Integrators '20 under 40' 2016—Shaun Castillo
Shaun Castillo, 38
President, Preferred Technologies
Initially, Shaun Castillo wasn’t interested in joining his father in starting a security business.
“Luckily, I had some good mentors at the time that showed me that it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” said Castillo.
Preferred Technologies, based in Houston, focuses on designing, building and installing security systems for enterprise customers. Since founding the company with his father in 2005, it has grown from a $200,000 company to a nearly $17 million company this year, according to Castillo.
The company has 53 employees, but is growing and could have a total of 60 by the end of the year. “We’re very focused on our culture and we can only grow as fast as we can find people that fit our culture,” he said.
Preferred Technologies has grown primarily through its reputation. “We like to say that good work breeds more work,” he said. “Because of our reputation people know what kind of product they’re going to get at the end of the day.”
Castillo defined Preferred Technologies—or Pref-Tech—as a “business to business company;” it doesn’t do any consumer or residential work. “We believe what we do truly helps organizations be not only safer and more secure, but also [helps them] operate better. Technologies today have a wealth of data, and we think we can use a lot of data to turn these security systems into business systems,” he said.
Castillo says it is important to reach out to schools, both higher education and k-12, and “Just tell the story … [that] you don’t have to have a four-year degree to be a great security technician and do very well for yourself and your family financially.”
Castillo said that the company has had success with offering paid internships to high school students over the summer.