Celebrating contractors’ commitment to customer service, integrity, and mastery: Meet the inaugural winners of the CI&M 50

March 9, 2021
The first set of contractors selected for the CI&M 50 exemplify the characteristics customers seek and appreciate from service providers.
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By Patrick McLaughlin

After rounds of nominations and selection, in this article we provide information on the first installment of information and communications technology (ICT) contractors that have been chosen for inclusion in our CI&M 50 program. This first installment includes 25 contractors; as the CI&M 50 name suggests, we’ll add another 25, for a total of 50 contractors, later this year.

We started the program to recognize excellence in three vital areas of the profession:

  • Customer service
  • Integrity
  • Mastery of the skills of the trade

The nomination process has been, and remains, an open one. Any organization or individual can nominate a contractor for inclusion in the CI&M 50, including self-nominations. We ask nominators to provide details and examples of the contractors’ excellence in the three areas of consideration: customer service, integrity, mastery of the trade’s skills.

The CI&M 50 program is sponsored by STL; that sponsorship does not include evaluating nominees. We are grateful to STL for their sponsorship of this program.

The cabling and ICT contracting business is competitive. It takes dedication and commitment to achieve and maintain professional performance at a high level. Providing excellent customer service is essential, as it is in most businesses, but it is just the beginning. In such a competitive industry, maintaining integrity with clients, partners, suppliers, and even competitors can set an organization apart. And being able to deliver a valuable finished project to the client, that will satisfy their technology needs today and into the future, requires a mastery of the trade as well as a vision for the future. With that in mind, we are pleased to present the initial 25 members of the CI&M 50. Following are descriptions of each company, including in many cases the testimonials offered by their nominators.

Amphenol Custom Cable, customcable.com

Amphenol Custom Cable includes a network services business unit, which the company nominated for recognition. Specifically, Jack Freed nominated his crew “on an excellent project we just completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was walked, estimated, and installed during the height of the pandemic. The project went on-schedule and the end-user moved in on time. A win for all involved. Integrity was shown each and every day on site. Through the use of CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines, no one on site was affected by the added regulations faced on-site.”

Axcex Media LLC, axcexmedia.com

With Axcex Media, customers “will find the experience and professionalism for a wide range of technological needs,” the company says. “We provide services for an array of technology and cybersolutions including DAS, full wireless networks, structured cabling, equipment staging, low-voltage LED lighting, sound masking, CCTV and electronic security, data centers, commercial and government architecture, and healthcare communications.”

The company adds its trained and certified staff are dedicated to a high level of service. “Our installations are completed at the most efficient rate, because we care for initial design and communication with the customer. New staff is trained extensively in our in-house training program based on the latest technology and standards.”

Banning Contracting Services Inc., banningcs.com

Nominated by a supply-chain professional who has more than 20 years’ experience working with the contractor, Banning Contracting Services is based in Tulsa, OK and headed by chairman and chief executive officer Chris Banning, a disabled U.S. Air Force veteran.

The company lists its values on its website—quality, honesty, and integrity. On integrity, Banning Contracting Services says, “It is every employee’s responsibility to strive with the utmost integrity for high-quality, error-free performance as a daily goal. The future success of Banning CS depends on the reputation and integrity of our efforts and products today.”

Brenda Salazar, a supply-chain professional who nominated Banning for this recognition, commented, “I have worked on more than 50 IT communications jobs wit Banning’s team. They are all amazing. Banning still works on a handshake or a conversation, which in today’s world, never happens. Banning is first on a jobsite. If there is a concern or change order that is needed, Chris will work through the best options and make sure it is completed even better than you had hoped for. Banning CS has a full team of RCDD, PMP, BICSI-trained employees; Chris really invests in their personal growth, not only the company’s growth. Because of this, Banning’s loyal employees will go the extra mile.”

