Familiar faces are new owners at AvantGuard, Freeus

AvantGuard announces new $20m line of credit, new CFO
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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

OGDEN, Utah—On Jan. 1, executives from AvantGuard and Freeus became part owners of a newly formed holding company called Becklar.

“Prior to this, I was the sole shareholder of the company, and when you just are surrounded by really great people who are working so hard to contribute to the company’s success, I felt like I needed to reward and compensate them in different ways,” Josh Garner, CEO of Becklar, told Security Systems News.

Garner was the sole owner of Golden Aide—the previous umbrella organization of AvantGuard and Freeus.

“Now that we have Becklar … we’re going to do some branding under that name. AvantGuard and Freeus will be known, each, as a Becklar company, and there is a high likelihood that, at some point in the future, there will be other companies added to the Becklar family,” Garner said. Another example of branding is that Garner and other executives will present themselves under the Becklar name. "When we talk to potential partners at the strategic level or pursue opportunities, it will be under Becklar," he said.

“Whether or not [future Becklar companies] are in this industry or tangential industries is yet to be known. But, we’re setting up the structure to add more business units,” he said.

Becklar recently secured a $20 million line of credit. “We’ve always had a revolving line of credit, we just increased it. It was $14 million; we took it up to $20 million,” Garner said. “We want to have the availability of capital, should we see an opportunity that we want to act on quickly.”

Four of the new owners come from AvantGuard’s executive team; Justin Bailey, COO and president; Troy Iverson, vice president; Suzie Nye, VP of operations; and Rich Watts, VP of technology.

Another four of Becklar’s new owners come from Freeus’ executive team; Brock Winzeler, COO; Craig Pyle, VP of product development; Rand Fanshier, senior principal engineer; and Scott Nielson, principal engineer.

Three employees at the parent company level are also becoming owners of Becklar, Garner said; Corey Taylor, corporate controller; Rich Slater, VP of human resources and Brian Davis, who was recently named the new CFO of AvantGuard.

This shift in ownership can benefit AvantGuard and Freeus through customer interaction, according to Garner. “As these team members are now out, talking to customers, they can now represent themselves as owners,” he said.

Davis entered the new role in early December, Garner noted, and he has worked for large companies outside of the industry. “He’s bringing, already, some great contribution to the business in terms of his skillset, his ideas, his leadership, his executive presence, his decision making. All of those things are huge for us.”