Please tell us about the inception of Apogee Security Services, LLC.
Apogee Security was founded in 2004 right after I graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. However, I didn’t do too much with the company until 2013. I have over 20 years in the Security industry. I’ve always believed that I can implement my own vision and have a huge impact in the industry.
Given your current professional and personal goals, please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
My day usually starts at 5am with a big mug of coffee. Then I must exercise.
If I’m in California or Florida, I love running on the beach bright and early. After that, it’s a day filled of conference calls and meetings. I try my best to respond to each and every phone call and email. I think it’s rude not to respond to a phone or email. My day starts to slow down about 6:00pm. Recently, I decided to pursue my Doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership. I’m always pushing myself. However, I’m not rushing it and I’m actually having fun. So I usually devote an hour or two for that. I have a glass of wine while I’m catching up on the current news on CNN.
What are your ‘can’t live without’ software applications?
In the Security industry, having the Winteam software is paramount. This software can handle accounting, operations management and human resources. It’s expensive but it’s worth it. Also, I can’t live without Microsoft Office 365. I can always retrieve important documents from anywhere.
What are tricks for accomplishing so much under tight deadlines?
Good time management and planning ahead.
I have a great assistant that keeps my calendar. I squeeze as much as I can out of a 24 hour day. This is one of the reasons I start my day extremely early. I usually have a lot accomplished by 9am. As of right now, I micro manage my company from A-Z until I get it to the point it needs to be.
What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
I have a few but the one that sticks out the most is to never stop learning and always find a way to improve yourself. When I say learn, I mean not just learning your industry but learning in general. You’ll be surprised how much new positive information can impact everything else you do in life. Self-improvement is paramount as well, hence me pursuing my Doctorate degree. This is a personal accomplishment. You can never be too rich or old for self-improvement.
What are your strategies for building awareness of Apogee Security Services, LLC for the short term and the long term?
Our overall game plan is to gross $100 million in revenue by year 4. This number is very obtainable in this industry but you must have a good strategic game plan. The short term plan is to get licensed in different states. This will allows us to grow and reach our sales objection. In the meantime, we will continue our marketing methods via networking, social media, and through word of mouth by providing exceptional service.
What is your proudest achievement, personal and professional?
Personally, it will have to be achieving my Masters degree. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done because the demanding workload was unexpected. Plus, it made my family proud because I dropped out of High School. Professionally, it will be the day when the State of Georgia approved my company for licensure to operate a Security Guard company. They gave me the thumbs up to entrust the safety of the public in my hands. This was huge because there are a lot of other individuals that have more credentials than I do that don’t even get invited to take the State exam.
How do you maintain the work/life balance? Is it a challenge or does it come naturally to you?
I really don’t see this as a challenge because my work is my life and I love what I do. I have the option of going into one of our offices or work from home. However, I do make sure I take time out to enjoy life. After a certain time in the day, I pull myself away from Apogee Security. I just started taking Golf lessons, and I enjoy fishing as well.
What are your top 3 book recommendations?
The Bible, Rich Dad/ Poor Dad, and Steve Jobs.
What charitable causes are most meaningful to you & why?
The Boys & Girls Club of America. I used to attend the Club back in the day when it was just called the Boys Club of America. I’m forever indebted to this Club because it was my second family. I was a kid back then and I can remember I used to break my neck to get there after school. By going there, it kept me busy and out of trouble. I worked my first job there. I learned how to shoot pool, play ping pong, Chess, and basketball there. The staff there at that time took the time out to make sure you were ok. I recently returned there and gave a speech to a group of kids. When time permits, I will do more with the club.
Who has influenced your career the most?
Is it fair to say that I influenced myself? That’s the only way I can answer this question with all honesty. Sometimes, when you sit back and reevaluate your life, you can be your own influencer. You sometimes forget about your accomplishments and even your life goals. Once you have an epiphany with yourself, that’s where your influence can come from. That’s my story.
What is your advice for entrepreneurs interested in pursuing the career in the security and investigations industry?
One of the first things I tell people is to make sure you have a spotless background. Without that, you’re just wasting your time. You have to keep in mind that the individuals that approve your application are in the same industry as you and they will check everything.
Second, you need to have the proper financing available. It takes more than just paying the application and license fees. It all adds up pretty quickly. In my first 6 months in business, I spent about $30,000 just to get things rolling.
Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for help. You may feel that you know it all and have all the answer for everything, do not fall into that trap. That can be your downfall.
About Lamont Martinez
Lamont Martinez founded Apogee Security Services, LLC with a combination of industry experience and education.
The word Apogee means the highest point. Lamont picked this word to name his company because it stood out and was not commonly used. Lamont got his start in the security business as a security officer more than 25 years ago. Within a year, he worked his way up the ranks. At age 19, Lamont became a site supervisor in charge of 26 security officers with Management Safeguard, Inc. From there, he continued to work his way up the ranks. He became an Account Manager and took on the huge task of overseeing numerous security accounts throughout a very challenging and competitive market in New York City. Eventually he was promoted to Operations Manager, where he stayed in that position for several years.
Lamont once considered returning to school with the intentions of becoming a Criminal Defense Attorney. That idea quickly changed after the tragic events of 9/11. The events on that day caused Lamont to reevaluate which direction he wanted to go with his career. He had to choose between going to Law school or to continue with his passion and dedication to provide exceptional security service. Either way, Lamont felt it was incumbent upon him to help his country in some capacity in the Criminal Justice arena. He decided to focus on the Security and Law enforcement industry.
Although he already earned a degree in Computer Science, Lamont enrolled in John Jay College of Criminal Justice and earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice. Two years later, he earned his Masters of Science in Administration of Justice and Security from the University of Phoenix.
After completing his Masters degree, Lamont considered joining the New York City Police Department or the New York City Department of Corrections. In fact, he went through an extensive hiring process with both agencies and was invited to join the New York City Police Department Academy. After giving it further thought and consideration, he declined the offer because he felt his true calling was in the Security Industry. He decided to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia, to pursue his dream of starting Apogee Security Services, LLC.
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