Michael Minicozzi, director of operations at the smart home and office security company General Security, has wanted to be a part of the family business for as long as he can remember.
Much of that draw undoubtedly derived from watching his uncles, father and grandfather—Ed Minicozzi, Jr. and Sr., General Security’s president and founder, respectively—grow the business from a small oil service provider into a veritable household name in the security industry.
“My father would have supported me in anything I wanted to do, whether it was with the family business or not,” shares Michael. “But he was always very happy to know this is where I wanted to be.”
As soon as he was old enough, Michael jumped in head-first, working full-time at General Security during every school break throughout college. He bounced around, trying to experience as many of the departments as possible—both to get an in-depth grasp of day-to-day operations, and to find his best fit within the company.
“A lot of people don’t know exactly what kind of job they’re going to get right out of college, and it was the same way with me,” he says. “I wondered where exactly I’d fit in the company.”
While he was growing and learning the business, it was also expanding.
“Every time I came back for a break something was different,” explains Minicozzi. “I remember the summer between sophomore and junior year I came back and it seemed like everything had changed overnight. The building layout had drastically changed, and there was a ton of new people and technology.”
A significant aspect of that transition was partnering with leading security and smart home and business service provider platform Alarm.com, and the company-wide adoption of new smart components. Changes in the industry meant that security companies had to be home automation experts, as well as safety consultants.
With these new investments in place, General Security continued to grow, and soon, the Minicozzi family decided to cut the utilities arm of their operation.
“General Utilities was sold going into my senior year of college, and the focus shifted completely to the security and automation business,” recalls Michael.
Soon thereafter, he graduated from college, and—despite initial uncertainties about where he’d fit into the company—hit the ground running, quickly finding a home in operations, where he continues to work today.
Minicozzi has many responsibilities in his current position as director of operations, from pulling and tracking inventory to helping with installations and working on General Security’s website and marketing presence.
“It’s a little bit different every day, so it stays interesting,” says Minicozzi, adding that while he enjoys his daily responsibilities now, he always keeps an eye on the future. “Ultimately I’d like to step into running the company, along with my brother Alex,” he explains.
Though they don’t typically interact with each other on a daily basis, Michael and Alex—who’s involved in the fire safety side of the business—still find time to talk about issues they’re facing and brainstorm about the future of the company.
“We like to bounce ideas off of each other. We work well as a team,” says Michael.
“Our goal is to increase our footprint and customer base from Vermont down to Florida through strategic acquisitions, by improving our marketing, and ultimately growing sales,” he continues.
“Things change by the minute, with new technology coming out every day."
Marketing and sales aside, General Security needs to keep up with the rapid pace of advancement within the security space. New components come out constantly, along with learning curves about new installation processes. Though challenging, the company has successfully stayed ahead of the curve for more than 10 years, in a large part thanks to relationships with vendors.
“The amount of changes in the industry is unbelievable," explains Minicozzi. “Things change by the minute, with new technology coming out every day. Fortunately, we have great relationships with our suppliers, so they’re very good about keeping us in the loop and up to date on new products, and future products and ideas.”
While this takes significant effort, the work is well spent, as it enables General Security to meet customers’ needs with a high level of precision.
“We have a very diverse portfolio of manufacturers and products that we deal with, which sets us apart,” says Minicozzi, “We have the ability to really tailor a customer’s system to their specific needs.”
It’s this level of care and customization—coupled with cutting-edge technologies—that have allowed General Security to expand and remain successful.
With Michael looking forward to many more years in the family business, the growth won’t stop any time soon.