'20 under 40' 2014—Edwin Arroyave
Edwin Arroyave, 37
CEO, Skyline Security Management, Downey, Calif.
What inspired you to get into the security industry?
I love the money part of it. But I also saw the demand for it. Growing up in Huntington Park, [Calif.], I saw many burglaries and I just felt good about being able to do something. I honestly felt like I was protecting clients and helping them avoid a burglary from happening. … I started off in telemarketing, selling long distance [telephone service] and [in 1999] the VP of sales at that company asked me if I wanted to help him launch an alarm company. I left a job that was paying $60,000 a year, but I fell in love with product.
What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?
I think the mentoring part on our end is huge—we need to do a better job of not being so afraid to teach guys the business. I’ve never had a problem teaching people, because I’ve always felt the more you give, you get three times in return. I helped a couple of my guys start their own direct dealership. … I’ve always felt like eventually, if guys are really good, why not give them the opportunity? Somebody gave me the opportunity, I should be able to do that for somebody else.
Where, in terms of technology and trends, do you see the security industry going next?
It’s no secret that home automation is the new trend … I see automation becoming a necessity product for any type of income, much like a cellphone. It doesn’t matter if you're jobless for two years, you still have a cellphone and you pay $50 a month. … And what I’m seeing out there, there’s a lot of focus on solar and that trend I believe is distracting security companies. … I’m seeing guys getting burnt out on alarms and there’s this new sexy product, solar, that they’re trying to get into, but there’s still a lot of market available in the alarm industry [with home automation].