Denis Kelly, Chief Operating Officer
Role at Sunstates
As Chief Operating Officer for Sunstates Security, Denis oversees companywide operations, sales, marketing, legal, compliance, risk management and human resources. He works closely with the other Executive Steering Committee members to run the business in a way that balances the needs of clients with those of employees—a goal shared by all senior leaders at Sunstates. “Taking care of our clients and our employees creates a great situation for everyone,” says Denis, “and this simple philosophy has resulted in an annual compounded growth rate that exceeds 20%, or more than 700% since I joined Sunstates.”
Denis started his security career in January 1992, after graduating from Eastern Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal law. He accepted an hourly security officer position in New York State and advanced to a management position in April of that year. Since then, he steadily worked his way up through the management and sales ranks, always with organizations recognized for quality and high standards.
When he joined Sunstates Security in 2010, Denis knew he had found something special. The company’s mission and vision statements have always been part of his personal work ethic. As someone who began in an entry-level position, he appreciated the Sunstates’ commitment to promoting from within whenever possible. “The men and women who put on the Sunstates uniform every day are responsible for our success as an organization, and it’s a pleasure to be part of a team committed to recognizing and rewarding their efforts,” he says.
Best Part of the Job
Denis finds many aspects of his work fulfilling, but he values the people above all else. In his words, “Having a great team makes work a pleasure. Shared values and goals unite us, and I know that we can—and will—overcome any challenges together.” During the past decade, Denis watched many team members grow with the company working their way up in the organization. “Seeing people improve themselves and their situation, while providing clients with a safer and more secure environment, is the proverbial win-win to me.”
These days, Denis is more of a weekend warrior, but he played on two championship baseball teams in his younger years and was a collegiate All-American. His high school team won the state championship, and his college team won the national championship (shortly before Denis accepted his first security job, earning $6.50 an hour).