You don’t meet many people these days who’ve been with one company for 42 years. H&S Protection’s Harvey Churkey is one of them. As he laughingly put it, “I got to H&S by car,” but it could have been by air or sea. In his spare time away from the job, Harvey enjoys flying model aircraft and sailing. Harvey and his wife Caren keep their sailboat “Healing Time” 0n Lake Petenwell. They have also sailed Lake Winnebago, and Lake Superior in Wisconsin. Harvey and a couple friends took on an adventure by chartering a boat and sailed form Sarasota to Sanibel Island (off the coast of Sarasota, FL). “It was a weeklong cruse, but didn’t get quite as far as we expected,” he chuckled.
Harvey came to H&S from Eau Claire where he served as a technician for Guardian. At the time, alarm panels were more basic, with just one zone. He came up with an idea for a 2-zone panel, rechargeable battery, an enter/exit function and delay, and met a guy who designed and assembled panels in Minneapolis. Guardian became an alarm equipment provider and Harvey was the service technician. He also helped in marketing and was involved in trade shows to help supply the new panels to other alarm companies.
Around that time, former H&S owner Ed Horgan was taking his first steps into the alarm industry. Harvey was troubleshooting some issues for Ed in the Stevens Point area, and asked his brother (who lived in the area), what he thought of living there. “He liked it,” Harvey said of his brother. When Harvey mentioned the possibility of moving to Stevens Point to Ed, “It was history after that,” Harvey said.
He came to H&S as a “jack of all trades. I was a security manager of one person,” he laughed. “We had a strong blend of security and fire services. We progressed from there and slowly hired people to install the systems.”
Harvey’s job now is primarily sales and the steps it takes to get the signature from a customer on the bottom line. “I also design the systems we install,” he added.
His favorite part of his position is seeing teamwork, the job well done from start to finish. “I like to see the customer smiling,” he said. “When you sell security systems, there can be a fear factor to be addressed with customers. I like that we give them peace of mind.”
Harvey enjoys the H&S environment: “You have the freedom to pursue your business and to the job without micromanagement.”
Along with his wife Caren, the couple have three children – Tony, Todd and Tina – and six grandchildren.
What’s the biggest change in the industry Harvey’s seen over the years? “It’s the network connection on systems – everything from cameras to alarms and fire. Everything is IP-based,” he said.
“We always try to look out for the customers’ best interests. H&S Protection is a great place to work. We have a good group of quality people,” Harvey observed.