Waste Management to Security Management: One Man’s Unusual Odyssey

Xentry Systems Healthcare Programs Manager Jesse Vroman recounts his unorthodox path to becoming a vertical market integration expert.

February’s annual Business Issue of Security Sales & Integration features my cover story on Xentry Systems. I spent a couple of days with executive leadership of the business spun off last year by access control manufacturer Matrix Systems. One of the most interesting experiences was touring the Ohio State University James Cancer Tower nurse-call and communications project Xentry had just completed (detailed in another blog). In particular, I had the pleasure of getting to know Jesse Vroman, the integrator’s personable healthcare programs manager.

While I was impressed by how enthusiastic and articulate Vroman was, what really struck me was learning about his unusual background and path to the security industry. Having enlisted in the Air Force and dabbled in fire science, he was working as a garbage collector when fate intervened and redirected his life toward his present profession. He told me how the owner of an integration firm whose house was on his route was outside throwing away a computer one day when Vroman asked if he could take it and fix it. The CEO was so impressed with his aptitude and attitude that it led to a formal job interview. Like something out of a movie!

So here in his own words, I share Vroman’s story inspirational rags-to-riches human interest piece. It’s a tale that also serves as an eye-opener for company owners and operators, showing how capable and talented employees can come from unexpected and unconventional places.

RELATED: Xentry Systems’ Formula to Keep Techs at Top of Their Game

What was your background before getting into the security industry?

Jesse Vroman: I went straight into the Air Force when I graduated high school in 2003. I served on Eielson Air Force Base Alaska as my primary base for entire enlistment from August 2003 to November 2007. I received an Associate’s Degree in fire science and public administration while I was in the Air Force. When I came back home from the Air Force I started completely from scratch. I got off the plane with quite literally a few dollars in the bank and a backpack. I felt like firefighting just wasn’t really for me and this was my chance to hit the reset button. An old friend of mine got me a job as a manager at Speedway for a couple years and that job really challenged me to work well with and manage all kinds of people. That is also when I got married and now we have three children.

I then got a job for G&J Pepsi here in Columbus [Ohio]. It was very labor intensive and I got a Class A driver’s license while working there. I knew a guy from church who worked for Koorsen Fire & Security and he helped me get a sales executive job there as my schedule at Pepsi was not very conducive for a family life. That is really when I started making connections in the integration and security industry. Koorsen was tough as it was commission only. As a young husband and father it was difficult to forecast income and that created a very stressful life. A change had to be made.

I decided to take a position as a garbage truck driver at Rumpke Waste & Recycling. Your pride might tell you that taking a position in the garbage and recycling collection industry is less than acceptable but this was where I really realized what pride is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing whatever it takes to make your family’s life better. With my renewed confidence I dug in and did the best I could at whatever it was I was doing.

RELATED: Inside Xentry Systems’ Ohio State Medical Center Solution

Could you explain the unusual chain of events that then led you to where you are today?

Vroman: I began working for AcreeDaily around August 2012. The story of how I came to join that integration company is two-pronged and about being in the right place at the right time. One of the techs I used to work with at Koorsen called to tell me he had an incredible new job working at an integration company and they were still looking for more techs. He urged me to send my resume to a couple guys at Acree and follow up with a phone call. I sent in my resume, waited a week and then followed up with phone calls. When I didn’t hear back I went on with life assuming it wasn’t the right fit.

As fate would have it, unknown to me the house of Dan Blend, the owner of AcreeDaily and now current regional president at Xentry, was on one of my trash routes. I pulled up to his driveway and Dan was waiting for me to empty his trash cans. I hopped out of the truck, ran to the back to dump the cans and on top was what seemed to be a computer in fine shape. I looked up to Dan and politely asked him, “What’s wrong with the computer?” He went on to tell me that it was old and not running very well and it was time for a new one. I explained to him that I was very good with computers and I was interested in taking it and fixing it myself.

A trash man is not allowed to just take things out of the trash, you have to ask the owner if you’re allowed to have it. Secondly, a friend of mine who worked with me at Rumpke salvages old PCs, gets them fixed up and then donates them to his church. As I told Dan this story I saw a look of surprise on his face. He said, “You really know how to fix and build computers?” I replied, “Absolutely, I’m a garbage man by day and a basement computer geek by night.” As I proceeded to dump Dan’s trash cans I then saw letterhead with the AcreeDaily logo on it. I almost blew it off as coincidence but I decided to ask Dan how he was involved with AcreeDaily. He went on to tell me he was the owner! At that point I was getting some goose bumps. I told him how I submitted my resume and called but heard nothing back. Dan shook my hand and told me to reach out again, assuring me I would receive a response this time. I did, and the rest is history.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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