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Employee Spotlight: Terry Donovan

Posted on: March 21, 2013

From time to time, we like to share information about our State Systems family with you so you can become more familiar with who is helping you with your fire protection or other services. Meet Terry Donovan.

What is your role at State Systems?

My role is to establish and grow the new fire sprinkler division for State Systems. We kicked off this division in April of 2012, and have seen steady growth since. State Systems has the goal of creating a one-stop shopping experience for fire protection and life safety, and fire sprinklers was the last component needed to complete our services package. My goal is to build this division into a component of the company that is both profitable and complementary to our other divisions.

What do you like most about working at State Systems?

It’s a small, family-oriented company. I previously worked for the largest fire protection company in the world for many years. It’s nice to get back to a small local company, where the highest decision maker is 10 ft. away from you. The board of directors, the president, CEO, and CFO are all right down the hallway, so a decision can be made quickly and for the best interest of the customer. Ownership here really appreciates each and every team member, with a genuine concern for everyone’s well-being.

What is your most rewarding experience here at State Systems?

The most rewarding experience so far has been the hiring of our first full-time sprinkler technician, Tim Rollins. Tim has a great personality, and he’s been a perfect fit to work with the alarm technicians and our entire team. My goal is to hire people who will enjoy it here and want to stay for the long term, becoming part of the State Systems family.

How did you get started with fire sprinkler systems?

I started in 1979 right out of high school with Grinnell Fire Protection in Miami, FL. That first job was simply to save money for a year to get started in college. That experience helped me land summer jobs doing sprinkler design. In 1986, a few years after graduating college (at Florida State – go ‘Noles!!!), I got back into the fire sprinkler business and have been in the industry ever since.

You’ve worked with fire sprinkler systems for 30 years. Are you an authority on the subject?

Oh, I’d say I’m one of several guys in the Memphis market that customers and fire department officials can turn to for sound advice and code interpretation. The sprinkler industry here in Memphis has some very experienced individuals who practice cordial competition. I enjoy my time rotating as an officer with the Memphis Area Fire Protection Association, and take my turn as president every five years or so. We try to work very closely with the fire departments to make sure there is good communication among the reputable companies and the fire departments. Personally, I’ve been very fortunate in my 30 years to have acquired experience in most phases of a sprinkler operation, spending time as a designer, salesman, project manager, and manager.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I enjoy getting out and playing a little golf, attending plenty of concerts, trying to sample every Memphis restaurant, occasional exercise, and spending time with my three grown children when they have a few minutes for “the old guy.”
State Systems is proud to have expert employees like Terry Donovan work for us.

If you require fire protection services, including fire alarm and fire extinguisher installation, in Memphis, TN and surrounding areas, contact us today. Our licensed technicians will be happy to help you meet your protection needs.

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