'20 under 40' 2013 - Bryan Bates

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bryan Bates, 37
Sales manager, co-owner, Bates Security and Sonitrol of Lexington, Ky.

How did you get into the security industry?

I went to the University of Kentucky and I was teaching scuba diving as my part-time job. But I knew you couldn’t drive the kind of car you wanted and live in the house you wanted teaching scuba. In 1995, I left school to install security systems full time as a technician at Sonitrol of Lexington. In 2000, I became a salesperson, and from that point forward there was nothing other than sales. You can do such a good job helping people make the best decision as far as value and effectiveness, and I can’t think of any other role where you get as much reward not only financially but just in recognition of your contribution to the company.

Who or what in the industry has inspired you most in your security career?

My family. My dad was working for the police department in Dallas and my mom for Braniff [International Airways], and he eventually had an opportunity to work in sales for Sonitrol of Lexington. Then Braniff went through massive layoffs and my mom got involved in security sales and won several contests herself. About five years later they were able to purchase Sonitrol of Lexington and grew that from an account base of about 400 to over 4,400 accounts today. I don’t know how you don’t get inspired by your folks doing that. My brother got involved five years ahead of me. He was the first of us to graduate from college, and he went two years outside the industry and came back and he’s been an inspiration to me ever since just because of his work ethic.

What can be done to boost the ranks of young people in the industry?

You need to really have a mission and show them there’s something you’re trying to accomplish that differentiates you.