Acquisition of Reno’s CIS Brings Relationship Full Circle
By Rob Sabo
A relationship that began in 1979 has come full circle for Ken Hurst.
Hurst, president of Valley Communications Incorporated of Sacramento, last month completed purchase of Communications Installation Services, A Reno company run since 1989 by Phil Holland.
Hurst worked for Holland 34 years ago in Silicon Valley as a fresh-faced 19-year-old just beginning his career. The two had remained in touch over the years, and as Holland, 72, began exploring an exit strategy from CIS, Hurst saw the business as a natural extension of Valley Communications.
Valley purchased CIS using personal financing, Hurst says. Holland will work with Hurst through the transition period for an additional 12 months before moving into a part-time role.
Hurst says he’s still determining whether he’ll rebrand CIS as a division of Valley Communications or leave the well-established brand intact. The staff and management of CIS will remain in place, he says. CIS employs 16, while Valley Communications employs 85.
CIS focuses on primarily on voice and data cabling and fiber optic work. Valley’s work, meanwhile, covers a whole range of cabling and low-voltage systems, including security systems, audio/video cabling and access control.
“We term ourselves as network infrastructure guys,” Hurst says. “That requires cabling of all types, copper, fiber, coaxial, etc. Whereas Phil is providing the cabling, we are providing the parts and smarts for all those same systems.
Valley Communications also provides complete design/build services, another area in which it hopes to increase market share in Reno-Sparks.
“In our market we are the leader, and in this market Phil is the leader,” Hurst says. “We are hoping that combining those synergies brings some economies of scale and that some of the areas we work in that Phil isn’t we can bring to the market and provide more value to the customer.”