Building Infrastructure Group Inc. (BIG Inc.), biggp.com

BIG provides full-service structured cabling, network design, installation, and support. “We build the infrastructure that supports your mission-critical enterprise networks,” the company says from its headquarters in Chantilly, VA. On the topic of customer service, BIG’s vice president and director of operations C.D. Goodiel explains, “Clients have access to all the employees at the company, including the CEO. BIG believes our employees are the product, and we empower them with the proper tools, training, and incentives to give the client a first-rate installation every time. We don’t want to have a singular experience with a client; we prefer to develop a working partnership with a client that lasts far beyond the current project. This mentality has allowed BIG to foster and maintain relationships with clients that have been ongoing for more than 20 years.

“The word ‘integrity’ literally is painted on the wall at BIG, along with ‘loyalty,’ ‘quality,’ and ‘pride,’” Goodiel adds. “We believe and teach that you should do the right thing, whether or not anyone is looking. Honesty will win, and the truth will come out in the end. So have the integrity to be on the right side of history each and every time.”

Mastering the skills of the trade is an ongoing achievement at BIG, which is a corporate member of Associated Builders and Contractors, AVIXA, and BICSI. BIG employs Registered Communications Distribution Designers (RCDDs) and Registered Telecommunications Project Managers (RTPMs), credentials offered by BICSI. BIG also employs Cisco Certified Design Associates (CCDAs) and Cisco Certified Network Associates (CCNAs). The company has achieved product and system certifications from a number of cabling-system manufacturers. “BIG takes the time and effort to provide paid training to employees, both internally and externally through vendor partners and BICSI,” Goodiel points out. It is important to stay on top of industry changes and be up-to-speed on the latest techniques and products. Through investment and training in employees, BIG is creating craftsmen who take pride in what they do, and that translates into a fantastic experience for the client.”

CDT Resources, cdtresources.com

Headquartered in Ramsey, NJ, CDT Resources is headed by Dan Harrison and Cliff Dipalmer, who combined have more than 60 years’ experience in the ICT trade. The company specializes in multiple vertical-user types, including hospitals, pharmaceutical cleanroom environments, public works, and public schools. A communications technician within Long Branch Public Schools, Jonathan Friedman, nominated CDT for CI&M 50 recognition. “As a public school district, remote learning has been a challenge,” Friedman began. “Wiring upgrades, relocation of staff, turning closets into virtual classrooms, increasing WiFi access inside our buildings—all literally had to be done overnight. We had to upgrade the wireless access points in three schools overnight when we switched to remote learning. The wireless in our preschool buildings was not designed for the number of wireless devices we now had to run on it. CDT showed up in 24 hours with the staff to install over 65 APs in two days. They work hard, they work reliably, and their work is quality. Working with us on pricing and payment terms, CDT goes beyond to help us service our students and staff.”

As a long-time provider of installation, maintenance and repair services to the Long Branch schools, CDT Resources carried out plenty of projects in school buildings over the years while students, faculty and staff were present. Of those occasions, Friedman notes, “Working in a middle school with 1300 students, when the bell rings, a worker’s ladder in the hallway could be dangerous. CDT makes it work, moving their equipment every 42 minutes, helping to ensure students’ safety.

“Having 100-year-old school buildings and brand-new school buildings in the same town makes infrastructure upgrades a challenge,” Friedman further explains. “Some walls are 24 inches of poured concrete—poured by horses in troughs up ramps in 1915. CDT has the tools and the knowledge to route cable anywhere we needed it to go, upgrading our older backbone from Cat 5 to fiber. Installing data networks in 100-year-old school buildings takes imagination and mastery of the trade. CDT has both.”

CIS Data Services, cisdataservices.com

CIS Data Services in Springfield, MO takes “a methodical approach to hardware, security, and cabling that your whole organization can depend on,” the company says. The organization emphasizes that technology investments don’t have to be overwhelming. One of CIS’s clients is Osage Valley Electric Cooperative, which nominated CIS for recognition in the CI&M 50.

