Nuvico — When a Manufacturer Goes Defunct

When the manufacturer of a product you deliver goes defunct, how do you continue serving your customers to the best of your team’s abilities? H&S Protection was faced with that issue this year. Nuvico, a manufacturer of DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) and cameras we use for our installations, went out of business.

While we don’t have this type of situation occur often, one of the most important things we must do is communicate with our customers: “The Nuvico brand is no longer supported.” The technology continues to function in the field, but if it wears out or breaks down, we cannot replace it. That means we find comparable equipment for our customers to make a transition.

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While finding a compatible replacement for the technology is a challenge, this service we perform for our customers ensures their system continues to operate optimally. Researching new options and finding the best fit is part of our job, and another reason to choose H&S over one of our competitors – we’re looking out for you over the long run.

If you have a Nuvico system, be aware. Keep us posted if you have an issue. If you’d like us to stop out and take a look at whether part or all of the system should be replaced, give us a call. Our Stevens Point and Pewaukee, WI numbers are on our web site: www.hsprotection.net.

Equipment sometimes reaches the end of its life. Manufacturers sometimes go out of business. We monitor those changes for our customers and prepare them for the next steps to ensure the best operating system for their needs. Though Nuvico is now gone, H&S will continue to service their equipment, and replace it as necessary. Let us know if you need to set up a service call.

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Security at your Place of Worship not just about Active Shooters

Security at your place of worship is not just about active shooters. There have been far too many of those sad, tragic and senseless acts of violence in recent years where religious services are observed. Many organizations have weighed in to help churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other places of worship inform and protect their buildings and people from future incidents. We applaud those educational and informational efforts.

 

Over the years, H&S Protection has installed security systems for many churches throughout SE and Central Wisconsin. The lessons we’ve learned help us protect any place of worship from vandalism, theft or intrusion. We can’t predict perfection or that our systems can stop an active shooter, but we can share thoughts on why it makes sense to protect where you pray when it seems like it should be the safest place on the planet.

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When you attend service, the expectation is safety, security, serenity. You should be able to observe, reflect and contemplate in confidence. Because most of us trust others and more so in a worship-related environment, we tend not to think that a criminal might see the world in other ways. They may see a “soft target.” They may think it is easy to sneak in a church back door with no one being wiser.

 

We don’t like to cry wolf at H&S. But we do want our customers to be aware of their surroundings and possible breaches based on our experience. Churches do get robbed. Cash on hand can be considered an easy target. Some criminals look for these types of situations and take advantage of them.

What we provide is an added layer of protection. Surveillance cameras and alarm systems both work as deterrents. When installed properly by a professional technician, they will stand out. That prevents crime based on an investigative report from the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation (AIREF): When all other variables are equal, a prospective burglar will forego a facility that has a posted alarm system and find a target that does not.

 

Religious leaders should keep their congregations informed on personal safety. Exercise smart measures. Physical security measures like cameras and alarm systems may also make sense in many situations to add a layer of protection.

 

 
H&S Protection is here to help. If you have questions, please reach out to us. We can design you a security system to meet your exact needs, and which improves protection for your faithful.

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Why Choose a Professional?

In the H&S Protection world of access control technology, surveillance cameras, alarm systems and fire monitoring equipment, there are many reasons to turn to us for a professional installation. Why should consumers choose us rather than installing systems themselves or asking a next door neighbor (who likes tinkering with high tech) to do it? Typically, choosing the do-it-yourself (DIY) route saves money. That’s a given. But it doesn’t mean the job is done right, the most appropriate equipment is installed or that security hot spots are effectively covered.

 

 
That’s where you want the pros at H&S. Yes, “DIY” may be the best option for some individuals. But in most cases, the amateur does NOT have the experience or training to recognize vulnerable points in an office building, manufacturing plant or warehouse. H&S technicians do though. Our people are highly trained and have thousands of hours of experience to share with customers to ensure the best coverage of their business.

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The angle and premier location of cameras, for example, are two simple advantages that H&S provides in comparison to a DIY system. Vulnerable areas are analyzed, discussed and covered during walk-throughs with customers. We ask questions to expertly determine vulnerabilities and concerns you face with your building. The designs of our security systems reflect the results from these analyses and question and answer sessions.

 

There are many reasons to choose a professional security services company like H&S Protection. If you’re a consumer solely looking for the lowest cost installation, H&S is probably not for you.

