SIA hire signals new focus for group

SIA will concentrate on regulatory affairs with new legislative director Jake Parker
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WASHINGTON— In an appointment designed to bring about some shifts in the organization’s direction, the Security Industry Association has hired Jake Parker, a 12-year veteran of Capitol Hill, as its new government relations director, Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, told Security Systems News.

“You’re going to see SIA develop more of a regulatory agenda,” he said. “Given how dysfunctional Congress has been, a lot of activity that’s going to drive market opportunities is going to come from federal agencies because they still operate with the authority to issue regulations.”

He added that Parker, with years of policy experience in his background, will be critical to the organization’s more concerted focus on regulatory affairs.

Having worked most recently as legislative director for Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, Parker handled issues pertaining to homeland security, foreign affairs and small business issues domestically. “I bring a constituent services mentality to my position, and my priority is to maximize what we can do for industry members,” Parker said. “I think as an industry we have a good story to tell, and from what I understand the industry’s poised to have pretty significant growth over the next few years. My hope is to shape public policy and public opinion to sustain a favorable regulatory and legal environment for the industry to do business.”

Erickson noted that Parker has a firm understanding of the myriad factors that go into the congressional decision-making process.

“What we were looking for in hiring [Parker] was somebody who could bring public policy substance to the association, someone who had experience and who was comfortable digging into the weeds of legislation and communicating about it in a concise, clear way,” Erickson said. He added: “This will help show our members the potential opportunities and the potential challenges of a particular regulation or piece of legislation.”