Ed was on the tail end of a shift that was longer than normal. He had worked overtime and was nearing the end of the day. He was working with the installations team at the time, back when Protect America would go into homes and install equipment, before we became “do-it-yourself” with our self-install products. Moments before his shift ended, Ed was asked to drive two hours away at 11 o’clock at night to do an install.
“My mindset wasn’t fully there after such a long day,” Ed recalls. But Protect America had a saying back then, ”there’s no such thing as can’t, won’t, and you’re not gonna. Instead it’s can, will, and you’re gonna.” So Ed headed for the install, almost a state away.
He arrived at the home and knocked on the door. When it opened, he wasn’t greeted with a smile, but a woman with a weapon. Ed did everything he could to back pedal and get out of the way. When the woman realized who he was, she put the weapon down and warmly welcomed him into the home. Upon entering, he found the woman’s two young daughters, trembling. At this point Ed had no idea what the scope of the scenario was, but he went ahead and installed the system, and the woman was extremely thankful.
The woman explained that things had gone south with a recent husband, so she kicked him out. The man had come back and things escalated into a dangerous situation. The woman was so happy to be protected, and that the family could finally sleep that night, because they hadn’t slept since the situation happened.
Ed has hundreds of these stories. Later this year Protect America will celebrate it’s 25th anniversary, and Ed has been here for 21 of those years.
Early Beginnings at Protect America
Ed started at Protect America as a national trainer on the technical side of equipment. This was when Protect America did hardwired systems. His first assignment was to jump on a plane and head to Louisville, Kentucky, to start training some of the technicians out of the site there. He then traveled to other parts of the country helping technicians.
Ed continued to travel and work for Protect America before relocating to Austin to work out of Protect America’s headquarters. His first role here was helping arrange outside contractors to help fill some of the installation roles, before taking over dispatch and helping technicians.
Once Protect America moved over to a self-install service, Ed transitioned to helping customers install their equipment. He headed the installation department for about five years before being moved over to his current role, the Senior Manager of Inventory and Logistics.
Now, Ed has many roles at Protect America. “It’s a wherever I’m needed kind of thing,” he says. “Because I have some history behind me, and one of the things that I pride myself on is, if I don’t have an answer, I’ll help you find the answer,” and he’s been an integral part in the continued growth and helping Protect America move forward.
Thoughts on the Future of Protect America
The security industry has changed a lot since Ed began working in it. He’s been in home security for almost 30 years, even before he began with Protect America. He says with Protect America he’s been on the cutting edge of the security industry. We were working with systems that featured two-way talk capability long before may other companies were offering the option.
“We were basically able to go ahead and move forward with a lot of different things,” Ed says. Including the change from hardwired systems to wireless, followed by the current self-install model, but there’s been a lot of changes collectively over the years. “I think Protect America has kind of been on the the leading edge of all of that, and that’s the change I’ve seen is that we keep on moving forward.”
He says the involvement from the Rockbridge group, who own Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers, has allowed Protect America to focus a lot more on our customer base, always taking care of our customers and making them happy.
Ed believes the next big move is going forward with technology. The next phase is diving deeper into home automation — which we’ve already had success with — and furthering the control customers have through apps. “This was unheard of when the company got started,” Ed marvels. “Nobody had that, and once again, we’re on the cutting edge. We have our own app. We’re controlling that. We’re very involved in its development, as well as working and looking at new product that will interact with not only our system, but with the customer in general.”
The alarm industry will continue to change, and Protect America with it. Since Ed’s been with the company, he says we’ve always had a little bit of a niche in the market, because we do things that other companies just don’t do or won’t do. “That’s one of our strong points. I think the sky’s the limit.”
The Team Approach
As we chat, Ed sits back and reflects on the stories of protecting homes and families that he’s mentioned. Moments where he’s looked back and gone, “wow, I changed someone’s life.” And a lot of those moments haven’t been seen. Many aren’t heard of, because there are so many stories out there.
“You get a warm fuzzy feeling, because this is something like a firefighter, a police officer. You don’t necessarily always get the recognition, but you can go home and lay your head down and go, ‘you know, I did something good today.’ If I can do that and get paid for it, why not?”
But for Ed, it’s all about the team. He makes sure to mention multiple times throughout our chat that it isn’t “I, I, I,” but a “we, we, we” approach. He has a saying he uses as a joke, “the only reason they keep me around is because I’ve been around.” But, the fact is, Ed brings a lot to the table. And he’s proud to be a part of the company. “We have some of the best growth and positive vibes for not only the internal community, which is the team members, but also externally. We help families outside with the things we do. We provide cameras for police officers, help families during the holidays, lots of things.”
Ed believes that everyone in the building plays a big part of the company as a whole, and that’s what makes Protect America a good company to work for. The individual attitudes that all come together as one of a kind to make it a strong entity.
And Ed’s a major player in that entity. If an answer can’t be found, Ed is the one to help you find it. He’s proud that Protect America promotes and grows individuals, and he views his role in leadership as an opportunity to make sure to train his successors. That way people internally and externally are impacted everyday by what Ed and the team at Protect America does. “We made this company, and we will continue to move it forward.”