Women in Security: iluminar's Eddie Reynolds

CEO and co-founder blazing her own path
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

IRVINE, Calif.—Edwina “Eddie” Reynolds is president, CEO and co-founder of iluminar, a manufacturer and global supplier of infrared and white light illuminators, as well as license plate recognition products. Reynolds, who has been in the security industry for more than 20 years, hasn’t looked back since starting the company in 2009.

“Owning my own business was something that I always wanted to do, especially with my extensive security and lighting background,” she told Security Systems News. “Starting the company was a bold move, but one that was worth making.”

In addition to running the day-to-day operations, Reynolds also gets involved with new technology, “looking at products and what we want to bring to the table, including working with our engineers in designing products,” she explained. “Rather than just private labeling someone else’s product, we would rather have our own products in design out in the market.”

Reynolds noted that iluminar’s lighting solutions are known for their high-efficiency LEDs, low-power consumption, Power over Ethernet input capability, and angle flexibility. “By deploying iluminar’s products, security professionals experience unblemished video feeds (free from insects and hotspots), enhanced images, and longer distances—up to 919 feet or 280 meters,” she explained.

Prior to cofounding iluminar, Reynolds began her security career as an account executive for U.K. integrator Chubb Fire & Security in the mid-1990s before going on to work for Pinkerton Security, Rainbow CCTV—a prominent lens manufacturer where Reynolds first attained education in lighting—and then Sony. From 2005 to 2008, she was the U.S. partner for a U.K. based CCTV lighting company.

As a woman in security back in the 1990s, Reynolds said she did not see many women in the industry beyond a clerical role.

“Over the past 20 or so years I have been happy to see more and more women having executive roles in security, including account and branch managers, general managers—things of that nature,” she said. “We still have a long way to go—I don’t know the exact percentage of women in the industry compared with men—but I am seeing an influx of younger women getting in the industry with the market going more toward IT versus analog.”

With millennials coming up and the technology evolving, Reynolds said, “We are seeing some of the roadblocks slowly fading away, so I am seeing more women and people from different ethnicities at the different shows and events, which is good to see.”

She continued, “It is also just giving women a chance. Just look at me, I was selling cosmetics before I was offered an opportunity to work for a systems integrator, and look where I am today as an owner of my own business.”