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Josh Garner

Industry mourns the loss of Mountain Alarm's Rod Garner

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Security Systems News, along with the entire security industry, was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mountain Alarm’s Rod Garner on Feb. 18, 2018, as a result of complications from surgery. Rod’s sons, Eric and Josh, reached out to SSN by email, noting that their father, Rodney Grant Garner, of Pleasant View, Utah, “returned home to our Father in Heaven.”

Born on June 11, 1948, Rod Garner began working with his father in law at Mountain Alarm in 1973. As president and CEO of Mountain Alarm, he grew that small four-person operation to one of the largest security companies in America. Today, Mountain Alarm has more than 43,000 customers and employs more than 275 security professionals with 11 locations across six states. Mountain Alarm has a strong DIY brand, Link Interactive, which he “was so proud of,” his sons said, noting that he was passionate about his work and never planned to retire.

Eric and Josh shared by email the following remembrances of their father:

Rod made friends everywhere he went. He considered many in the security industry to be some of his best friends. He valued honesty and loyalty above all else and others saw that in him.

Rod loved acquiring other alarm companies. Often sellers would choose to sell their business to Rod solely because they trusted him to do what he said he would and care for their customers. Rod helped Mountain Alarm acquire over 30 security alarm companies over his 45-year career.

Above all else Rod loved his customers. Almost daily Rod would call a number of his 43,000 customers to make sure they were happy and satisfied. In fact, a few weeks ago he noticed a house he passed on his way to work everyday had a competitor's sign in their yard instead of a Mountain Alarm yard sign. Immediately he stopped and knocked on the door to see why the customer switched to the competitor. He introduced himself as the CEO and mentioned he noticed the change in yard sign. Luckily, the customer only bought solar from the competitor and still had Mountain Alarm for their security system. Rod gave the customer his card and told them if they ever needed anything to call him personally. The customer was in awe that the CEO would stop and knock on their door.  He also quickly replaced the yard sign. The day before Rod passed away, his primary care doctor called to check on him and Rod said after the call, “Dr. Hanson really loves his patients, just like I really love my customers.”

Rod’s greatest desire was to perpetuate his legacy in the alarm industry. His sons Josh and Eric Garner will carry on that legacy at AvantGuard Monitoring Centers and Mountain Alarm respectively.

Rod recognized that his greatest achievement was his family. Each of his five children and 21 grandchildren believed he or she was his favorite. He did an excellent job balancing his work and family life. He spent lots of time with everyone he loved sitting on beaches, skiing, fly fishing, pheasant hunting, and discussing the mysteries of life.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11am on Friday Feb. 23, 2018 at the LDS chapel, 3602 N 500 W Pleasant View, UT. A viewing for family and friends will be held at Linquist Mortuary, 2140 N 400 E, North Ogden, Utah, Thursday February 22nd from 6-8pm and at the chapel from 9-10:30am just prior to the funeral.

Familiar faces are new owners at AvantGuard, Freeus

AvantGuard announces new $20m line of credit, new CFO
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01/24/2018

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

AvantGuard names new president

Justin Bailey, company COO, takes on the role
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07/05/2017

OGDEN, Utah—AvantGuard on June 29 announced changes in its executive team; Justin Bailey, the company's COO, will also be its president, and former president Josh Garner will retain his role and title as AvantGuard's CEO.

PERS features debated at AvantGuard summit

Fall detection, networking opportunities stand out at event
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10/07/2015

PARK CITY, Utah— Attendees debated the demand for “fall detection” in PERS devices at AvantGuard’s third PERS Summit, held here last week.

The security industry gives back

Twenty-three percent of companies reward employees for volunteering
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09/16/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Systems integration firm SSI founded Allegiant Giving to aid veterans and residential security company Alliance Security donates systems to domestic abuse victims. SSI and Alliance are not alone in their charitable efforts—Security Systems News’ latest News Poll shows 89 percent of responding companies involve themselves in charities.

Where does the name 'Freeus' really come from?

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Last week, AvantGuard’s CEO, Josh Garner, told me a story. He had recently heard of a woman recovering from a fall, one who was set up with a traditional PERS unit. After hearing that it wouldn’t work outside of the home, she hadn’t left the house for 15 months, he said. After a dealer heard of this, he set her up with one of Securus’ mPERS devices.

“Eventually, she took a walk to the garden, then she walked down the street,” Garner told me. “She would test her device in all of these scenarios, and realized that if something were to happen to her… it still worked.”

“She celebrated by buying a puppy [which] she walks around her block every day.”

Garner wanted to incorporate this sense of Freedom into the naming AvantGuard’s new sister company, Freeus, which recently acquired the PERS business built by Securus.

“We really liked having something that linked us to the past. Securus has had a legacy of innovation, developing products.”

Thus, “freedom” and “Securus” combine to make “Freeus.”

“It sounds crazy, but that story—to us—just epitomizes what our business is about, and it’s delivering freedom to individuals,” Garner said.

That’s where the name comes from.

AvantGuard sister company acquires PERS manufacturer

Freeus acquires Securus
 - 
03/04/2015

OGDEN, Utah—Freeus, the new sister company to AvantGuard Monitoring Services, on Feb. 27 acquired the PERS side of Securus.

AvantGuard adds new facility in Idaho

A year of rapid growth concludes with the company opening its third central station
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12/11/2013

REXBURG, Idaho—After growing its account base by 26 percent in 2013, AvantGuard Monitoring, based in Ogden, Utah, has opened a third facility in this farming community of 25,000 that sits in the shadow of the Teton Range.

AvantGuard team runs for childhood cancer awareness

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11/05/2013

OGDEN, Utah—A team of 100 AvantGuard employees and family members ran and walked a 5K to raise money in support of Griffin Shaw, a two-year-old boy suffering from cancer, the company announced Nov. 5.

AvantGuard Monitoring launches ‘hero’ recognition program

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10/30/2013

OGDEN, Utah—AvantGuard Monitoring Center operators who go above and beyond to ensure customers are safe and satisfied will now be honored as part of the company’s new AG Hero program, according to a recent release.

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