Defender arm-in-arm with governor
INDIANAPOLIS--Dave Lindsey, president of Defender Direct, the "first or second" largest ADT dealer in the country, joined with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on Jan. 30 to announce a plan to invest $15 million in his Indiana operations and create 1,100 new jobs in this state over the next five years.
Lindsey will be helped along by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, which will give Defender Direct up to $6 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $345,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. In addition, the city of Indianapolis will consider property-tax abatement for expansion plans locally.
The grants will help Lindsey put his expansion plans on a fast track. They "will allow us to be more aggressive in hiring because the incentives are tied to our adding employees," Lindsey said. The grants will also allow Lindsey to make investments in training and technology.
Lindsey founded Defender Direct in 1998. Based here, he is an ADT dealer and a GE Security dealer, and also does work for satellite television company Dish Network. The company has a nationwide presence and 750 employees, 400 of whom are based in Indiana. The bulk of the Indiana employees (300) work in the headquarters here. There are branch offices in the cities of Sunman and Greensburg. "And we may open a fourth in southeastern Indiana," Lindsey said.
Lindsey said Sunman and Greensburg are rural towns, which were heavily agricultural and also had manufacturing jobs in the past. "We are finding great employees in those areas and are excited to bring jobs there," Lindsey said.
The company is privately owned by Lindsey and his wife and the $15 million represents a reinvestment by the owners.
The impetus for this project was the need to move to a bigger headquarters. "We are incredibly cramped right now," he said.
The process began about six months ago and Defender will move to a new building in Indianapolis with a capacity of 1,000 workers in the second quarter of this year.
"The idea of making that quantum leap--it was the real driver to this process, to go out and get an office with excess capacity and fill it up over time," said Lindsey.
Lindsey hired Tim Cook, a partner at Katz, Sapper, & Miller, an Indianapolis tax and accounting firm that also helps businesses with site selection and economic development issues, and works with clients across the country.
Getting grants like the one Lindsey got is just one portion of the work that Katz does for businesses.
"We do a comparative analysis of different site considerations and advise [the client] as they make decisions," he said.
Depending on the geographic location, there are many grants and incentives available to businesses making much more modest expansions, he said.
Lindsey and his company have recieved a number of accorlades in recent years. In 2007, Inc. Magazine ranked the company 845 on its list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies.
The Johnson Center for Entreprenuership & Innovation, part of Indiana University's Kelley School of Business named the company one of the fastest growing in 2007. The Indianapolis Business Journal said Defender Direct was the second-fastest growing company in the city. In addition, Lindsey was chosen by Security Systems News in 2007 as one the 20 people in the industry under the age of 40 who are making a notable contribution to the security industry. (Search David Lindsey in www.securitysystemsnews.com for more information.)