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Karlen-Elecom Celebrates 50 Years By Nerissa McNaughton


hat does it take to be in business for 50 years, especially when it is a business that sees constant change and innovation? It takes a team of dedicated entrepreneurs with vision, passion and focus. This is why Karlen-Elecom is celebrating half a century this year.

However, the company was far from resting on its successful laurels. Mickie wanted to provide more for the company’s clients and, therefore, expanded the range of services. Since 2006, a construction group offering general contracting, building envelope and design-build was added to Karlen-Elecom.

It all began in 1967, when Al Karlen opened a business that focused on supplying electronics, sound and communication systems for Edmonton’s schools, churches and halls. The community responded well to Al’s ethics, honesty and products, and that served to expedite the growth of Karlen Electronics.

Diversifying the company proved to be the right choice. With Alberta ramping up to the 2008 recession, which was followed by the recent economic downturn, Karlen-Elecom was able to meet the challenging and ever-changing CEO of Karlen-Elecom, Mickie Poon economy head-on, and it continues to move forward, grow rapidly and exceed its sales goals regardless of the outside Fourteen years later, Al retired and the business was conditions. In fact, the company has grown eight times the purchased by Ken Kenton. These days, you’ll find Ken at the sales volume from 2008-2017, while many other companies helm of the international sales team. Ken also introduced were downsizing. new commercial audio, video and phone systems to the product lines. What has 50 years produced for the company? What started out as an electronic supply shop has now morphed into a leader The company never stopped evolving. Things took another in construction, electrical and mechanical services in Alberta. upward turn in 2003, when the then CEO of Elecom, Mickie Poon, and his investment group saw the potential • Construction services that focus on commercial work and in Karlen Electronics. Mickie and his group purchased and multi-family residences. expanded the company, and modified the name to what it • Electrical services that include 24-hour emergency is known as today: Karlen-Elecom. Karlen-Elecom became assistance for power and lighting systems, fire alarm systems, one of the region’s largest commercial and industrial sound systems, intercoms, card access and video surveillance. service companies.

• Mechanical services, which includes sprinkler design and installations. The company has also created the Karlen-Elecom Training Centre, which provides an entertaining space (outstanding coffee, virtual golf, and a billiards table) for its staff, while also being a top-notch facility for internal and external training. So how does a company stay in business for 50 years in a world that is intent on changing faster and faster with each successive month? Karlen-Elecom’s marketing manager, Robert Logue, has the answer to that question: “It’s because we care.” For me, the greatest joy is living the passage ‘it is better to give than to receive,’” adds the company’s CEO Mickie. “It’s not all about the profit. It’s about seeing our own staff develop their skills and abilities and it’s about being in a position to help our clients become successful. What has made us successful is seeing and addressing the needs of our clients, and seeing how happy they are with our services.” Karlen-Elecom cared from the start of its humble beginnings, and it built upon the foundation of integrity that was set 50 years ago by Al. By always keeping an eye on future trends and never being afraid to take a chance in new and exciting markets, Karlen-Elecom has forged its own path and walks boldly upon it. 14620 118 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5L 2M8 Main Office: 780-453-1362 Email:

We supply sound, not equipment.

CONGRATULATIONS KARLEN-ELECOM ON 50 YEARS IN BUSINESS! TOA Canada Corporation is a proud partner of Karlen Elecom. Together; we supply you with high-quality commercial audio equipment delivering rst-class sound. Whether in schools, hospitals, corporate environments, or correctional facilities our sound and security systems make millions of people’s lives safer and more enjoyable. • 1-800-263-7639

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