“You can always depend on these guys,” a representative of Osage Valley comments. “Great work, great responsiveness, and they always get the customer taken care of. CIS employs some of the finest individuals you’ll deal with. They always listen to what you want, and recommend great products. You can trust their opinions. I’ve used a few other structured cabling firms, but no one comes close to their design and implementation. Their work is a form of art.”

CommShark, commshark.com

Serving the Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. areas, CommShark provides voice, data, and cloud services with a specialty of business phone systems and data cabling. “Our solutions are an amalgamation of industry experts, prompt customer service, and advanced leading technologies in the telecommunications industry all put together to ensure complete customer satisfaction,” the company says. “We help small and medium-sized businesses connect with their customers using a reliable communication system that is critical to their success.

“Our hosted/cloud phone system is a cost-effective solution for businesses to incorporate into their structure,” the company continues. “We offer upgrades to your cloud-hosted phone system, updating with each new upgrade that rolls out.” CommShark also installs overhead paging systems in offices, warehouses, retail sites, schools, clinics, and other public areas. “An overhead paging system gives businesses the ability to connect with other employees, make announcements, distribute information quickly, and communicate important information,” the company points out.

A residential customer commented, “I’m very pleased with all the services CommShark provided, especially the wiring of PCs, phone systems and WiFi. The company displays a strong knowledge and understanding of the services they offer and acts in the client’s best interest. They are very focused on providing outstanding customer service.”

CPS, 4cps.com

Mark Allen took full ownership of CPS in late 2020 after several years as part owner of the Grayslake, IL-based company, which has been in business for 37 years. CPS employs BICSI-credentialed RCDDs and Certified Technicians, as well as Cisco Certified Network Associations (CCNAs) and Microsoft Certified System Engineers (MCSE).

“Nine out of ten of our projects come from repeat customers, due to our high degree of quality and service,” Allen says. “Our customer support is around the clock, every day of the year, around the country. Our projects and services are conducted with the highest degree of ethics and integrity. There is no other way to do business at or with CPS.”

CPS specializes in four primary practice areas: structured cabling, access control systems, video surveillance/CCTV systems, and fiber-optic specialty installations.

Corporate Technology Solutions, ctscabling.com

Corporate Technology Solutions (TCS) is a full-service low-voltage integration design firm serving commercial, healthcare, education, and government sectors in the Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson, AZ areas. The firm is a member of BICSI and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and has earned certification from the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET).

“Our structured cabling installation team focuses on the specific needs of each of our unique customers,” the company says. “We listen to what your requirements and needs are in a low-voltage systems integration while making suggestions to allow your data communications, security systems, and distributed antenna systems to expand and grow as network cabling technology changes.” The firm also deploys passive optical network (PON) systems.

A representative of staffing firm Software Management Consultants Inc. (SMCI) nominated CTS for recognition, specifically pointing out the accomplishments of CTS project manager Bob Bryant. “Bob and his team are thorough, cost-competitive, compliant, and safe,” the nomination began. “They exhaustively test every copper and fiber drop before closing out a job.

“CTS provides a thorough project plan, estimate and site visit within 48 hours of a request. The team is honest and points out options to repurpose the existing infrastructure when appropriate. CTS is a valuable vendor for installations in offices, work bays, yards, and conference rooms. The team adapts to any situation and helps realize the customer’s vision.”

Federal Technology Solutions Inc., federalsales.com

Corona, CA-based Federal Technology Solutions Inc. says its mission is “to be a leader in the design, construction and maintenance of leading-edge communication networks and provide innovative, comprehensive information technology systems to customers in various industry sectors that allow them to operate at their peak performance.” The company adds that it achieves this mission by “being flexible and inviting open communication within our company and customer base. Federal Technology Solutions, Inc. recognizes the success of each team member, provides continued education opportunities, and provides a safe environment that encourages employee development both inside and outside the office.”