 

 
But if you want a competitive price, a free quote to compare costs, talented and trained technicians, high quality equipment and ongoing follow-up services, then give H&S Protection a shout. We deliver on our promises and are there to help with advice and follow-up down the road.

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Fun and Games with H&S’s Mike Solomon

If you don’t happen to know H&S Protection’s Mike Solomon, you’ll quickly be introduced to one of the sharpest wits in North America. Known for keeping his fellow employees laughing during early Monday morning operations meetings, Mike makes sure everyone gets a chuckle to start their week as he creates an environment that’s looser and more productive.

On his door is the following statement: “Thought of the day – A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.” That encapsulates Mike.

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He may not want to let on about his softer side, but it lurks behind the biting humor, waiting to surface when helping others. His position at H&S as Operations Manager in Pewaukee means he’s the cog who ensures technicians are effectively assigned to projects; that the right equipment is available and on-site for installations and service calls; that troubleshooting a project goes seamlessly. He makes it happen. There’s no BS when it comes to getting the job done.

He described his job as creating tailor-made solutions for customers. “It’s not about what we ‘want’ to sell. It’s about what the customer wants to build. We build outside the box,” Mike explained.

Mike joined H&S 5 years ago after spending 14 years at Environmental Innovation, Inc., in a number of positions. He is married, with 2 kids, “one who is wonderful and one who is not,” he joked.

He stumbled onto H&S when, “I was out of work at the time and hadn’t thought about the security industry, but it turned out to be a good fit. The security industry is a good place to be regardless of which way the economy is headed.”

In his spare time, Mike joked that he likes to “rake a lot of leaves and lay on the couch and watch TV, particularly reruns of the Golden Girls.” He’s known for heavily supporting his kids’ sports teams and he “likes to play chess by myself.” He usually wins. But that’s Mike.

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H&S Protection Helping with Financial Literacy

For many years, H&S Protection’s Stevens Point, WI office has participated in the United Way. Since our merger in 2007, our Pewaukee, WI joined the annual giving program. The three pillars of United Way – education, health and financial stability for those in need – resonate with H&S owners Steve Garritson and Mike Horgan.

This coming year, financial stability is a key focus for the United Way chapters served by H&S. Steve and Mike are pleased to see that focus. “We’ve come full circle. In the past, the programs addressed health and educational issues. Now it’s financial stability for the community. We believe this has a great, necessary and positive impact on the communities we serve,” Steve said.

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A motivating factor for H&S to participate in United Way has been their good results. “I’m impressed with United Way in terms of the programs for local communities. There’s no better example of your dollars going to a successful local program. That’s why we initially reached out to participate,” Steve explained.

“Their programs are well-rounded, especially given the high percentage of dollars that work their way back into the community. We’re also impressed with United Way volunteers. The people who come in to talk with us are knowledgeable and passionate,” Steve added.

Last year, H&S’s Pewaukee office was recognized as a “Partner” by the Milwaukee/Waukesha United Way chapter. That designation was given to businesses contributing $2,500-$4,999 for the year. H&S gives a 100 percent match for every employee contribution.

Steve and Mike actively encourage employee participation. “We have close to 100 percent full participation in the program from our people,” Steve said. The Stevens Point office has had 100 percent participation for three years running.

H&S contributions go to the Portage County, WI and Milwaukee/Waukesha United Way chapters.

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“Find a Problem and Solve it” — that’s H&S’s Jeff Lukasavige

Jeff Lukasavige likes finding problems. Then he enjoys solving them.  That puts him in a great situation with H&S Protection as Operations Manager out of our Stevens Point, WI office.  “I keep the trains running on time, hopefully,” he chuckled.

Though Jeff has only been with H&S two years, he has a strong work background from previous positions dealing with field and support services, particularly with Sentry Insurance, where he was employed for 28 years and served as Director of Corporate & Field Services.  When the downturn hit the U.S. economy in 2009, his position was eliminated, and he took a position in the assisted living industry for five years.

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But H&S was lurking in the background.  Jeff had worked closely with H&S employees Harvey Churkey and Dennis McNamara while at Sentry, and was instrumental in the design and deployment of access control and identity badging  at all Sentry offices across the country.  Jeff presented the conceptual design and its benefits to senior executives in Stevens Point, and the system was approved and deployed nationwide.

