Meet our People on the new H&S Protection Web Site

In today’s electronically connected world, we don’t always meet others face-to-face. At H&S Protection, our sales staff and technicians work directly with customers at their homes or place of business. But what happens if you are a potential customer and want to find out more about our people before we meet with you? Our newly refurbished web site is designed to answer that question.

 

One of the major reasons we redesigned our web site was to give current and potential customers the opportunity to meet our people. Our industry (installing and servicing security equipment in businesses and homes) requires the utmost trust. You must feel good about us for you to hire H&S for a job. We want to be as transparent as possible so you get to know us better. A way to do that is to publish photos on our employees with their job titles so you see WHO we are and WHAT we do.

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There’s more than just photos. Check out the owners’ message from Steve Garritson and Mike Horgan. If you want to know how we operate and what we believe, their message will give you a strong sense of who we are and what we stand for.

 

You may also want to check our “What’s New” icon at the top of the landing page. You’ll find all our blogs there, which is updated with new issues we face in the field and as an industry.

 

H&S Protection is also very aware of the influence of video clips. We want to SHOW you what we can do in terms of protecting your home or business. How better to do that than having a YouTube page with clips you can easily access and watch? We demonstrate the infrared (IR) abilities of our cameras. There is a clip of police checking out a building after an alarm signal. We have a video of a car crashing through the front window of a building. You may want to watch just for fun, or to see what technologies we have to offer.

 

Regardless of your reason for coming to the new H&S web site, we hope you come back again. Our goal is to continue posting new material to inform (and perhaps entertain) you. If you have tips or feedback, please contact Dave Simon in our Pewaukee, WI office (262.424.1271 or dsimon@hsprotection.net).

 

“H&S Protection: Protecting Lives and Property Since 1959.”

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Being Active on the Job Suits Jaken Bruckbauer Just Fine

Being active on the job suits Jaken Bruckbauer just fine. He was looking for a position where he could move around rather than being stuck behind a desk and he found it two months ago when he started at H&S Protection. “I learn something new every day at H&S,” he said of his position as an Installer.

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Jaken had been working at Best Buy before joining H&S, where he sold cell phones. He’d been looking for a new position and ABR Employment Services contacted him with a potential fit at H&S. “I applied and got it. I interviewed with Mike Horgan and Jeff Lukasavige, and they were really nice. My brother knew Mike’s family, so I felt comfortable coming into the interview.”

As an Installer, Jaken is onsite, putting in place the products H&S offers customers. “The job changes every day. I install cameras, fire equipment, alarm systems and intercom systems. It’s pretty awesome,” he observed.

From Plover, which is 15 minutes from H&S’s Stevens Point office, Jaken lives with two roommates, Chuck and Andrew. His girlfriend, Anna, is currently at UW-Stevens Point, with plans to attend grad school.

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Jaken enjoys hanging out with his roomies, playing video games. He is also into a modified version of martial arts once or twice a week for a workout. “We learn these techniques on the ground, which are kind of like wrestling holds and arm bars. You put people in position where they feel the pain,” he laughed.

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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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