DEFENDER sets sights on robust 2014
INDIANAPOLIS—After a shake-up at the top of DEFENDER Direct, the country’s leading ADT dealer, founder Dave Lindsey is back in the CEO seat with strong goals for 2014.
In late August, Lindsey took the reins as CEO and president from Marcia Barnes, who had been in that role since the spring of 2012. Barnes left DEFENDER, which is based here and generates 175,000 to 200,000 account contracts annually, to pursue other business interests, according to a company news release.
Lindsey told Security Systems News that he is “very happy to be back.” He said DEFENDER grew in 2013 but not as much as hoped, and he expects 2014 to be better. “We are up over last year and we continue to grow, but we hold ourselves to a high growth expectation and it’s not been as high as we would like,” he said.
He declined to provide more specifics, but added: “We anticipate some strong growth next year.”
Lindsey stated that there will be “no big changes in strategy—just continuing to grow.”
DEFENDER has more than 140 branch offices nationwide and in excess of 2,400 employees.
DEFENDER announced in April 2012 that Barnes, who had been with the 15-year-old company almost since the beginning and had risen to the rank of president, had also become CEO. Lindsey stepped down at that time to pursue the philanthropic work the company prides itself in.
When Barnes left this summer, Lindsey issued a statement saying that her “13 years of leadership in the company … helped us achieve our strong growth.”
He told SSN that Barnes “continues to be a friend of the company.” He added, “There are opportunities for us to probably work together in the future.”
In the meantime, Lindsey said he believes Barnes is “looking for that next opportunity,” and “enjoying some time with her family.”
Lindsey had stepped down in 2012 to be DEFENDER’s chief mission officer and said that now he remains “unofficially in that role” because “we’ve always seen our business as a part of our mission.”
Lindsey is one of the founders of Companies With A Mission. CWAM encourages business leaders to create opportunities for employees to provide service to charitable groups and it also provides funding for charities.
“In the last year we’ve given away over 1.5 million dollars to probably over 500 charities and we’re going to give away over a million dollars this February in conjunction with the Super Bowl,” Lindsey said. He said security companies and other businesses can find out details on how to win thousands in funding for their favorite charities on CWAM’s website.
But Lindsey said he always kept his eye on DEFENDER even while doing philanthropic work.
“In some ways I never left, I never stepped out of the role [as CEO],” Lindsey said. “I did continue on as a board member and met frequently with Marcia so I haven’t been too far away. … I do feel very energized and I’m very happy to be back. I really have felt called back to the company. It’s an exciting point in our growth [and] I just look forward to continuing the momentum we’re on.”
DEFENDER also recently announced that Brad Cumings was named chief marketing officer and Scott DeNardin was promoted regional VP of its HVAC business division.
Lindsey said the growing HVAC business, added last year, complements the company’s security and home automation offerings.
“We’ve always viewed ourselves as not just a security company but as a home services company.” He noted that the ADT Pulse product the company sells allows people to control their thermostats and be more energy efficient, and heating and cooling services tie into that. “It’s a convergence of all these [services],” Lindsey said.