From Technician to Engineer: Meet Todd Larsen
When Todd Larsen first joined our team in 2000, he had his sights set on pro AV work—digital signage, projectors, and videoconferencing. But CEC needed a fire and security technician to help customers with fire alarms and life-safety systems. As with many of the pros who work as part of our fire and security team, Todd quickly discovered that he had a unique talent and passion for this technology.
For the first 15 years of his CEC career, Todd filled roles at both the Davenport and Hiawatha offices, gaining experience as a project manager, systems specialist, and field engineer. He became an expert in installing, programming, and servicing fire alarm systems.
A few years ago, he moved to our engineering team as a systems engineer. Today, he works with CEC sales staff and customers across all industries to find the right security and life-safety solutions to help protect people and assets.
Meet CEC’s Fire & Security Systems Engineer Todd Larsen!
Q: What makes you most excited about working at CEC?
The opportunities we have to work with different and new emerging technologies. Things change so quickly that it can be hard to keep up.
Q: What do you enjoy most about what you're doing right now?
I like the variety in my schedule. I’m not behind the wheel of a car every day, and I’m not chained to a desk every day. I work with multiple vendors across multiple technologies and there’s always more to learn.
Q: Is there a CEC initiative you’ve been involved with that you’re especially proud of?
Our engineering team lost some very knowledgeable and respected people recently due to retirement. I like to think that I, as well as the rest of our engineering staff, have stepped up and helped to continue the quality and expertise that customers have come to expect from our team.
Q: How does a typical day play out for you at CEC? What are you responsible for?
My days can vary quite a bit. Some are spent on the road consulting with potential customers or performing site surveys for security/fire alarm projects. Other days are spent in the office actually engineering and quoting solutions for customers. I also try to make myself available to CEC field staff for any technical or project support I can provide.
Q: What’s a fun/interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?
I’m not great at it, but I really enjoy playing guitar and drums. Pre-COVID-19, some friends and I started playing music together a couple of times a month. My kids call it “Dad Band.” We’ll be playing ’80s cover songs in a garage near you.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
Besides my time spent as a garage band rockstar? I like to spend as much free time as possible on a boat in the sun. My family and I love our summer weekends at the lake spent wakeboarding, wake surfing, and especially old-school slalom skiing.
Q: If you could do one other job at CEC for a day, what would it be?
I think I’d like to spend the day with the RF department. I’ve worked at for CEC 21 years, and I’ve never learned as much as I would like about the technology on which the company was founded.
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for new employees?
Find the people who are smarter than you and learn as much as you can from them. There are lots of talented people at CEC with years of experience, and they are all willing to share their knowledge.
Fire and Security