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From Founder to Facilitator – AVTECH Software’s New Leadership

Since the conception of AVTECH in 1988, Michael Sigourney has been our Founder & CEO. Over the past 35 years, he has been deeply involved in every department and all aspects of the business. We’re pleased to announce that as we celebrate our 35th anniversary this year, along with the decades of success that Michael has created for AVTECH, he is ready to transition his role to focus more on being Chairman, Evangelist and Brand Ambassador for Room Alert environment monitoring. While we celebrate the promotion of our President & CEO, Richard Grundy, we also want to recognize AVTECH’s history and how we got to where we are today with many hundreds of thousands of active users such as over 86% of the Fortune 1000 as well as all branches of the U.S. Government and Military and products in over 185 countries world-wide.

The Beginning of AVTECH Software

When Michael Sigourney first decided to pursue the initial concept for AVTECH, his mission was to provide tools for managers of computer systems that made it easier for them to manage resources, data, people and systems. At that time, he didn’t specifically identify IT & environment monitoring as the goal. Once he started as a software company, he found that computer rooms and data centers were managed with very specific needs to maintain and protect the equipment. Michael identified a gap in the market within this industry. Data centers and server rooms needed to be able to monitor critical environmental concerns such as temperature, humidity, flood, power, panic buttons, etc. It was a unique niche in the market and Michael Sigourney ran with it. Soon, AVTECH began making hardware to monitor environment conditions, and called it “Room Alert”.

Location, Location, Location

Michael started AVTECH Software in his apartment in Irvine, California and expanded soon after to an office in Newport Beach, California. Shortly thereafter he identified a significant challenge reaching growing markets like Europe and the Gulf region from the West Coast in the days before ubiquitous internet access. In 1993, he made the bold move across the country relocating AVTECH to Newport, Rhode Island. This decision was instrumental in allowing us to develop business in Europe, the UK, Africa and beyond. Our international reach has been extremely successful and continues to expand year after year. Our Room Alert products can be found across every industry, on every continent, in over 185 countries and even outer space. With the growing popularity of the internet, we were able to expand our global reach to market all over the world and reach customers anywhere, at any time.

The Ability To Change & Adapt

It’s clear that life has changed quite a bit since the late 1980s. One pivotal change was when the world transitioned from OpenVMS, a multi-user, multiprocessing and virtual memory-based operating system, to a new reality where people have computers that can connect to the World Wide Web. Michael made the strategic decision at the time to switch our software solutions from OpenVMS to Windows-based software and redirect our engineering efforts. The world was changing and we were determined to evolve with it.

Transitioning from renting and leasing workspaces to eventually owning our own building, Cutler Mill, was also a big change. Michael found Cutler Mill as an opportunity to give back to the community by recycling and renovating what he knew was the potential for a unique work environment. The planning of Cutler Mill’s layout was done very meticulously, as Michael had a specific vision for his team. Every single office has a window and desks/network connections were installed in places where employees won’t get any glare from the windows. Michael’s ultimate goal is making employees as comfortable as possible. It was important for him to minimize stress on employees’ eyes, not only to increase productivity but to ensure employees’ health and wellbeing. Michael even did a color study to better understand how colors in various parts of the mill impact employees’ mood and energy levels. Alongside all of this, Michael restored the entire building with a new roof, refinished original cherry wood floors, new windows, new HVAC and much more. Though this took a while to achieve, Cutler Mill is now a beautiful and unique home for AVTECH’s headquarters in Warren, RI and recognized as one of the best restored mills in New England.

Through The Highs And Lows

Like any long standing business leader will tell you, there were times where Michael was unsure of what the future held for AVTECH. Whether it be situations where our products were not released on time or we weren’t sure how we would fund marketing or even times when large customers didn’t pay us on time, we’ve always been creative in finding ways to navigate those short-term challenges. As we’ve added more talent, we’ve had more people contribute and support our strategy and processes, so things get done more effectively and in parallel with other work. Having a great team allows us to lean on everybody at some point in time and keep everybody motivated. Michael reflected with fondness, “In the early days when it was just me, sometimes things were lean so I slept on the floor in the office and ate a lot of pasta. However, looking back I wouldn’t change a thing.”

There have also been many proud moments throughout the success of Room Alert as a worldwide product. Michael shared “When we were recognized by Mark Hayward and the Small Business Administration (SBA) as the Rhode Island Exporter of the Year 2018, that really meant something to me. I think that is still one of my proudest moments. The reason I’m proud of that is because it took our whole team to develop a commitment and a strategy to approach different markets, to be successful selling, to set up resellers and a distribution network that could successfully serve those countries, and then to be recognized by the U.S. government as one of the most successful small businesses of the year doing that was huge. And so a lot of times when I’m talking with people I don’t know, that’s one of the things that I talk about because it’s a team effort and I’m proud of that.”

Building The Best Team

Michael’s top priority has always been investing in AVTECH’s team. His philosophy is that by taking good care of our employees and their families, employees are able to do their best work. AVTECH supports its employees by first and foremost making sure that we are providing appropriate salaries and benefits. We offer a generous suite of benefits such as full health, dental and vision plans at no cost to employees, matched 401k retirement plans, long-term disability and life coverage, and flexible schedules with ample vacation, sick and holiday time available. We also prioritize being an active member of the community by supporting local food banks, blood drives, schools and universities, and nonprofit organizations. At the heart of all of this, employee feedback is what is most important to Michael. He wants to avoid job turnover and keep good people. We are slow to hire and are thoughtful and thorough during the process. Michael is confident that we have built the best team to take AVTECH into the future, including the new CEO Richard Grundy.

New Leadership Under Richard Grundy

Michael and Rick have worked very closely together for the past 22 years. They’ve leveraged each other’s knowledge and Michael believes that Rick has earned this opportunity and the time is right for a leadership transition. For the last few years, Michael wondered how he should exit the leadership role within his own company and now has extremely high confidence that Rick is going to take AVTECH to new heights.

AVTECH Software’s New CEO, Richard Grundy!

Room Alert is Made in the USA, ships worldwide from our locations in the US and EU, and has been protecting facilities since 1988.

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Room Alert Link- Supported Firmware Updates

Current S modelsCurrent E models
Room Alert 32SRoom Alert 32E
Room Alert 12SRoom Alert 12E
Room Alert 4E
Room Alert 3E

Room Alert Manager - Compatible Devices

The latest version of Room Alert Manager supports only the devices below.

It does not support any legacy Room Alert or TemPageR models.

Current S modelsCurrent E models
Room Alert 32SRoom Alert 32E
Room Alert 12SRoom Alert 12E
Room Alert 3SRoom Alert 4E
Room Alert 3E
Room Alert 3W