Years ago, while Ken Cagle was studying to be an electrician, his grandmother suffered a terrible break-in. The thieves took over $5000 in valuables. Angered by this assault, Ken put his recently-acquired electrical skills to good use: with little more than a couple of relays, a capacitor, a key switch, and a siren, Ken built his grandmother a security system by hand. That design eventually led him to a position with the largest independently-owned alarm company in the Carolinas, Southeastern Alarm Systems. Ken started at the bottom: rookie installer crawling under houses (and fighting off camel crickets). While tough, that firsthand knowledge of how to properly run wire, site protection devices, and maintain systems has proven critical today when--as owner and president of his own alarm company--he trains and manages his technicians.
Despite the dust and dirt, young Ken stuck with it. In a few short months, he was promoted to sales where he was consistently the top salesperson. In fact, he sold so many alarms, the company realized they could make Ken a one-man sales department. He became the sole rep for the whole company! It was natural, then, that when management was looking to expand, they tapped Ken's combination of installation experience and sales success. So, promoted to general manager and given a partnership, Ken was sent off to Greensboro, North Carolina, and there he really made his mark. The Greensboro office quickly thrived and installed over 1,000 systems in just a few short years. But, just as that operation was about to really go into high gear, the owners suddenly sold out. After 31 years, the company's founder was retiring. Sadly, Southeastern Alarms (arguably one of the best-run operations in the industry) had been gobbled up by a corporate giant. It proved a tough time, for this faceless corporation knew little and cared less about the thousands of people for whom Ken had sold and installed alarms. Their prices were high, their service poor. Although they offered Ken a job, he wanted to continue providing quality service. He wanted to work somewhere that had the same high standards of customer service as good, old Southeastern Alarm had for over 30 years.
There was only one solution: Ken had to open his own company. That's how Carolina Security & Wiring, LLC was born. Taking his courage in hand, Ken opened his own shop. Since then, he has been continually blessed in this undertaking, not least of all through his wife, Vanessa. Although she was a highly successful real estate agent, the couple realized that running an alarm company demanded 100% commitment. Vanessa took to answering phones and balancing books, and Ken is ever thankful he can depend on Vanessa's quick mind as account manager to oversee all billing and accounting issues. They continue to helm the company today with that personal touch.
Within a year of opening his doors in Greensboro, the company was growing. First, Carolina grew in Ken's old home town, Greenville, SC, where Ken has begun and where his new company was soon providing the kind of quality service to police departments, courthouses, and all those other customers the giant corporation showed little concern over.
Soon after that came the Columbia, SC location, where Ken brought in more expertise from folks such as Dan Castell, who had also learned the alarm business "from the inside", with decades of firsthand experience selling and installing thousands of alarm systems. Finally, as the company grew, Carolina Security was finally able to open the Charlotte, NC office as the capstone which bridges both states, giving the operation the reach and centrality to service systems throughout the Carolinas. By building a management team with over 30 years of experience, maintaining the highest commitment to fast response, and bringing individual customer care from start to finish, Ken's vision now has enabled to Carolina to become one of the nation's most successful independent alarm companies.
VIDEO: We Are The Security Experts
giving customers more than they pay for.