Richard Sanger with distributor John B. Rudy Co. praises the contractor. “FTSI has performed the job order contracting at UCLA, which is a very time-consuming and demanding contract,” Sanger says. “They have performed admirably and are highly regarded at the university, where they have consistently won annual contracts involving structured cabling. They always respond quickly within contract terms, with professional trained technicians.

“From a supplier standpoint, they are loyal partners on all projects we have performed with them,” Sanger continues. “They do not ‘shop’ our prices to other distributors or try to substitute alternate products from those quoted. They have been in the industry many years and have a great reputation with their suppliers in this regard.”

FTSI is certified to install cabling systems from several manufacturers.

GarCom Inc., garcominc.com

El Paso, TX-based GarCom is a full-service design and installation company that serves government agencies and private industry throughout the U.S. The company says it “produces successful projects through a no-nonsense approach to construction services, offering clients a host of focused, proven and tangible design services used to deliver maximum satisfaction, minimal expense and superior performance.” The company is headed by Jesus Garcia, RCDD, founding principal, who has more than 25 years’ experience working with structured cabling systems. He has worked extensively in both inside plant and outside plant installations, and is directly involved in each project from initial design to construction administration and customer support.

One of GarCom’s customers is the City of El Paso; a member of the municipality’s IT department nominated the company for recognition. “GarCom is our go-to contractor whenever we have a damaged fiber within our municipal right-of-way and we need service back up immediately,” the El Paso IT department member explains. “They are always quick to respond to any request we have, whether it is part of our internal fiber system or our contracted long haul.

“Garcia always strives to give us the best pricing available, provides constant updates on projects, and gives constructive feedback on workaround solutions. He is an RCDD, with extensive knowledge of the trade. He is always offering his recommendations and we have been extremely satisfied with all the services he offers.”

GigaSpan Solutions, gigaspan.com

GigaSpan Solutions, based in Centennial, CO, provides business technology infrastructure solutions throughout Colorado. The company’s mission statement is to “promote enthusiasm and dedication in providing clients, employees, vendors and business partners alike the very best in quality of services with integrity, honesty and ethical business practices.”

The woman-owned business maintains RCDDs on staff, as well as other BICSI-certified and manufacturer-certified personnel. The company also attributes its success to its “focus on how to best serve our clients’ broad range of project types, sizes and complexities. We consistently assemble our project teams with the best-suited talent, assessing each project requirement carefully.”

Chad Burnham, IT project manager at the University of Denver, is a GigaSpan client. “GigaSpan Solutions recently completed two capital projects for the University of Denver—the Dimond Family Residential Village and the Community Commons,” Burnham explains. “GigaSpan also currently performs ongoing MAC work for the university.

“From the top executive to the project manager to the lead installer and team installers, the GigaSpan team has constantly demonstrated excellent customer service,” he praises. “Exceeding turnaround times, installation schedules, and field communications have contributed to the high level of customer-service delivery. The attention to detail that each team member has shown on these projects is truly commendable. The thousands of points of data and detail can be mind-blowing and a challenge to keep up with on projects of this size. The team’s self-dedication in getting things right is a true reflection of how good the GigaSpan team really is. Each team member has set their own goals of excellence.”

Burnham further reflects that the complete body of work by all GigaSpan team members contributes to the final product that the university receives, and he has observed the company’s commitment to lifelong learning and skills building, from top management to field personnel.

Global Com, globalcomva.com

Incorporated in 1996, Global Com is a government-focused small business with a main operations center in Sterling, VA and a government relations office in Arlington, VA. All Global Com’s structured cabling technicians are BICSI-trained, and the company employs several RCDDs. “Our areas of expertise include structured cabling systems, procurement, installation and maintenance of active IT infrastructure, and the professional services needed to help you navigate the complex path to defining your requirements, designing your systems, and transitioning onto and maintaining them,” the company says. “We are a BICSI corporate member and authorized BICSI training center, and have established relationships with most of the major manufacturers in our industry.”

