If there is anyone who knows a thing or two about setting and reaching their goals, it’s Denise Mueller. The CEO of Rancho Santa Fe Security Systems in Encinitas, Calif. recently set out to be the first woman to try to break the men’s cycling record in Land Speed Racing of 167 mph, currently held by Fred Rompelberg of the Netherlands. Coming in at 147.7 mph, Mueller has officially set a new cycling record for Women’s Land Speed Racing.
“When you set a goal out there to be the first to do something, you train and prepare for years for it, to accomplish it, whatever it may be, is beyond words. The culmination of effort, teamwork and sacrifices all get put into perspective and are worth the end goal being achieved,” Mueller said.
This philosophy tends to be held by Mueller in all aspects of her life — including running Rancho Santa Fe Security. With the leadership of the company passed down through the family, it all started for Mueller when she began emptying trash bins in the garage office in 1978. From there, Denise helped out where she could while finishing high school, but it didn’t take long to make the transition into a role with much more responsibility.
“As I finished high school my parents divorced and a business partner entered the picture. I found this as my way to spread my wings, but that lasted only a short month till I was asked to assist in the office since I knew the business. Unfortunately, the partnership didn’t work out and I was in a position to help my father go through a difficult partnership separation to save the company. I was inspired to help my father through the process, but found I was comfortable in a leadership position and as they say, the ‘rest is history.’”
To this day, Mueller is active as the CEO working diligently alongside her brother, sister and oldest son to propel the company to new heights and keep up with the ever changing security industry. “It is nice to be a smaller hometown security provider as we can be nimble and change directions quickly, yet our being in business since 1978 allows us the stability and experience to make the best possible decisions in our direction,” Mueller said. Rancho Santa Fe specializes in full patrol and guard business to supplement its security system business, but also offers their own armed alarm response service. “With the ongoing threat of local authorities restricting their response or extended delayed responses to alarm activations, we have a win-win solution for our clients,” Mueller said.
Having a win-win mindset has rocketed Mueller to great heights within the cycling community. She has earned 13 Junior Championship titles as well as two Masters Championship victories in her many years of racing. Her biggest accomplishment to date, though: setting the Women’s Land Speed record in Motor Paced cycling.
“Motor pacing is where a bicycle uses the wind draft behind a motorized vehicle to achieve a higher speed than if the bicycle were pushing the air directly. The wind block created by a motorized vehicle creates a vortex or bubble of air that literally helps create an air void that eliminates the force created by pushing the wind aside on your own,” Mueller said. “The trick is to see how quickly you can increase the speed while in the draft to achieve the record.”
And achieve the record she did. The event took place at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah over the course of September 10-13, 2016, with Mueller’s draft car driver, Shea Holbrook, and her coach, trainer, and 1985 Men’s Land Speed record holder, John Howard. Together they ran the four-mile course and pedaled their way to victory, setting the record for fastest Women’s Paced Bicycle Land Speed.
So, what do you do after setting a world record? Plan for the next one, of course. “I plan to go back in 2017 and break the Men’s record. We will be looking to make improvements to the bicycle and the faring design. We will also be looking to secure the full five miles of distance in order to make it as equivalent to the record environment that the men had to work with,” Mueller said.
As for Mueller’s involvement in Rancho Santa Fe, she plans to transfer into the third generation of family leadership with her eldest son set to take the company reins, as well as continuing to innovate and grow within the security industry.
With nothing but huge, new goals laid out in front of her, Mueller truly embodies the hard-working perseverance needed to be the head of a successful family-owned business and aspiring Olympic athlete. Mueller said, “It’s the huge goals that take huge sacrifice that seem the sweeter to conquer. I crave the thrill of accomplishment, and it is what drives me both in business, athletics, and life!”
For more information on Mueller’s journey to break the Women’s Land Speed record, visit www.theprojectspeed.com. For more information on Rancho Santa Fe Security, visit www.rsfsecurity.com.