rob-onderMeet Rob Onder

There are two different types of people: those who leave the place they grow up in search of something new, and those who stick around and help build the community they’ve known all their life. Rob Onder, the Installation Manager at Mijac Alarm, falls into the latter category.

As a child, Rob lived in a number of cities throughout the Inland Empire, including Pomona, Chino, and Montclair. Although he did move to Northern California at the age of 16, he found that he didn’t quite fit into the culture there, and ultimately moved back to Southern California.

How Rob found his way into the alarm industry

After moving back to the Inland Empire, Rob worked for a security installation company called “Alert 3” which has since gone out of business. While working at the company he also attended a technical school to learn about phone systems and installations. Rob was a natural, and by the age of 20 he was already a foreman for prewiring jobs in homes and businesses. Rob was also able to quickly graduate from technical school with knowledge of phone systems.

Unfortunately for Rob, the owner of Alert 3 didn’t treat his employees with respect. He was constantly cutting corners, including making employees work shifts from 5am until 11pm without paying them for all of those hours (and you can forget overtime!).

Finding Mijac Alarm

While Rob’s first experience in the alarm business had a bit of a rocky start, his dissatisfaction working for that company is what led him to search for greener pastures. If that hadn’t been the case, he might have never found his way to Mijac Alarm, where he has spent the past 25 years, and the majority of his working life.

Rob can still vividly remember how he was hired at Mijac Alarm. While driving along 9th street in Upland, the Mijac Alarm sign on the front of the office caught his eye. It’s likely that Rob’s disillusionment with his current company had something to do with his decision to stop and inquire if there was an opening and after a quick u-turn, he found himself speaking with Ine, the long-time office manager asking for a job interview.

Rob’s timing couldn’t have been better. Although Mijac didn’t have a job listing, earlier that day someone else had been let go. After talking about his experience and expertise, Rob quickly found himself speaking with Steve Sopkin, then the VP of sales and now Mijac’s president and Brian Randall (another long-term employee at Mijac Alarm. Together, they decided that Rob was the perfect fit, along with having the exact experience and expertise they were looking for – they hired him on the spot!

Rob’s role at Mijac Alarm

Rob began at Mijac Alarm as a technician. However, over the years he has been consistently learned and bettered himself. Rob has taken classes, and done everything he could to stay current with the industry and maximize his value to the company and to its’ customers. As a result, Rob ultimately was promoted to Installation Manager – a position that was well-deserved.

Rob is not known as a particularly loud or boisterous person. Instead, he chooses to manage his department in a fairly quiet and unassuming manner. However, when serious issues come up (and they often do), Rob makes it a point to contribute his decades of experience to the conversation. Coordinating the crews, warehouse and $100K stockroom turnover, Rob must also interact with Fire Departments, manufacturers and customers almost every day.

Rob is considered to be a “dad” to the technicians, and they frequently come to him for advice.

Rob’s relationship with Steve

Rob understands better than most just how important it is to have a fair boss. His time at the previous company gave Rob the perspective and appreciation he needed to fully appreciate his time with Mijac Alarm, and with Steve Sopkin, the second generation owner as his boss. As Rob himself put it, “Steve and his family have been fair. If you find an employer who is fair, stick with them and be loyal.” And his record speaks for itself.

Rob has become an integral part of the Mijac family. While he isn’t always the loudest voice in the room, his efforts and contributions to the company shout volumes and are a large part of the company’s success today.

 

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