Johns seeks to transform ISI Security

New president will focus on large construction market, nationwide build up
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SAN ANTONIO—As the newly named president of ISI Security, Buddy Johns plans to lead this $70 million firm that’s known for its specialization in the corrections vertical through “a major transformation.”

In addition to changing the focus of the company, Johns is adding employees and he says revenues will increase 50 percent, from $70 million in 2014 to $110 million in 2015.

“Historically we’ve been known as a detention company that did security electronic services. Now we want to be known as a security electronics company that happens to dominate in the detention vertical,” Johns told Security Systems News.

Johns, who is also joining the ISI Board of Directors, replaced Ray Gilley. Previously, Johns served as CEO of CGL Capital Management Group and also as managing director of Real Estate for Corrections Corporation of America.

The company, which is headquartered here, has done work for more than 2,000 correctional facilities over the past 20 years, but it has many commercial customers as well, including hospitals, transportation, defense contractors and it has a growing presence in higher education campus security projects.

Johns said ISI’s strength in design, engineering, software development and R&D gives it a “platform that is stronger than most companies,” and added that he plans to “really market that strength to the overall commercial market.”

Since taking over as CEO in July, Johns has hired 18 people. By the end of September, he says he’ll hire 20 more, bringing the total headcount to 340.

The idea is to make ISI a real national player. To make that happen, Johns is adding commercial sales people and technicians to existing offices in Union City, Calif., Appleton, Wisc., and Tallahassee, Fla.

This, Johns said, will put ISI in a position to complete “several pending commercial projects.” On the detention front, Johns said that several correctional facilities will be built around the country in the next year “and we’re confident we’ll get some of them because of our relationships with owners and general contractors.”

“We’re going to be very aggressive on both the detention and larger commercial side,” he said.  

ISI Security also announced that Jason Morgan, a director with MML Capital, has joined the ISI Board of Directors. ISI is publicly owned, and New York-based MML Capital is the majority owner.