Michael S. Walden and Amy S. Walden
Michael and Amy Walden founded Chattanooga-based Walden Security in 1990. Since starting the company from the vinyl seats and trunk of a police squad car, they have built Walden Security into one of the nation’s most trusted and respected contract security companies. Walden Security has over $100 million in annual sales, employs more than 3,000 in 17 states, and is one of the ten largest privately held security companies in the US.
Walden Security takes pride in “protecting those who protect the worldTM” and has received SAFETY Act certification by the Department of Homeland Security. The company is the only security company to obtain ISO(r) 9001:2008 certification at all of its locations and is the chosen security provider for some of the largest federal government facilities, military installations, bio-safety level 4 laboratories and research institutions, manufacturing facilities and high profile commercial buildings. Walden Security has averaged 34% annual growth, one customer at a time, rather than through mergers and acquisitions. Even with this aggressive growth philosophy, the Waldens have been able to cultivate relationships and build loyalty with clients and employees. Walden Security boasts a 99% client retention rate and the industry’s lowest employee turnover rate.
Walden Security has been recognized with numerous awards including: Inc. 5000 - America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies (2007-2010), BusinessTN - Hot 100 Fastest Growing Companies (2007-2009), Mass Mutual Blue Chip Enterprise Award, Sam Walton Business Leader Award, Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, and Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year.
The Waldens both grew up in Chattanooga and attended public schools. Mike served in the US Navy and, upon returning home, became a Chattanooga police officer. Amy started her career as a dispatcher for the Chattanooga police department while attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Mike and Amy are both active in the community, serving on numerous boards and supporting charitable organizations over the past 20 years. In 2007, they purchased the Times Building in downtown Chattanooga and renovated it to house the company’s corporate headquarters.
Mike and Amy have been married for 20 years and have a daughter, Taylor. They reside on Lookout Mountain.