Electric Guard Dog LLC - Maverick of the Year
Company: Electric Guard Dog LLC, Columbia, SC
Company Description: Electric Guard Dog is the market leader in B2B electric security fencing in the U.S.. The company's safe and effective solution offers businesses that suffer relentless theft unparalleled security: 97% of customers cite "no external theft after installation." EGD has an equally sticky RMR based business model that includes all liability, customer and technical service at no additional cost.
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Maverick of the Year - Business Services Industries
Nomination Title: Jack DeMao, CEO & President
Tell the story about what this nominated executive has achieved since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Describe the impact he or she has had on your organization. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.
Jack DeMao’s greatest accomplishment since January 2016 is the sale of the company to Snow Phipps for an industry record-breaking multiple. While the terms cannot be disclosed, the sale can be compared: security market leader ADT sold the same year, but Electric Guard Dog had the higher multiple.
The sale was so successful that EGD was named to the Inc. List 5000 for the 5th time in six years, nominated for two M&A awards, including “Deal of the Year” as well as named “Dealer of the Year 2016” by the leading industry trade journal. CEO Jack DeMao was named a finalist for EY’s coveted “Entrepreneur of the Year 2016” in the Southeast.
A mere 8 weeks after the sale of the company, Jack acquired a regional competitor, Theftzapper, while he simultaneously ramped up sales: the company just broke all revenue records, hitting $3 million RMR just last month.
A mechanical engineer with a Harvard MBA and a personal motto of “Never Give Up.” Jack DeMao is an indomitable force driving every department, offering vision, fairness, seemingly boundless energy, and humor. He attributes his success to his “founder-like” bond to the company’s flagship electric security fence. He’s proud of its’ 98% success rate at eliminating external theft for American Supply Chain companies, and takes any prospect’s theft or armed robbery personally. He will leap any hurdle to get the fence installed asap in a crisis. He insists every day that his job is “catching bad guys.”
A telling story of Jack’s maverick nature is in his work in compliance. One of the biggest challenges Jack faced when he took the reigns at EGD was that, much like Uber, almost no city or county government had a model for permitting his business. The review process usually took 3-4 months, which slowed adoption and growth. To combat the issue, Jack DeMao did what no other security company did: he hired a compliance team to lobby regulators on the city, county and state level. Jack himself led the effort to change the California state code in early 2016, despite the state’s reputation as the most difficult state legislature in the country.
Meanwhile Jack also pursued the ‘Holy Grail’ of compliance necessary for EGD’s success: a national standard for electric security fences. He researched, contacted and served at multiple organizations of a period of years, only to be eventually told that they had no interest in his goal. In 2011, he received a call from American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM): they were forming a committee to establish such a standard in the correctional industry. While that wasn’t his market, Jack joined and at his first meeting, promptly proposed setting a commercial standard at the same time. The committee was so livid they attempted to oust him. But Jack stayed put and in 2016, was elected chair. Facing diametrically opposed manufacturers from Scotland and Israel that both insisted they had “zero flexibility”, Jack negotiated a deal and passed it. The standard is due to go to a final floor vote in June. The Israeli committee member suggested Jack next assist with Mideast peace.
A final telling aspect of Jack’s maverick nature is how he treats his staff. In an age where employees are often regarded as replaceable parts, Jack’s staff could more aptly be called a devout following, due to the fairness and respect doctrine he follows. He allows dissent to be heard and weighed, promotes from within, and is understanding in a time of crisis. As a result, EGD employees work longer hours of their own volition to achieve the steep growth goals he sets, and frequently turn down higher paying jobs elsewhere. A full 42 of 113 employees have already surpassed the BLS average of 4.2 years longevity at a company and they’ve awarded him a 98% approval rating as CEO on Glassdoor.
In these times, that’s the pinnacle of being a maverick.
In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated executive since the beginning of 2016.
- Industry record-breaking sale of Electric Guard Dog
- Acquiring regional competitor Perimeter Security Systems 8 weeks later
- Topping $3 million RMR in early 2017
- Finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Southeast
- 5th naming to Inc. 5000 list in 6 years, achieving Honor Roll status
- Dealer of the Year 2016 by leading trade journal SDM Magazine
- Opening wide array of new vertical markets including airport security, data centers, dispensaries, correctional facilities and distribution centers
- Establishing non-profit corporate leadership team
- Leading corporate leadership team to Top 5 Teams for Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Breakaway to the Beach" 2016 and personally placing in top 25 fundraisers out of thousands of competitors