Fleenor Hands Reins to ASG Security After 30+ Years of Success

Mike Fleenor found the buyer in ASG Security he sought to continue growing Fleenor Security Systems and provide top-notch customer care.

In the late 1970s, Mike Fleenor got his first taste of the security installation business while working at his brother’s small dealer company in northeastern Tennessee. He was hooked. The job suited his desire to make a difference in people’s lives.

The brothers’ collaboration was short lived, however, and Fleenor, a Univ. of Tennessee graduate, headed back to Knoxville to take a sales gig with Motorola’s government electronics group.

The new line of work – selling to police and emergency services departments – did nothing to snuff out his entrepreneurial penchant for the security industry. Fleenor resolved he would make a moonlighting go of it on the side.

“Simultaneously I started doing security, as a lot of dealers do, just working out of my house because I liked the industry so much,” he told me this week.

It was 1983 when he began to design, install and service security systems from his home base. Three years later he incorporated the business, Fleenor Protective Systems (dba “Fleenor Security Systems“), and decided to leave Motorola and commit himself fully to his passion. In 1990 Fleenor Security Systems leased its first office with a three-person staff operating in the 1,900-square-foot space.

“I decided that needed to be my career, so I jumped into it full-time and I haven’t looked back since,” he said.

It is an appropriate time for Fleenor to reflect and reminisce about his company, which would grow to become eastern Tennessee’s most recognizable security provider. On Feb. 12, Fleenor closed a deal to be acquired by super-regional ASG Security of Beltsville, Md. (Note: Fleenor Security Systems of Johnson City, Tenn.,  which is owned and operated by Mike Fleenor’s brother, Norman, is a separate organization and was not part of the ASG Security acquisition.)

You can read more about the acquisition here. What ASG Security purchased is a gem of a company that would expand organically to 50 employees, 10,000-square-feet of office space, a fleet of vehicles to service its 5,200 residential and commercial clients, and a UL Listed, CSAA Five Diamond-certified central station.

As you can read in the news story, selling the company had never much entered Fleenor’s psyche until very recently. Mostly, the time had come to identify a future steward for the business, its employees and clientele. Fleenor told me his goal is to stay in place full-time with the company for at least one year to ensure a smooth transition. After that he may take on a smaller role, but he will look to phase out entirely at some point before long.

Meantime, he’s enjoying an extended exhale in the wake of an anxious, drawn out period to find just the right buyer.

“There has been a lot of moving parts getting to this point in evaluating companies, ASG and others, and then actually doing the deal,” he said. “It has been a whirlwind. I am very relieved to be at the end of the process and now looking forward to getting the company assimilated with ASG’s program and get on track to the next level.”

Among his foremost keys to success, Fleenor cites without hesitation, “Taking care of people – employees first and customers next.”

“I am really committed to making sure our customers are treated fairly and get a good value for their investment, and that my employees have a good living, good benefits and have an enjoyable place to work,” he said.

Testimony to that commitment to his employees came when Fleenor told his staff that he would be selling the company.

“So many of my employees were visibly upset, some of them even tearful at the announcement,” he said. “A lot of them have worked with me for many years. It was emotional.”

During Fleenor’s more than 30 years in the industry, he has witnessed first-hand the extensive consolidation of larger players snapping up small dealers. It is that hyper focus on customer service and fostering a happy workplace that will help smaller companies continue to survive and compete, he suggests. Despite ASG’s size, Fleenor is confident his employees and customers will not be disappointed with the transition.

“ASG is pretty unique in that they have customer service at the forefront. I have been real impressed with their customer care center and the way they go about it,” he said. “That’s not how most of the industry [conducts business].”

Most of the larger players Fleenor has spoken with and looked into during his search for a buyer are more marketing driven then customer centric, he said.

“If all big companies looked like ASG it would be a hard time for mom ‘n’ pops,” he said. “But given the fact that’s not the way it is, I think there will always be a place for small dealers because of the level of service they can provide.”

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for latimes.com. Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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