Fire Protection Is Only As Strong As The
People Behind It
It was in 1930 during the worst depression in U.S. history, that Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company was founded by Mr. Rolla L. Thorsdale. During the intervening years the ownership of Viking has only changed three times.
In 1964 a group of employees led by Wally Larson (who began working for Viking in 1935 as a shop fabricator) purchased the Northwest based operations from Mr. Thorsdale. Included in the new ownership group were Lawrence Larson and Ted Tate. The second change in ownership came in 1986 when Jay Larson, Stu Larson, Mike Tate and Jeff Larson purchased the company from their fathers. Fifteen years later, three of the four owners took a lesser role in the daily management of the company. At this time Rob Hash and Debbie Miner joined in leadership with Mike Tate, the managing owner in continuing the management of daily operations.
After the unexpected passing of Mike in the summer of 2009, the remaining owners offered Rob and Debbie ownership positions. Both Rob and Debbie accepted and then in January of 2011, Rob and Debbie became the sole owners of Viking Automatic Sprinkler Company; each holding 50% ownership.
Viking has come a long way since those "Great Depression" years. We have weathered numerous "down" business cycles, only to emerge each time smarter, stronger and more confident than ever in our business philosophy and the people who make it work.
From Mr. Thorsdale to the current owners, Viking has always been very conservative in their business approach. The offices and fabrication shops were built in the 1960's and are still the home for both Seattle and Portland employees.
Viking is built on the core belief that we will be successful if we; roll up our sleeves and work hard, work together as a team, make good business decisions, stay positive and professional, provide quality at all levels and most important take care of our valued customers. These beliefs have guided us into the future. With that said, the following are the principals in which Viking has put in place to ensure the success of our company:
- Continue to build and maintain relationships. Our business relationships are the foundation of Viking and are what sets us apart from our competitors. Always provide the highest level of service and quality and never disappoint the customer.
- Make sure that we maximize the profits on our projects. Manage jobs closely enough to make sure that good decisions are being made in all areas. We need to recognize a potential problem before it happens. It's more cost effective to plan a solution to avoid a problem than it is to react to a problem.
- Make safety a top priority. We put a lot of resources into preventing accidents because our customers, the construction industry and our insurance company demands it, but most important because we do not want our people to get hurt. Accidents affect our employees, our employee's families, the company moral and Viking's bottom line.
- Be productive. Viking is founded on hard work and self-discipline. It will carry us through any situation, no matter how difficult.
- Pay attention to details, take initiative and be professional in the approach to your work. If we strive to achieve thoroughness and accuracy in everything that we doand we do things before being asked or before we are required to do so, our company will run at a very high level.
- Demand the best service from our vendors and subcontractors. Our customers demand this from us and we need to demand this also.
- Promote Viking. Leave no questions in anyone's mind that if they work with us, they are working with a professional company and they will get a quality product, receive a high level of service and it will be a positive experience.
- Continue to educate yourself. Strive to obtain the highest level of training and certifications and become involved in industry related groups and associations.
Back in 1930 Viking opened its doors in the Northwest. Viking has grown into an industry leader for fire protection. Today, we have offices in Portland, Medford, Seattle, Longview, Meridian and Pocatello.
In the early years wood products were the foundation of the industry. As time has progressed and the awareness for fire protection has grown, Viking now provides protection for commercial and industrial facilities along with mixed use and tenant improvements. Viking provides an expertise in Special Hazard projects as well as municipal mandated inspections and 24 hour service department. Both the Seattle and Portland offices have full fabrication shops at their locations.