What began as a hobby installing eight-track tape players in the cars of friends, has blossomed into a 37-year career installing and maintaining alarm and security systems in addition to other low voltage technology.
Bulloch County native Lewis Spivey said it was in high school that he discovered his passion for electronics.
"I just loved tinkering with what at the time was considered new and exciting technology," he said. "I went to work in Atlanta for Wells Fargo in 1973, and I knew right then that I wanted to be in that business."
Spivey moved back to Statesboro in 1977 subsequently buying Southeastern Security Alarm Company in 1979. Spivey sold that company several years ago, and now owns Southeastern Alarm and Technologies, Inc, with his partner Arthur Allen, Jr. The company is one of the leading providers of alarm and security systems in this area, in addition to voice data, structured cabling, networking, home theater systems, decorative lighting, plasma, LCD, and DLP televisions.
"Arthur and I have been friends for many years," he said. "A few years ago, we discussed the need for Statesboro and surrounding counties to have one company that could converge and serve the fast growing alarm, video camera, computer networking and communications services industries. When we considered each of our own fields of expertise, a partnership to fill these needs fit just perfectly. In 2004, we launched Southeastern Alarm and Technologies."
Allen began his career with Micro Computer Power in Statesboro before going to work for Frontier Communications. Allen also became interested in electronics when he began installing car stereos.
"Almost immediately, I developed a fascination for computers and electronics," Allen said. "I actually deployed the first high speed internet service for Frontier. Most of my experience has been ‘hands on.' A lot of my knowledge has been self-taught."
While both may have started their careers by working with what would be considered very simple technology by today's standards, Spivey and Allen readily admit the pace of today's technology requires constant study and education to stay abreast.
"Technology is an unstoppable thing, it has no boundaries," Allen said. "Today's cell phone is a computer. Ironically, as it becomes more complex, it is becoming simpler to use. Our customers can use their cell phones to access their security systems, and that type of technology is really, really common now. This business keeps you on your toes, and literally changes every day."
Mark Anderson, co-owner of Joiner Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro, said his business requires a certain level of security.
"Our business is such that the public is on our premises all of the time," he said. "It is very important to us that we provide as secure of an environment as possible for our clients, their families and friends. Lewis's company has done that for us. They are very professional, and have always done a great job."
Spivey has served three two year terms as a director and charter member of the Georgia Burglar & Fire Alarm Association, which began in 1981.
"Early on, our association saw a need for promoting alarm professionalism within the industry," he said. "We presented the Georgia legislature with our desire for licensing alarm companies, and those offering low voltage services for codes, standards, and ethics compliance. It passed without a problem. The low voltage license was required beginning in 1984. My state number is 000149."
Spivey holds an RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) credential and an unrestricted low voltage license. An RCDD is a professional credential of design knowledge of ITS (Information Transport Systems). The designation, along with the state unrestricted low voltage license is required by most local and state government ITS construction projects for the design and implementation of computer networking and communications infrastructure.
In his career, Spivey has dedicated more than 75,000 hours to industry service and training. Allen has more than 15 years of computer and telecommunications experience.
"Even with all of the experience that I have, I still attend a lot of seminars, training, and I study," Spivey said. "I expect that videoconferencing will become very common, in addition to increased speed, and even more expansive wireless capabilities. The key will be the ability to tie all of this together for the client, and that is what we do."
Spivey is married to the former Gina Deal of Statesboro, and they have an 18-year-old daughter named Rachael. Allen has two daughters that he is raising, 8-year-old Alexandria, and 10-year-old Olivia.
To learn more about their company, you can visit their website at www.sealarmtech.com.