Guardian Protection welcomed 2023 by hosting a destination weekend for its top dealers, sales professionals and their guests at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in Florida. (Don't miss the image gallery below, with scenes from throughout the event.)
The event, held Jan. 11-13, was the first time internal sales divisions came together with Guardian Protection authorized dealers to celebrate excellence in quality sales production. Nearly 70 attended the Celebrate Excellence weekend, including a few of Guardian’s top vendors who helped to sponsor it.
The luxury getaway format is a change from Guardian’s traditional way of recognizing top sales performers. The company usually holds an evening banquet at a Pittsburgh venue for its internal sales force. And for dealers, it traditionally hosts a business-focused three-day conference during ISC West in Las Vegas.
“We thought we’d try something new,” said April Maloney, vice president of sales. “The desire to be a high sales achiever creates a common bond; we saw these groups being better together than apart. We then asked ourselves, ‘What would it take for a top sales performer to leave their kids and their business for three days and travel to a company event?’, which is why we focused on luxury and fun and the option to bring a spouse or guest.”
Making the most of Florida sunsets and water views, the event kicked off with an evening reception high atop the St. Petersburg Pier and closed with a sunset dinner and cocktails, beachside. In between, memories were made at company-paid adventures such as a trolley tour of local breweries and an inshore fishing excursion on Tampa Bay.
Guardian Regional Builder Manager Mel Bowen commented, “It was a setting that let us all get away from work and unwind and celebrate together. There was free time to spend with your significant other — after all, they are a big part of why we were able to achieve what we did.”
Highlighting the weekend, an awards dinner honored top-producing Guardian authorized dealers and sales professionals. Beth Giles of dealer Ranger Technology Solutions commented that it was unlike other events she’s attended: “It felt like a true celebration for the attendees; truly all in attendance felt like they were celebrated for their performance and appreciated for their accomplishments.”
Tears of joy, seen as spouses and guests watched loved ones take the stage, likely proved Giles correct. “The Plus-Ones have personally seen how challenging a sales career can be; they see the winner on their worst days,” said Maloney, adding, “Their presence is important, both for them and our winners.”
Following is a list of award winners:
President’s Award: AAA Home Security
Master’s Award: Chris Marino
Sales Leader of the Year: Mel Bowen
1st Place Authorized Dealer: AAA Home Security
2nd Place Authorized Dealer: Choice Home Warranty
3rd Place Authorized Dealer: Ranger Technology Solutions
Most 5-year Agreements: Security Force
Best Credit Scores: Safe N’ Sound
Commercial Sales Rep of the Year: Monica Drutch
National Accounts Sales Rep of the Year: Paul Huffman
Inside Sales Rep of the Year: Heather Westfall
1st Place Residential Sales: Chris Marino
2nd Place Residential Sales: Joe Kelly
3rd Place Residential Sales: James Hakes
1st Place Builder Sales: Nick Ernst
2nd Place Builder Sales: Darla Perz
3rd Place Builder Sales: Jay Mead
Gold Circle Award: Joe Kelly
Alarm.com Advocate Award: Ranger Technology Solutions
While accolades made for many happy faces, an additional positive outcome was noted by Guardian senior leadership.
“I was pleased to see a lot of idea-sharing throughout the weekend,” said Maloney. “There were no business meetings, no planned discussions, but I saw Tampa sales reps trading ideas with Philly sales reps and authorized dealers sharing go-to-market techniques with other dealers. It confirmed my view that common ground can be found among very different sales channels. We adopted this new recognition format with the hope of simply saying ‘thank you for all that you have done to help us be successful.’ It had some other unexpectedly great benefits.”
Guardian Protection, based in Pittsburgh, placed No. 8 on the 2022 SDM 100, a ranking of U.S. companies that earn their revenues from the sale, installation, service and monitoring of electronic security systems.