A lot of people ask us, “What do the initials EMI stand for?”
Well, back in the 80’s, a phone guy with a young son was making a living with his tool belt, playing with wires, making things ring and connecting people. The son was very proud of his dad, and thus the super hero Electro Man was born (lightning bolt, cape, tool belt and all!)
Chuck Wilkinson is the name of that phone guy, who landed in Nashville contracted by ITT Telecom as their service and connectivity tech. Electro Man Incorporated actually was incorporated in 1985 as EMI Business Communications, Inc.
There’s just something about phone guys, you know? They’re half mechanics, half mad-scientists with copper in their veins. When ITT Telecom closed their doors, there were a lot of people looking for employment. Chuck and native-Nashvillian Roger Leaver combined forces to develop EMI as a true communications company, offering business telephone equipment, installation and services.
Fast-forward through the next 15 years and the advancements in technology that brought us fax machines, the PC, auto-attendant and voicemail systems, cellular phones, caller ID, digital circuits and the Internet. EMI learned, acquisitioned, and grew.
Chuck decided to retire in 2002, and Roger carried on. After all, Roger could talk to anyone about anything, and knew half the businessmen in the city anyway. A big man with a big voice, he also had a big heart, and once you’d met him you were not likely to forget him.
We all watched each other’s kids grow, graduate and get married. We hired and fired brothers and sisters, in-laws and outlaws. Roger always threatened to retire, but somehow never did. When we lost him suddenly in December of 2017, it was a shock. For our clients, too. What now?
VoIP, surveillance cameras, fiber, streaming services, audio-visual installations and, yes, telephones. Technology, like life, is always changing. But it’s the heart of a company that gives it identity, and carries on. Jason Harp has been here for 20 years, and decided to buy EMI and take the reins for the next 20. His oldest son has joined us too, looking at his future and learning the business.
So never fear, when you need us, we’ll still be here... playing with wires, making things ring and connecting people. Carrying on. Chuck and Roger have taught us well.