'20 under 40' 2013 - Ryan Harvey

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ryan Harvey, 32
President, Security Options
Oklahoma City

How did you get into the security industry?

I started out as a telemarketer making cold calls for another security firm in high school. I was real successful and found myself really loving the industry. Prior to that many of the things that I had pitched or sold over the phone were more or less trivial—roadside assistance, or credit cards or discount cards. Security was much different and it didn’t take me long before I had one of my first customers [who] called me and told me the system may have saved them from a burglary, and I realized then it was a product I believed in. I ultimately moved up the ranks and managed the phone room. I did that through college and after I finished my marketing degree at the University of Oklahoma, I started Security Options with my brother-in-law and the rest is history.

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

My first boss in the industry, Richard Allison of CCI Security. He definitely taught me the art of lead generation in the phone room environment, and that’s something we continue to be very good at today. On a broader scope, I’d have to say the employees of Security Options have been extremely inspirational. When we started 10 years ago, it was a two-man team; we ran it out of my garage. Since that time we’ve grow into a 12,000-square-foot building with 50 employees, and none of that would have been possible without some very talented and motivated people.

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

I would like to see more voc techs and trade schools offering training to high school students. If classes were being offered, I think many people would choose this for a career path over, let’s say, HVAC or automotive repair.