during his membership in the ASIS Maine Chapter.
“Since joining the Maine Chapter of ASIS, International I have been honored to hold the positions of Chapter Chairperson, Vice-Chapter Chair and Secretary,” Norris said. “The most damaging position was when they found out I owned a restaurant many years ago and I became the head chef for our regular lobster bakes that drew current and retired ASIS members from all over the Northeast.”
Norris said those ASIS positions have kept him very busy with lots of different duties.
“I was most proud to be a part of our programs to advance continuing education for our members on the ever-changing world of local and global security. The organization already had a strong presence with first responders and as sad as it is that we have to deal with these things, presentations like our Active Shooter Seminar may help save a life someday,” Norris said. “Personally, I was very happy to offer my industry expertise to the association, that being the latest in technology tools for life safety and security.”
Norris said his service to ASIS and the Maine Chapter made sense given the Society’s importance to the security industry and by extension to the safety and security of the public at large.
“I have always believed that those who have achieved success in life should work to give back to the trades and to the community that brought them their good fortunes. Norris, Inc. has been devoted to supporting as many trade and social organizations as possible and ASIS has always stood out as one of the best. ASIS International provides a wealth of information to its members and it is the best networking platform with the highest levels of security professionals found anywhere,” Norris said. “In the Maine Chapter alone, I’ve had the opportunity to work beside Security Directors from Jackson Labs, L.L. Bean, Fairchild & National Semiconductor, CMP, UNUM, Pratt & Whitney, Verizon, and the state’s largest healthcare and educational institutions, just to name a few. ASIS Maine Chapter has also been instrumental in developing and maintaining the strongest of relationships with law enforcement communities at every level and constantly works to improve that partnership.”
Norris said the recognition was gratifying since he’d devoted so many years to organically growing his business which serves businesses in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
“Recognition is one of the most powerful tools for anybody to use to encourage success. Whether it comes in the form of well-worded praise, a raise in pay, a promotion or a plaque from your esteemed colleagues,” Norris said. “When it comes from people that you truly admire and people who have been there and can recognize what it takes, then there is nothing more powerful than receiving that recognition and I thank ASIS for the opportunity to serve our industry and our community.”
Norris said that Norris Inc customers could rest assured they were working with the best, most dedicated group of security professionals there were, and Norris’ long-standing affiliation with ASIS was proof.
“Norris, Inc.’s involvement with ASIS says most about the individuals that choose to participate than anything,” Norris said. “While the people at Norris Inc have created a culture where employees truly care about what they are doing and care about the people they work with and the clients they are helping to protect, it is the drive of each and every individual to make the world a safer place that draws so many to support an organization like ASIS.”
Norris, who retired from the full-time running of Norris Inc. in 2017, said being someone devoted to the safety and security others was an odd calling—one where if you’ve done your job well, people hopefully never know there could have been a problem in the first place. It was a job where you actually hoped no one ever had to use the systems you designed and integrated, serviced and maintained.
“Being in the security industry can be a humbling experience. All too often our services are called into play after a disaster after a significant loss or a violent act and we are being asked, ‘What can we do to prevent this from happening again?’ when somebody should have been asking that question months or years before,” Norris said. “There are times, however, that we do plan for the worst and we do succeed and all too often, few will know of it because we did our jobs so well. Security people that work behind the lines are heroes too. While our engineers and technicians may not be the same type of hero as a first responder, the roles are just as important and often the planning and work saves a life or limits a loss and it never makes the headlines. But in our hearts in and in our minds, all of us who are dedicated to safety and security know that we’ve done our part to help.”
What is Norris all about?
Norris, Inc.—a South Portland, Maine-based life-safety and security systems integrator with satellite offices in Bangor, Maine; Lee, New Hampshire; and Burlington, Vermont—was founded nearly 40 years ago by two brothers, Brad and Harty Norris. The brothers remain on the board of directors today and continue to help steer the enterprise toward its goal of advancing life-safety, security, and communications while striving to grow in its status as Northern New England’s leading systems integrator. Norris provides fully integrated life-safety and security solutions, comprising disparate systems including fire alarm, intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance, communications, and emergency notification and total systems integration via the Vigilance Systems Integration Engine and ENS.