Jerry L. Bowman of Square Mile Systems Inc. has worked with Global Com for more than a decade as a prime contractor and a subcontractor. He describes Global Com as “a true systems integrator with a strong cabling front-end. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a company with their breadth of capabilities and commitment to both the market and the customer.” Bowman, who chairs the Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) TR-60, further comments that Global Com has “continually stepped to the plate to support me and this new technology management standard.

“Global Com takes a consultative approach to resolving customer issues and their lead competitive advantage is being easy to do business with,” Bowman continues. On the company’s integrity, he observes, “They do the right thing. As a subcontractor, I see clients change scope in the middle of a project and inject issues. The answer from the management team was always the same: ‘We may not have to, but we’re going to do the right thing.’”

Bowman was BICSI’s president when Global Com became a BICSI-authorized training facility, which mandated a training lab. “They’ve taken the BICSI training lab and expanded the idea of training to be mobile and expanded into network systems,” Bowman says. “Their training manager is also their quality control manager, which puts an exclamation point on the skills of the technicians in the field—they’re trained, experienced, and monitored.”

GoFroe, gofroe.com

Operated by Lee Renfroe, GoFroe designs and installs low-voltage systems including CCTV, phone systems, intrusion detection, and sound masking. The Fitzgerald, GA-based company also offers training, including the Fiber Optic Association’s Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT) certification and the CFOT/T (Certified Fiber Optic Technician Fiber Testing Specialist). Renfroe is a two-time champion of BICSI’s Cabling Skills Challenge. He holds multiple certifications and designations including the RCDD, Certified Technician, and Electronic Safety and Security Designer (ESSD) designations from BICSI, as well as CompTIA A+ certification, Georgia’s Unrestricted Low Voltage license, and the FOA’s CFOS/I (Certified Fiber Optic Instructor).

GoFroe uses SS&Si Dealer Network as one of its distributors, and SS&Si’s Jake Voll nominated GoFroe for the CI&M 50. “Lee goes above and beyond to make sure his customers are happy,” Voll says. “He does his business honestly and with integrity, and has earned an excellent reputation. Lee is a highly respected professional.”

Linx Multimedia, teamlinx.com

Founded in 2003, Linx Multimedia is a technology integrator providing services in network cabling, multimedia systems, security, and in-building wireless systems. From its headquarters in Denver, CO and other offices in Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Washington, Linx has performed more than 80,000 projects in all 50 states.

Linx has more than 600 employees and 360 manufacturer-trained technicians, 13 RCDDs and 1 Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC). “As an enterprise-level integrator, we attract the industry’s top talent and train them in the latest technologies,” the company says. “As a result, we deploy hard workers seeking careers that deliver world-class service. We invest in training because it brings value to our business and yours. Our technicians stay on the leading edge of technology with the latest training in installation, connectivity, and the industry’s best practices.”

The company also does extensive work in mission-critical environments, particularly including data centers. It reflects, “When Linx started in 2003, only 10 percent of the world’s population were internet users. Today 4.4 billion people use the internet. Close to 60 percent of the world live and work connected 24/7. As the world becomes a web-based community, having uninterrupted and faster internet access is becoming a basic human need, along with food, water, and shelter. The performance and capacity of data centers must keep pace with the stifling expansion of online data. Linx is one of the largest technology integrators in the United States but one of the few operating as four independent companies, unifying network cabling, multimedia, security, and wireless systems under one umbrella—thereby providing one point of contact for the design, installation, and support of a project.”

Master Electric, masterelectricinc.net

Master Electric in Gladwin, MI was founded in 2005 and in 2013 launched a data and security systems division. Employing an RCDD, the division is staffed with trained low-voltage and security technicians that carry out projects involving security, access control, CCTV, intrusion/burglary, perimeter detection, panic alarm, AV and telecommunications systems.

