New central in Vegas
HENDERSON, Nev.—The husband-and-wife team behind Southern Nevada Fire Protection has launched a new central station here, with a well-known industry veteran at the helm: Mary Jo Vance, the Central Station Alarm Association’s manager of the year in 2007.
1 Time Inc. Alarms and Security began operating in this Las Vegas suburb in late July. Vance, better known to colleagues as MJ, came on board as manager in late December. She previously was vice president of operations and business development at CenterPoint Technologies, departing last April and taking a brief break from the industry.
“I had a chance to do a lot of (motorcycle) riding and fishing, I worked on my tan and spent a lot of time with my mom,” Vance said. “I really enjoyed taking the summer off.”
Vance is now managing about 5,000 accounts at 1 Time, split about 60/40 between commercial and residential. The company is owned by Vanessa Blunt, who is also president. Her husband, Don, is CEO/proprietor of 1 Time’s sister company, SNFP, and is “a silent partner by marriage” in the new endeavor, Vance said.
Vanessa Blunt said SNFP, which was founded in 1996, focuses on new construction and fire protection service, from extinguishers to sprinklers to alarm testing. She said the new construction naturally leads into monitoring.
“That’s where we pick up a lot of the accounts, which are forwarded to 1 Time,” she said.
Don said the construction lull during the past few years led the Blunts to launch 1 Time as a long-term investment. Greater Las Vegas was among the U.S. metropolitan areas hit hardest by the recession.
“We’re the first and only UL-listed fire station in Henderson,” he said. “There are only two other stations here in Las Vegas besides us that are UL-listed for fire, so (customers are) really limited.”
Vance said 1 Time’s operators have completed Level I testing with the CSAA and were working on Level II in late January. She expected the station to become Five Diamond-certified by the end of March.
The Blunts, self-described “workaholics,” are also planning to launch another central station, this one in the Central American nation of Belize. Don said work on the project started in mid-2011, and he expected it to be operational in March.
“We’ve had a home down there for several years and there’s no central in the entire country,” he said. “A lot of money is pouring into Belize. We feel very fortunate that we got the government’s blessing, and we’re working with them. It looks like we’re going to pick up a lot of commercial accounts as well as residential.”
Vance will manage the Belize facility while continuing to handle duties at 1 Time’s Nevada station, Don said.
“We feel very, very fortunate to have gotten MJ on board,” he said. “We know our station’s in good hands. It gives us a little more free time to spend on our other business ventures.”