Custom Alarm Closes Out 2018 Celebrating 5 Decades in Business

The company feted its 50th anniversary with customer appreciation parties and social events that attracted hundreds of attendees.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — As 2018 draws to a close, Custom Alarm has spent the past 12 months celebrating 50 years in business here and in surrounding communities.

Leigh J. Johnson launched Custom Communications from the basement of a house in 1968. The business sold 3M background music and alarm systems.

“It wasn’t easy at first and at times it was a struggle, but in 1972 it turned around and we moved out of the basement and into a small office downtown, with two full time installers and a secretary,” says Johnson.

The company continued to grow over the years and in 1985 Johnson moved the business to a newly built office in southwest Rochester. By 1999 the company had outgrown that location, which led to the construction of Custom Alarm’s current home at 1661 Greenview Dr. SW, and the purchase of an adjacent lot for future expansion.

Melissa Brinkman, Johnson’s eldest daughter, joined the team in 1998. When Johnson announced his retirement in 2014, Brinkman took the helm as CEO after holding various positions within the company.

“It’s a huge milestone. As a business in todays’ day in age to be able to celebrate 50 years is a great accomplishment,” states Brinkman. “To be able to adapt to the different changes in technology, the way we deliver service, the way we take care of our customers, and how we provide good employment for our [65+] employees; we need to stay relevant, stay on the cutting edge and stay adaptable, otherwise we wouldn’t be here celebrating 50 years.”

Custom Alarm celebrated the milestone throughout 2018, including a social party in May to thank business partners and commercial customers for their support and business throughout the years.

In September a customer appreciation party was held with over 500 people in attendance. The affair included a live band, a K9 demo provided by the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, and the Rochester Fire Department displayed a fire truck.

“As we reflect on our 50 years in business, we’d like to thank our customers over the years, the employees and the communities we serve; without them we would not be celebrating such a milestone,” says Johnson.

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