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Friday, Jun 2, 2023

Truck Device Maker Gains Speed in Valley Move

Data analytics company Zed Connect Inc. has settled into its permanent headquarters in Calabasas, and now the tech firm is on a hiring spree. It brought on four new employees early this month. Its payroll has gone from two to about 30 since last March. Chief Executive Skip Kinford said the total number of employees will grow as the company opens other development offices and the sales team continues to evolve. In Calabasas, the workforce will reach about 40, he added. The west San Fernando Valley area was the preferred spot for Zed to open its headquarters due to the tech savvy labor pool, the quality of life and office amenities, Kinford said. “The general area is conducive to a happy and content work environment and a good environment for our employees and creates a lot of opportunities,” he added. “We really liked the area.” Zed’s first product is an electronic logging device that attaches to trucks to collect data to comply with federally mandated hours of service regulations. The regulations went into effect in December and enforcement of them started this month. The smartphone-based logging device tracks the number of hours a truck driver is behind the wheel and when the vehicle is in motion. It is aimed at small and mid-sized fleets. “As an analytics company, we have a longer-term play that will contribute to building what is called the data lake of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of vehicles and help fleets operate more efficiently and more safely with actionable intelligence,” Kinford said. Zed is a subsidiary of Cummins Inc., in Columbus, Ind., a manufacturer and distributor of engines and power generation products. Managed Service Award Integrated Telemanagement Services Inc. was named for a second year in a row to the 2018 Managed Service Provider 500 list compiled by Channel Co. The Simi Valley provider of telecom and internet services was recognized in the Pioneer 250 category that honors companies doing managed services for the small and medium business market. Sharon Woods, chief executive of Integrated Telemanagement, or ITS, said the company excels at meeting the demands of customers in giving them technology that allows them to be more efficient and save costs. “That is one of the key components of the recognition,” Woods said. The MSP 500 list recognizes North American tech companies with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. ITS started out as a telecom company providing local and long-distance service and later added packages with data and Internet connections. But with technology changing so rapidly and phone, computer and server networks being connected, it made sense to move into managed services, Woods said. School Sponsorships Palmdale Aerospace Academy did a soft launch this month of a new sponsorship program for its teams and clubs. The Antelope Valley charter school has now begun to reach out to area businesses to gauge interest in having them give financial support in return for exposure on the campus and through social media. Omar Cortez, information technology director, said the goal is for mutual benefit between business and the academy, which serves students in grades six through 12 with a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and math. “The idea is supporting our clubs and teams financially so that the students can focus on being the best they can be and don’t have to worry about the financial side of things,” Cortez said. Among the benefit that a business sponsor can have are naming rights at the campus amphitheater and student lounge (known as the Hangar), blank walls on which to paint murals and exposure through newsletters and emails. “The point is we are thinking outside the box. We are saying, ‘Yes, we want your financial support, but what we can do for you that is creative and the students will actually pay attention to,’” Cortez said. Sarah Tyndall, community liaison for the school, said the first formal presentation on the sponsorship program and release of marketing materials were done at the school’s fourth annual Friends of the Academy Dinner that took place April 5. “Most schools don’t do something like this because they are much larger and have more money coming in to them,” Tyndall said. Palmdale Aerospace Academy opened in 2012 and moved into its own campus last year. It serves 1,650 students, most of them Hispanic and socioeconomically challenged. Because of the demographics the school serves, it is challenging to go to parents and ask them to pay for their child’s involvement in a club or sports team, Cortez said. The academy has multiple robotics teams, a rocketry club, drama club and salsa club as well as boys basketball and soccer and girls volleyball and soccer teams. Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or mmadler@sfvbj.com.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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