Integrators '20 under 40' 2016—Eric Garner
Eric Garner, 30
Chief operating officer, Mountain Alarm
Eric Garner described his start in the security industry by saying he was born into it.
“My grandpa started Mountain Alarm in 1952, and my dad took it over as the CEO [in 1970]. My first job … was when I was 16; I replaced dated yard signs and stickers on houses and businesses,” Garner said.
Garner rose through roles at the company, including installation tech, payroll clerk, sales, and branch GM. He became the company’s COO following two large acquisitions for the company in 2014, one in Montana and one in northern Utah.
“We have 14 individual branches, or business units, in 11 geographic locations. My job is basically to make sure that all of those individual branch locations are meeting their goals for RMR growth, and also for attrition and … EBITDA for profitability,” he said.
Link Interactive, Mountain Alarm’s DIY brand, is one of Garner’s “real passions,” he said. “I love that the younger generation of employees created the Link Interactive brand and have grown it from nothing in 2010 to what it is today.”
Garner said that home automation is a promising technology for the industry. “I think it’s opening an entire new market of people that maybe wouldn’t have bought home security [systems] in the past,” he noted.
“I think the thing that I like best [about the security industry] is the fact that we get to do something that provides customers with life safety, with peace of mind,” Garner said. “You can really feel good about what you’re selling individuals for their homes and also for their businesses.”
When it comes to training younger professionals in the security space, Garner said it’s important to create a forum where industry veterans can pass along their perspective to younger generations.