Lynn Mattice, chairman, Board of Advisors, Security Executive Council, tells Security Magazine of the death of Lenel co-founder Ruvin “Rudy” Prokupets, who immigrated with his wife Dr. Elena Prokupets and their young son Daniel to Rochester, NY, from the Soviet Union in 1977. He passed away suddenly June 16.

After overcoming the challenge of learning a new language in their adopted country, Rudy took a job in the Research Lab of Baush & Lomb. Outside of their full-time jobs, the Prokupets worked nights and weekends on an idea that involved the management of photographs on personal computers. They presented their idea to photo giant Eastman Kodak Company. Their proposal was accepted and, in 1985, their first company Edicon, was born. The innovative company paved the way for a digital revolution in photography, security and government identification programs, and ultimately became a $50 million division of Kodak. Rudy became Edicon's Chief Technology Officer and Elena was one of Kodak’s first female executives as the division’s President and General Manager.

They left Kodak in 1990 to found Lenel Systems International, Inc. Lenel began as a software multimedia company providing innovative solution to customers such as Oracle, Borland, IBM and Microsoft.

In 1995, Lenel expanded into physical and information security markets. The company's challenges in this industry were significant. It was a small start-up in a well-established market that was characterized by very large conservative companies selling proprietary hardware and software. Through the Prokupets’ vision and leadership, Lenel was able to quickly establish itself as an innovative solution provider responding to customers needs. Its unique message of “Total Security Knowledge Management,” open architecture and seamless integration resonated with the customers worldwide. Lenel created a new platform standard for security systems that allowed for virtually total compatibility with any security hardware and allowed for integration with basically any other system that operated via computer or networks.

Rudy Prokupets leveraged his masters degree in electro-physics and masters degree in mathematics in his role as chief technology officer at Lenel where he was responsible for product development and integration; As Lenel’s Chairman, CEO and President, Dr. Prokupets ran the day-to-day operations, served as chief spokesperson, and directed the development of all strategic business plans and partnerships for the company. The Prokupets’ vision and commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship have been central to Lenel’s success. Under their leadership, Lenel achieved phenomenal growth and received more than two dozen distinguished awards for entrepreneurship, technological innovation, market leadership and customer satisfaction. The company ranked for three consecutive years on both the prestigious Inc. 500 list and the Forbes Magazine/Deloitte and Touche Technology Fast 500 list. Lenel also held a position on the Rochester Top 100 list for six consecutive years (1999-2004).

In May 2005 Lenel signed an agreement to merge with United Technologies Corporation. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a $50 billion Fortune 100 diversified company that provides high technology products and services to the aerospace and commercial building industries worldwide.

He is survived by his loving wife Dr. Elena Prokupets, his son Daniel (Bethany); grandchildren, Ella, Samuel, Haley; sister, Ida (Joseph) Vanston; nieces, Inga Smith and Laura Makai; father-in-law, Isaac Vilnits; brother-in-law, Alex (Anna) Vilnits