Armored Knights 2008 Golden Spike Award Winner: Armored Knights Makes A Name for Itself
Published: Sept. 4, 2008
What's in a name? Ask Dick Knight. When he steps forward to accept the 2008 Golden Spike Award on Sept. 23, he'll be celebrating more than the special recognition of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. He'll be marking two decades of service to the Omaha business community as Armored Knights Inc. enjoys its 20th anniversary.
The idea for the company name came from his wife when the business started with Knight and a single armored vehicle in 1988. The company has grown to become Omaha's premier armored transportation, security and investigations company. In fact, Armored Knights Inc. is Nebraska's only armored company with its own terminal facility, within the specially designed headquarters in the North Omaha Redevelopment Park at 23rd and Paul streets. This location is ideal for many of its bank customers.
"Having the opportunity to design and construct our own facility has enabled us to incorporate specific security features that ensure the protection of our clients' assets," said Knight, president and founder of Armored Knights. From state-of-the-art security and surveillance at every point of entry and throughout the interior, to strict processes and procedures, the facility enhanced the company's ability to provide full-service security and protection.
It is no wonder Armored Knights Inc. has earned the trust of some of the area's leading businesses, financial institutions and organizations. The company provides a wide range of security and protection services. This includes First National Bank of Omaha, Baker's Supermarkets, Security National Bank, West Asset Management (formerly Omnium Worldwide), among others.
Just as the name implies, Armored Knights' core business comes from providing armored transportation services to effectively manage cash logistics and high-value transportation for currency and securities. As part of this service, the company provides vault storage, cash counting change orders, deposit and pick-up service for financial institutions, retail businesses and restaurants. In addition, Armored Knights Inc. provides daily, round-the-clock ATM service for hundreds of ATMs throughout the area.
The company also offers security services for properties, areas and events - including armed and unarmed personnel. Security services can range from car patrols of neighborhoods and businesses, to crowd control at a concert or Omaha Royals game. And of course, there's the occasional visiting dignitary or celebrity to protect. In fact, a look at the wall in Knight's office features autographed photos from former President Ronald Reagan and country music legend Kenny Rogers.
A private investigations team has also been developed to address a variety of domestic, commercial and legal issues. As a result, Armored Knights has been instrumental in the successful prosecution of several area embezzlement cases.
"Our services are a natural extension of our commitment to providing the very best service to our customers," Knight said. "We've always understood that when you do the job right the first time, you'll get rewarded for it."
For Armored Knights Inc., those rewards have come in the form of continued growth and expansion for the business - much of it the result of recommendations from customers. And as any business owner will tell you, this is the most powerful advertising a company can have.
According to Knight, the ability to get the job done right is the result of having the right people. Armored Knights has very strict hiring practices, often relying on off-duty or former law enforcement personnel.
"Our people are subject to thorough background checks. They must have a clean criminal record, as well as a good driving record and credit background," he said. Other members of the Knight family are actively involved in the operation of the company as well, including his wife and two sons.
Knight's background in law enforcement - as a sheriff's deputy and state trooper - provided the foundation for the business. In fact, his first business following his retirement from law enforcement was a security firm with another partner. When Knight decided to go out on his own, many predicted his new business would fail.
"When that first business ended, I called all our customers and they were gracious enough to come with me. One month later, I had my own truck and started my own business," he said. Some of those businesses remain customers of Armored Knights today.
"What we do is very important to our customers. We don't take their trust lightly," Knight said. His company's proven track record enabled it to earn its first government contract. Knight is also looking at opportunities for expansion, not only geographically, but also into other areas of security as well.
But it's not only the business opportunities that hold the greatest interest for Knight and his employees. Armored Knights provides free security to several charitable events throughout the area.
"Omaha is a great community - not just for business, but also to live," he said. "We're very involved in organizations and events that allow us to give something back."
The Golden Spike Awards breakfast, sponsored by Northwest Bank, will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 a.m. at Holiday Inn Omaha Convention Center, 3321 S. 72nd St. The event is FREE to Chamber members.
The 2008 Golden Spike Award winners are:
Armored Knights Inc.
The Maids International
Simmonds Restaurant Management, Inc.
United Seeds Inc.
Watkins Concrete Block Comapny, Inc.
Attendees will also hear Chamber President and CEO David G. Brown report on the Chamber's successes so far in 2008 and the efforts underway to keep Greater Omaha's momentum moving forward. There will be time for questions and networking.