The Security Girl has become much more than a brand for American Fire & Security By Deborah O'Mara, SourceSecurity.com's dealer/integrator correspondent In the security industry, you want to be different, and what’s more memorable than a company avatar turned ambassador that sports some rockin’ pink hair? Only The Security Girl’s hairdresser knows for sure! Erica Wood, chief security officer and co-owner of American Fire & Security (AF&S) in Dayton, Ohio, is a mover and shaker of the security industry in many ways. She chairs the Electronic Security Association’s Sales & Marketing Professionals Group, where she pokes and prods other members to get involved, while doling out the latest communications strategies to the small- and medium-sized businesses who proliferate the industry. She works the social media outlets furiously, not simply self-promotionally, but also congratulating those who have helped others and providing basic security and safety tips communitywide. She attributes the company’s growth both to solid social media and networking programs and to community involvement; AF&S holds memberships in the Huber Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, among others. Wood has been cited as a market influencer and has been named to many industry accolades recognizing her unselfish industry participation and keen ability to network locally and nationally. Social media purveyor Erica Wood is one of those friendly, smart and assertive business owners who believes in active participation on every level and especially through social media outlets. She blogs, tweets, posts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and provides educational, thought-provoking content and sharing tips and tactics. She’s not afraid to jump right in with a cause and see it through to the end. She’s a presence: when Wood is around, you know it. People would refer to Erica Wood as The Security Girl Now, back to the birth of The Security Girl. Wood recalls early in the company’s history (AF&S has been in business since 1993) people would refer to her simply as: The Security Girl. “Some people had trouble remembering my name, but could associate me with The Security Girl. And it stuck. So much so that I ran with it and created The Security Girl first as a blog author and then as a brand,” Wood says. The icon, a fashionable, briefcase-bearing business woman with pink hair, has fueled the company’s recognition and growth, she adds. Today, The Security Girl has evolved into more than an avatar; it has become known as a company (behind the pink hair) that cares. Wood, who operates the company with her husband Chip (Robert), is perpetually promoting security and safety, first responders and causes like breast cancer awareness. “It’s so important to be connected to the industry and community in which you work and to help others,” Wood says. “The Security Girl is an ambassador to the company, but more so, a conscious way we connect to others and promote how important it is to be involved today.” AF&S is a full-service security integration and engineering firm, providing southeastern Ohio and nearby Indiana and Kentucky with fire alarm, burglar alarm and CCTV specifications. The company also offers 24/7 central station monitoring, fire extinguishers, Ansul system inspection, commercial lock and key services, installation and repair of access control solutions, as well as door maintenance, safe and vault sales and services. A sister organization, Marshal Protective Agency, provides event security, crowd control and K-9 security. In other words, The Security Girl’s got you covered. Now, people often call the company and ask to speak to The Security Girl. “The Security Girl started out as a simple way to brand the company, but it’s become so much more,” she says. “It’s created a strong presence for us, and now, when people need the best security and fire alarm systems, they are likely to turn to us,” she says.
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