Bret Emerson, RCDD/NTS, president of technology consulting firm Commtech Design, applauds Master Electric for the company’s capabilities. “I work with a large government entity that needs consistent and continuous technology and security solutions,” Emerson explains. “Master Electric is our go-to contractor for resolution of failures or ongoing issues when they come up. They are available 24/7.”

Emerson further describes Master Electric’s wide-ranging technical capabilities: “Not only is Master Electric a telecommunications company, but they are also a large and important electrical contractor. They are currently working on an implementation of a new fiber and copper backbone for a military installation—working on the underground conduits, handholes, communications cabinet and all electrical and grounding for the exterior cables.”

Net100, net100ltd.com

Net100 “treats every installation as a unique project, whether it’s creating a comprehensive cabling design for your site or providing assistance with your network infrastructure plan,” the company says, emphasizing that working with them “ensures a clearly defined scope of work, a smooth and efficient installation process, and a competitively priced final product that successfully meets BICSI, IEEE and ANSI/TIA requirements, as well as our own strict standards of quality.”

That sentiment is echoed by representatives of the law firm Perkins Coie, which enlisted Net100 for data cabling system installation and support when the firm opened an office in Washington, D.C.

The contractor says it takes the trust of clients like Perkins Coie seriously. “Our standards of quality are evident in our dedication to trained personnel,” Net100 says. “We have a comprehensive BICSI in-house training program and promote industry certifications within our organization. We have a large number of BICSI registered installers, technicians, and RCDDs on staff.

“Our in-house inventory tracking system guarantees that the right materials and equipment are in place for your installation. Our large fleet of installation vehicles is equipped with the right tools for an on-time delivery and installation.

“We understand the difference between designing a data center, building out multiple systems in a healthcare facility, and the stringent requirements for a SCIF [sensitive compartmented information facility] installation,” Net100 explains. “Each market and each individual customer has its own nuances and needs specific to its applications. We have trained installers and project managers to handle just about any cabling environment.”

Precision Contracting Services Inc., pcsfiber.com

Experts in the design, installation, integration, maintenance and asset management for fiber-optic and communication infrastructure and networks. “Our certified technicians and state-of-the-art equipment enables us to deploy efficient, effective fiber-optic networks supporting information transport systems, security systems, CATV distribution, AV, wireless, DAS, fiber-to-the-X networks, as well as passive optical LAN,” the company says.

Kirk Donley, senior vice president with Fiber Instrument Sales, nominated Precision Contracting Services for inclusion in the CI&M 50. Donley explains the contractor “has been a customer and partner of Fiber Instrument Sales for many years. It is encouraging to see a client such as PCS take extensive interest in the further training of its employees and, often, local businesses. The second floor of PCS’s new facility in Winter Garden, FL is made up of a huge training room and lab area with the latest technology and a full wipe board wall for classroom instruction.

“The president, Cindy Boyd, encourages managers to attend local industry conferences to investigate the latest equipment advances and products on the market. PCS pushes manufacturers to develop new products that have extra value for contractors, such as factory-installing GPS in testers and splicers. The GPS will deter theft and, if a theft occurs, will assist in providing law enforcement the locations of the stolen items.”

Donley also applauds Cindy Boyd’s support of United States military members, located domestically and abroad, with gifts, letters of support, and gestures such as paid attendance at national sporting events. Boyd received the Spirit of Hope Award from the U.S. Department of Defense in 2019 for her efforts to support the Army community.

Sand Tech, sand-tech.com

Sand Tech’s founder Raed El-Ahmad started the company in 2007 to provide computer repair services, and grew the business to also include managed network services. “Our managed IT services solution provides clients with an innovative approach to supporting their businesses’ information technology needs. Our team proactively monitors alerts on servers workstations, firewalls, and backup devices—allowing us to quickly remedy issues as they occur, and anticipate potential issues and make corrections before problems arise. Managed services can help create a lower and more-predictable IT budget, while reducing strain on the current IT team.”

