NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Security industry veteran Mel Mahler, one of the founders of ADS Security, has retired from his position as chairman and CEO, the company announced Wednesday.
Mahler, who was inducted into the SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION Hall of Fame in 2009, founded ADS Security with partners Walt Bent and Hugh Van der Veer in 1990 with 2,000 accounts. The company now provides security and life-safety installation and monitoring services to more than 70,000 commercial and residential customers throughout the southeastern United States.
Mahler will take on the role of Chairman Emeritus, while John Cerasuolo, who has served as president and COO of ADS Security since 2008, will assume the role of CEO and keep his position as president. Bill Hunt, president of Elmhurst Corp., a majority partner of ADS, will serve as chairman.
“I have valued my relationship with Bill Hunt and the Elmhurst group since we became partners in 1991. It is very unusual for an investment partner to stay committed to a relationship for that many years and they are more committed today than ever,” Mahler says. “It was a moment of faith when they joined me as a partner since I had a very short track record in the electronic security industry at that time. I am pleased with the accomplishments of the senior team at ADS and am proud of the fact that I was responsible for hiring each of them.”
Hunt acknowledges that Mahler’s passion and determination during the past 22 years helped to build the company from the ground up. Additionally, Hunt believes Mahler’s example has laid the groundwork for future leaders in the company.
“Not only has Mel been a tremendous asset for ADS, but his leadership in the industry has also been exemplary,” he says. “We will miss Mel’s leadership but we are also excited about taking the next step in the leadership transition plan that we started five years ago with John Cerasuolo.”
Under his leadership, Cerasuolo expects to continue strategic acquisitions to grow ADS. Advanced technology will also play a critical role in the company’s growth, he says.
“Technology is changing the way we serve customers in the security industry and ADS is well-positioned for the future,” said Cerasuolo. “We will continue to acquire quality companies across the Southeast and introduce new technology. We expect 2012 to be a record year for revenue and growth.”
In conjunction with the leadership changes, the company also announced that it had increased its line of credit with Bank of America from $25 million to $40 million.