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West Michigan security firm opens office at BTR Park

March 22, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A West Michigan company that specializes in high-tech corporate and home security has decided to make Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park the location of its new Kalamazoo-area office.

Engineered Protection Systems Inc.--commonly known as EPS Security--has moved into a nearly 4,200-square-foot space in the BTR Park's Initech Building, located at 4787 Campus Drive. The move is part of a growth strategy in which the firm expects to double the size of its existing 20-person Kalamazoo team over the next five years.

The Kalamazoo office is one of six company offices located throughout western and northern Michigan for the family-owned company that is headquartered in Grand Rapids. Founded in 1955, the company today ranks among the top-30 security providers in the United States, serving more than 16,000 commercial and residential clients in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky. EPS provides burglary, fire, access control, video surveillance and other monitoring and security services for its customers. Among the company's major West Michigan clients are Meijer Stores and Kalamazoo Public Schools.

More information about the company is available at epssecurity.com.

"Kalamazoo has long been a key market for EPS, so we established a local office there nearly 10 years ago to better serve our customers in the area," say Kevin Carlson, president of EPS. "Our new office at Western Michigan University's research park will better suit our needs and growth in the next decade and beyond."

The Kalamazoo office, which was previously located on Westnedge Avenue, provides sales, installation and service to area clients. The office also is involved in design and research, serving as a beta test site for equipment suppliers. Company executives say they're excited about the move, the new connections with the University and the potential for growth in the coming years.

"Cellular and Internet technology is opening up incredible areas of growth in this field," says David Hood, EPS director of sales and marketing. "As we transition away from phone lines and rely more and more on cell phones, the security applications available are growing exponentially. Small cameras installed in a business, for instance, can now be accessed from anywhere in the world."

Hood points to what he calls the "strategic advantage of proximity" in talking about the firm's Kalamazoo move. He and Jeffrey Bos, Kalamazoo branch manager, have met with WMU's engineering dean Anthony Vizzini to discuss internship opportunities for students, future hiring needs and the possibility of extended research and testing partnerships with the college.

"We have also reached out to WMU's Haworth College of Business to investigate the possibility of hiring graduates and developing internships with that college's programs as well," says Hood.

"With this company's business development squarely focused on technology and advanced engineering, it fits perfectly into the BTR Park's specialty areas and the kind of synergy we've been developing among our corporate partners," says Bob Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach, and the University's point person on park development. "We've had some productive meetings already between EPS and members of our academic enterprise, and we're very excited about the potential for working together. "

WMU's Business Technology and Research Park focuses on the life sciences, advanced engineering and information technology. The park shares the University's 265-acre Parkview Campus with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Launched in late 1999, the BTR Park is home to some 30 companies directly employing nearly 700 people. The park is one of 11 sites around Michigan originally designated as SmartZones by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

More information is available at wmich.edu/btr.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
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