El-Ahmad submitted the nomination of Sand Tech for the CI&M 50, but in doing so, emphasized his desire to recognize one employee in particular. “Luis Guzman has years of experience working with fiber,” El-Ahmad explains. “His work ethic and the level of detail he takes in the work he performs make him an exceptional employee.” He adds that several clients have asked for Guzman to perform work at additional locations, including in other regions of the country. “He is a great addition to the industry,” El-Ahmad concludes.

Sturgeon Electric, sturgeonelectric.com

Sturgeon Electric, based in Henderson, CO, is part of MYR Group, Inc., a publicly traded holding company of specialty electrical contractors. Sturgeon Electric’s commercial and industrial electrical construction division specializes in large-scale electrical projects, telecommunications, traffic signalization, gas distribution, high-voltage distribution service and maintenance. Sturgeon also offers design-build and preconstruction services, and has in-house prefabrication and building information modeling capabilities.

The company’s communications and low-voltage business unit offers a range of communications design and construction services for inside and outside plant copper, fiber, and coaxial cabling systems. These cabling systems support a variety of applications, including voice/data/video, WiFi, CATV, CCTV, healthcare communications, public announcement systems, distributed antenna systems, security and access control, intelligent infrastructure management, data centers, Voice over IP, audio, and fire alarms.

It addresses both inside plant and outside plant, and makes use of infrared imaging in outside plant environments. “Our infrared imaging service utilizes Fluke thermal imagers to measure infrared ‘hot spots’ that contain objects with temperature that fall at absolute zero or below. Objects such as these produce heat radiated footprints that are invisible to the human eye. This ability provides the latest in preventative maintenance diagnosis.”

Tekworks Inc., paladintechnologies.com

Tekworks Inc. merged with Paladin Technologies in 2019 and since early 2021 has operated as Paladin Technologies. The original Tekworks business had offices in Los Angeles and San Diego serving Southern California. Paladin Technologies is based in Vancouver, BC Canada with a total of 16 offices in the U.S. and Canada and more than 900 employees. It provides design, deployment, optimization, management and maintenance of systems including integrated security, data centers, outside plant, alarms and monitoring, AV, structured cabling, wireless, and unified communications.

“By working with the leading, proven, and most reliable technologies on the market, Paladin has positioned itself to be your single point of contact for accountability and best practices when managing your building technology systems,” the company says.

Consulting firm Farlight Services nominated Tekworks/Paladin for CI&M 50 recognition. Farlight’s president, Jay Yu, comments, “A great example of their customer service is their communication skills. They respond promptly, provide a specific timeline for resolution, and keep us updated on progress.

“We have had multiple change orders on long projects, and Tekworks was one of the few subs that offered up ways to save costs and maintain scalability,” Yu adds. “Their team exceeds all requirements on every technical installation detail.”

TelTech Networks, teltechnetworks.com

Phoenix-based TelTech Networks provides low-voltage cabling, video and security services, as well as installation of distributed antenna systems and outside plant cabling. “Information technologies are converging at an exponential rate,” the company states. “These services and applications are being designed, refined, and optimized for internet transmission. As technology explodes, the need for a robust and reliable foundation is a must for optimum network performance and acceptable network operation. Simply put, transmitting MRI files, designing and playing the latest interactive video game, corresponding with email, downloading movie clips or backing up a critical database application, video-quality content is expected to be perfect and network downtime should never happen. A well-planned, well-designed infrastructure and a quality installation are the mandatory elements of today’s high-performance networks.”

Clear Funds, a TelTech customer, nominated the company for CI&M 50 recognition and in doing so praised TelTech’s work as “impeccable,” adding that the contractor is on a “continuous pursuit of excellence.”

TelTech says its mission is “to provide services that are cost-effective and concerned with the broader applications of business. Cost-effectiveness is defined not just as the price of materials and the cost of labor, but also the quality with which the services are performed, jobsite safety and project foresight. We consider a client’s long-term goals in conjunction with the immediate needs and desires for the project.”