While in his position in the assisted living field, Jeff saw an ad placed by H&S for a customer relations/service position. He was intrigued and called Harvey, who then set Jeff up to meet with H&S Co-Owner Mike Horgan.  “Based on my experience, skills and potential, Mike hired me for the position.  Since then, I’ve been promoted to the Operations Manager position.”

In his current role, Jeff keeps field operations humming smoothly.  That entails juggling multiple priorities – project management, scheduling system installations and technicians, ensuring the proper amount of labor is allocated to each project, and ensuring the right parts are at the right place at the right time.

“I like the people and the leadership at H&S.  You’re not just a number, and the leaders are respectful of everyone’s talents and what they bring to the table,” Jeff said.

“My job is a daily challenge, and I enjoy technology.  It’s like a puzzle, and I like putting the pieces together.  I thrive in that environment and am accustomed to applying a logical deductive reasoning process to see if I do something, what will be the result of that,” he added.

Jeff is married to his wife Monica, a licensed daycare provider for 35 years.  They have four children and 7 grandchildren.

In his spare time (“There hasn’t been a lot of spare time the past year,” he laughed), Jeff enjoys reading, music and playing the piano.  “Actually, I enjoy developing technology skills in my spare time, looking at software and finding viable solutions for problems.  That’s what it’s all about – finding the problem and solving it,” Jeff observed.

In the years ahead, Jeff sees video surveillance replacing older, more traditional alarm systems.  “There’s a huge future for video surveillance because of all the smart features evolving in cameras.”

Jeff also harks to the assisted living industry to project that baby boomers retiring in the U.S. will increasingly look for ways to continue living independently longer, and the security industry will play a role in that.  “People want to stay in their homes and age in place, and with the technology evolving, seniors will be able to stay at home and their kids can be confident their parents will be safe.  It’s a huge industry change,” Lukasavige predicted.

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Saved by an H&S System

We keep a bulletin board posted with notes when one of our customers deters a crime with their H&S system, or our system helps alert law enforcement to illegal activity. Over the past year or so, a lot of post-it notes have gone up on that bulletin board.

 

The board is there to remind us of what we do: Protect the lives and property of others. That’s important to us. It’s why we do what we do. Our owners, Steve Garritson and Mike Horgan, got into the security industry because this mission to help others drives them.

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When you seek the services of a security company, you must trust them. We come into your business or home to do an analysis, provide a quote and hopefully secure your support. If you can’t believe and trust a representative of that company, then there is no hope for a successful transaction. That’s another major reason we pride ourselves on the people we hire – we look closely at resumes, the background of the individual and their character. To be part of our team, you must be rock solid.

 

Read some of our past blogs on our employees. If you look at a common thread in what they have to say about H&S, it’s that they enjoy working here because they get to do important things by helping to protect others. That’s a driving force for our business, and we hope that you see that when we install one of our systems for you.

 

Our “Saved by their H&S System” bulletin board reflects who we are. It’s there to remind us in a positive way that what we do is important to the lives of others. We won’t ever lose that.

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“Never a Dull Moment”

Life in the security industry for H&S Protection’s Lonnie Miescke can be described as “never a dull moment.” For 36 years she’s been focused on customer issues, and it keeps her on her toes — for 19 years at Central Control and the past 17 years at H&S Protection (previously known as Sentra Protective Systems).

The customers keep her hopping. When she started as a night shift central station operator at Central Control, she followed in the footsteps of a good friend who recruited her to the position. One night she found herself in a scary position.

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“We used to stay in touch on 2-way radios. A guy I worked with – Harold – walked in on a break-in. He was hollering over the radio for us to call the cops as he tried to keep the bad guys in by pushing on the door, while they tried to push out. It was scary.”

“There were some spooky times back then, but we were also buddy buddy with the cops. That was always fun,” Lonnie laughed.

At Central Control, Lonnie answered phones when a customer’s alarm went off. She eventually moved up to a supervisory position.

“I still have nightmares about all the buzzing and humming that went on at the central station,” she chuckled. “But we had so much fun. Everything was manual. When a customer would close at night, a light would come on and we’d have to twist a button three times to close the alarm when they left the premises.”

Much has changed since then in the electronic security industry. Lonnie preceded H&S co-owner Steve Garritson at Central Control, but followed him to Sentra Protective when Steve left to start his own business, after he reached out to her.

