Atlas lends a helping hand to those affected by tornadoes

Full-service alarm company has busy first half
 - 
Thursday, May 26, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—Although Atlas Security has not been directly impacted by recent tornadoes in the Midwest, Atlas employees are actively helping out neighbors affected by the catastrophic events.

Atlas central station operations manager Jon Adams said the company was moved to action by the May 22 tornado that hit the neighboring community of Joplin.

"Joplin is about an hour west of here … When that tornado hit, it was the first time in my five years as manager here that we were completely unable to reach the authorities … it turns out the tornado hit their 911 call center, too," Adams said. "Atlas is making donations, and we've got employees who are making donations. We're doing what we can to help out.”

He said Convoy of Hope is a local organization that helps out with these types of disasters. “Any time there's a catastrophe they just take semi after semi to these places that are hard hit. They're heading to Joplin. They're a customer of ours and we thought we could help by making donations and I gave them a monitoring credit," Adams said.

According to published news reports, the recent Joplin tornado was the deadliest single U.S. twister in more than 60 years. News reports put the death toll at 122 so far, with at least 750 people injured, and 8,000 structures damaged or destroyed. Damage estimates exceed $1 billion, according to reports.

Company president Jim Wade said it was Atlas' philosophy to help its neighbors in whatever way they could.

"I just felt like from Atlas' standpoint, these are our customers and our neighbors," he said. "I just felt compelled to do everything we could. When something like this happens we need to be involved."

Aside from weather events in the area, Wade said the first half of the year has been a good one for Atlas. The organization is ready for growth with a continued focus on its managed access control offerings, and the hiring of new sales manager Steve Petersen.

"The first quarter got off to a slow start, but we've really seen things pick up in the last 60 days, particularly on our commercial. Our residential has been pretty steady … I'm optimistic about the second half of the year," Wade said. "We're part of Security Network of America—SNA—and a lot of the members were moving in the managed access direction … We're still in the baby steps of this, but we're seeing it gain some ground. Our customers that are using it really love it."

Atlas, which does some third party monitoring, monitors around 10,000 accounts in a 60/40 commercial/resi mix, according to Wade. Atlas' monitoring, installation and service footprint covers Southwest Missouri into Northeast Arkansas, Western Oklahoma, and Northeastern Kansas, according to Adams.

Petersen joined Atlas last month after 16 years in the wireless/cellular world. His immediate goal is to grow Atlas' sales team.

"This business is blessed with a good solid core of sales folks, but it needs to be larger. It's been where it needed to be over the last tough years, but I'm looking to smartly grow the sales team," Petersen said. "Aside from that, my primary focus is going to be to leverage the significant customer base the company has with upgrades and additions."