U.S. Communications and Electric, uscande.com

Founded in 1996 in Ohio, U.S. Communications and Electric is a woman-owned business with “the experience, reputation, and expertise our customers trust,” the company says. “Our investment in our people, our partners, and our breadth of certifications underlines our commitment to excellence and 100 percent dedication to customer satisfaction.” Holding more than 30 industry certifications, U.S. Communications and Electric has 6 RCDDs on staff and more than 100 employees. In the 25 years since its founding, the company has delivered more than 10,000 projects that have included the installation of more than 250 million feet of network cable.

The company lists security, distributed antenna systems, and AV among its technology offerings, along with network cabling, design and integration services, and Internet of Things deployments. “Our mission is to work together to fulfill the present and future needs of our customers. We will develop and maintain open communication, exemplary partnerships, teamwork and trust. Our employees will demonstrate initiative, dedication, and a work ethic second to none.”

A representative of the contractor’s client Progressive Insurance said U.S. Communications and Electric “is our preferred wiring vendor for the Cleveland area buildings and campuses. They provide excellent customer service, and are very responsive and dependable. The technicians and project managers are very well trained and knowledgeable. From installation of fiber-optic and Category 6A copper cabling to AV solutions, to wireless, DAS, and data center knowledge, they perform admirably.”

Vision Technologies, visiontechnologies.com

Vision Technologies recently celebrated 20 years in business and an aggregate of $1 billion in revenue since inception. The company employs approximately 550 professionals in 25 states and projects $150 million in revenue in 2021. “The mission of Vision Technologies and our teammates is to ensure a world-class customer experience and world-class service,” the company says. “Our job is to support our customer before, during and after the project. Our goal is to provide the best technical solutions and services to address our customers’ needs, and to provide a positive working environment that allows our customer, our company and our employees to succeed.”

Among Vision Technologies’ long-standing customers are CareFirst, for which Vision has carried out more than 4000 projects and tasks over 20 years; Discovery, with more than 2400 projects and tasks over 19 years; and the University of Maryland Medical System, with more than 1200 projects and tasks over 18 years.

“Vision believes in forging relationships with customers for life,” the company continues. “These relationships cannot be created or maintained without implicit trust from our customers. Vision accomplishes this by communicating, and standing by our guarantee, such as 100 percent customer satisfaction. Our work is not complete until the customer is completely satisfied with our work.”

Vision has been a BICSI Authorized Training Facility since 2003, and in that time has trained hundreds of personnel on BICSI practices. The company has outfitted its facility to simulate the complex work environments, including racks, cabinets, patch panels, wall plates, and cabling that technicians encounter on a daily basis. “When our personnel arrive at a customer site, they have already been trained on the rough-in, termination, labeling, and mounting of telecommunications equipment,” Vision adds.

Windemuller, windemuller.us

Nominated for work performed on a terminal renovation project at Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority, Windemuller “has been very proactive and responsive, providing top-quality construction and installation,” comments Jonathan Curtiss of Kent County Information Technology. “Their employees took the time to understand the airport culture, rules and infrastructure, enabling them to provide great quality at the best value.”

Employing BICSI-certified technicians, Windemuller “is quick to respond and take care of concerns, as well as proactively managing projects so they come in at or under budget, on time,” adds Curtiss. “They take responsibility for their work, and have been willing to put safety and the customer first at every phase of construction. The people they had on-site for the airport concourse remodeling construction project were always knowledgeable and willing to point out better options when we ran into challenges,” he concludes.

“Our mission is to be the preferred partner providing innovative technical services,” Windemuller says. “Our vision is to be a great place to work, admired by our customers, valued by our families and communities, and provide opportunities.” The company’s guiding values are honesty, trustworthiness, commitment, and accountability.

Congratulations to these initial CI&M 50 entrants. We’ll have more for you in the coming months.

Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.

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