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At H&S, Lonnie continues to work closely with customers on many fronts. She inputs customer data, serves as the point person for customer inquiries to the Pewaukee office, helps people over the phone to work through issues and avoid a service call, and troubleshoots customer problems.

“The job is never boring. It’s never just one thing. There are a lot of moving parts. There’s always some excitement. I like the customers we have here. I can be buddy buddy with them over the phone,” she observed.

Lonnie enjoys heading up north in Wisconsin for relaxation to a cabin to “chill out, lay on the beach and float in the water.”

“The industry is a lot more complicated now. But there’s never a dull moment – then or now,” she said.

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“Learning New Things on the Job”: H&S’s Greta Terrill

Greta Terrill is constantly learning new things on her job. It’s one of the big reasons she enjoys working at H&S Protection. After her son was born, Greta reentered the workforce on a part-time basis. It was there that she got a call from a temp agency with the offer of a full-time position at H&S.

“It was a welcoming environment,” Greta said when she interviewed for the position and met the people in the Stevens Point office. She appreciated that employees stay with the company, the family atmosphere and the people. As the Administrative Assistant for the Stevens Point office, she chuckled that she gets to do “everything that everyone else doesn’t want to do.”

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The job is more than that. Greta may be back in the warehouse area filling orders at one point, ordering business cards during another, then setting up billing for a customer. Her job has grown in her three years at the office. Originally, she worked a lot with H&S’s monitoring company and filing paperwork, but her position has added multiple duties. “It would be hard for me to take more on given how much I have to do now. There’s more work than there are hours in the day,” she said.

Greta is married to Brady and in addition to their son, she has four step children, ages 15, 12, 10 and 7 (their son is 4). Much of her spare time is spent at baseball fields, as Brady serves as a coach in the Stevens Point area. Greta is on the board for Stevens Point Baseball, and said with a laugh, “The baseball season is never technically over when you’re married to a coach.”

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She enjoys the outdoors, including gardening and hunting. “Our family spends a lot of time outdoors. We can foods, hunt, then it’s back to baseball.” In her “spare” time, she also teaches a wellness and essential oil class.

“H&S is an awesome place to work, and good people to work for. You get a lot of opportunity to learn new things,” she said.

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50-Year Industry Veteran Jim Kurtz

When you look at Jim Kurtz’s career at H&S Protection, you might call him a puppy with only 16 years on board. But, when you look at what he brings in terms of experience in the security industry, it’s way, way more. He’s been selling different types of security products and services for over 50 years in Wisconsin. He owned a company for 11 years, and worked for a large national company as well. “I’ve been one of those commissioned sales guys my entire career,” he laughed.

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Jim enjoys meeting people on the job and designing residential and commercial systems for customers. “We give them peace of mind,” he said.

 

Before joining H&S, which was Sentra Protective at the time, Jim worked with current owner Steve Garritson. “Steve and the other owner at the time asked me to come work for them. And I said, ‘Once you get established.’ That was in 1997, and I joined them in 2001. Working for a large company was not my cup of tea, so I was glad to get back to a locally owned company.”

 

He likes the smaller business environment at H&S and the culture Garritson and co-owner Mike Horgan have created. “Decisions get made here quickly, not like the corporate world where they can bog down,” Jim said.

 

His favorite thing about his job is the “freedom available in what H&S allows me to do, and the freedom you get as a commissioned sales person. I’ve been in that type of position my entire business life.”

 

Kurtz is married to his wife Barbara, and they lost a daughter to cancer. They have a son Jeff, and 4 grandchildren. In his spare time, he likes to play cards, and sample restaurants in the Milwaukee area, as well as spend time with friends. After recent surgery to replace a knee, Jim is back up and active. “We also like to spend time in Florida during some of the colder months in Wisconsin. It’s good that our house is well protected by H&S when we are gone. You need to be careful today and you can’t tell everyone about your travel plans,” he observed.

 

Given his long-term industry experience, Jim said, “It’s nice to have people call you who remember you from years back. It’s gratifying that they remember and call you. I must be doing something right.”

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Jim Kurtz has been doing a lot right for H&S, and we’re glad he continues to bring his smiling self to the office and our customers. He enriches our team, and is able to share his experiences inside and outside our walls to help others.

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