In 1973, Gallaher & Associates, Inc. was founded by Roy Gallaher as a rep firm carrying a variety of electrical manufacturers with products ranging from fire alarm systems to power distribution and lighting sold to end users and electrical contractors. Shortly thereafter, the strategic decision was made to concentrate on fire alarm systems in Middle and East Tennessee with installation and service becoming additional offerings to benefit the client. One of several early milestones that helped Gallaher significantly grow its reputation was the successful completion of the fire alarm systems installation in the high-profile Chinese and Korean Pavilions at the 1982 World’s Fair.
In the early 1980s, additional product lines were added which enabled Gallaher to begin the path to selling a wide range of solutions including school intercom systems, gymnasium and auditorium sound systems, hospital nurse call systems and plant paging systems. Concurrently, additional employees were hired to enable us to not only sell the equipment but do complete systems designs and installations. Gallaher’s growth was such that additional space was needed and in 1981 a 6,000 square foot office / warehouse facility was purchased off Alcoa Highway at what is now Pellissippi Parkway. Growth continued the area we serviced into Southwest Virginia, Western North Carolina, and North Georgia. Other high visibility projects Gallaher successfully completed in the 1980s included the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium press box, luxury boxes, and locker rooms (Distributed Audio & TV) West Town Mall (Fire Alarm), and the John Duncan Federal Office Building (Fire Alarm & Telephone).
In 1993, Gallaher had grown to a total of 19 employees and broke the $1M sales mark for the first time. In the same year, Roy’s son Tom joined the company full-time after graduating from Radford University with a BBA in operations management and mathematics minor. The vision was to use Tom’s efforts to grow the company in areas outside fire and begin the long road of preparing a second generation family ownership plan. Strong growth in both the quantity of employees as well as overall core competencies continued to drive annual revenues at very steady rates. In 2003, Gallaher was on the cusp of hitting the $5M milestone but shredded the goal with $1.9M in additional growth in 2004 by closing the year with $6.5M in revenues. Over that period of time the company grew from 42 to 48 employees strong with plans to grow yet again. In 2008 Gallaher surpassed the goal of $10M in sales by finishing the year at $11.7M in total revenues.
Gallaher’s original facility investment was made in 1981 with the purchase of a 6200 sq ft office warehouse facility in Airport Business Park on Regal Drive in Alcoa. Immediate renovations were made to the building so that 2,500 sq ft of the facility was dedicated to office space. In 1994 additional warehouse space was converted to office use.
In 2007, Gallaher’s convenient access to Pellissippi Parkway and Alcoa Highway led to the decision to perform a major expansion and renovation to its existing facility in response to the major growth. Since many of the solutions Gallaher offers are difficult to paint in the customer’s mind, a high-end expansion was constructed to bring potential customers into our facility and demonstrate the technology solutions we represent. The office space was carefully designed to utilize various individual systems but also to show the benefits of integrating independent technologies with a simple user interface. Combined with the existing area, the total office and warehouse facility now totals more than 23,000 sq ft.
In 2002, Gallaher leased approximately 1,000 sq ft of office space in Chattanooga, which quickly grew to 2,000 sq ft in response to a very welcome reception by the Chattanooga area.
In February 2010, Gallaher purchased an 18,000 sq ft, 3 year-old facility in Rossville, GA just 1.5 miles south of the state line. This facility follows in the mentality of having a show place for potential customers to see the benefits of our technology in action and used by our own people. With the Chattanooga branch’s 21 dedicated employees bringing in over $3M in revenues in 2011 and with key accounts like Alstom Power and Amazon requiring continual attention, this investment will lend itself for significant growth.
2008’s milestone elevated Gallaher to an elite level given that only .004% (1/4th of 1%) of the 28 million businesses in the US reaches the $10M mark. Furthermore, Gallaher’s market share in East Tennessee is far and away greater than its competition. In 2009, Gallaher’s goals were to maintain the original sales goals of 2008, while taking advantage of the down market by improving our workforce. As a result, we successfully met our goal of $10.1M in revenues, closed with a profit, avoided lay-offs, and upgraded our talent through increased training and hiring better talent. Ultimately, Gallaher is battle-tested and is geared to overcome any market condition test.
In 2010, Tom Gallaher became President and CEO with the plan of maintaining his father’s value system and standards of excellence. To better communicate to a growing workforce and to its continuously expanding customer base, Tom committed to writing the vision and mission by which every Gallaher member is to carry him or herself. Gallaher’s Vision is “To help our clients and the communities we serve live safer and more enjoyable lives” and our Mission is “To establish Gallaher as the premier low voltage technology integrator that builds customer loyalty through our commitment to deliver a superior client experience, while maintaining all core values and standards of excellence.” All decisions must fall within Gallaher’s Vision and Mission before being acted upon, which is the key to maintaining our reputation and high customer loyalty.
With the Gallaher family’s core values being driven by focusing on the needs of others before one’s self, nothing is more important than to provide a culture that focuses on employee well-being and satisfied clients. Gallaher’s hiring process ensures that we not only hire qualified people but it ensures only people of have the highest of ethical and moral standards are employed by Gallaher. This standard has separated Gallaher from the competition and the industry for decades. With the cost of employee turnover increasing constantly, employee loyalty results in strength greater than any competitor in the area and is ultimately shown in our quality of workmanship and level of customer satisfaction. Gallaher proudly boasts an unparalleled employee retention rate with a 30+ year employee, six 20+ year members and eight with over a decade of service and dedication to the company.
Gallaher averages over 750 projects each year and has provided technology to numerous other commercial, manufacturing, educational, and medical facilities from Nashville, TN to Asheville, NC and from Roanoke, VA to Dalton, GA. Gallaher has also provided solutions for its clients in South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Delaware, and Michigan.