Armstrong GroupNEWS
The Passing of Cable TV Pioneer, Armstrong’s Jay Sedwick
Butler, PA January 9,2024

Armstrong is sad to announce the passing of Jay Sedwick, its Chairman and a true Cable TV Pioneer. He died peacefully on Monday evening, January 1st, surrounded by his family.

Jay began his professional career as an Electrical Engineer at Pratt & Whitney after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 1957. At Pratt & Whitney, he worked at their Research and Development Center in Florida and was involved with developing technology used in the early days of the space program. In 1960, he returned to Western PA to work as an engineer at Magnetics in Butler, PA.

Shortly thereafter, he answered the call from his father, Jud Sedwick, to join the family business to investigate an opportunity to enter the nascent Cable TV industry. Examples abound on how Jay used his electrical engineering background and innate passion for new technology to lead the charge as a pioneer in the cable industry, including:

  • Under his direction, and largely with his own hands, Armstrong’s first Cable TV system in Butler, PA was built with vacuum tube amplifiers and first-generation coaxial cable long before there was a blueprint for cable network architecture. This cable system became the first Aluminum Sheath Multitap Cable System in the United States, using cable that at the time could only be purchased in Canada.
  • Known for his obsession with picture quality, testing amplifiers, and cable, Jay created a lab in the basement of Armstrong’s first office building that included test equipment and a large freezer that was used to simulate harsh winter and summer conditions. He shared his research with early suppliers and worked with them to improve equipment as it evolved to solid state transistor technology.
  • Jay led Armstrong through multiple network rebuilds, including the introduction of fiber optics in the 1990s, which enabled two-way digital cable and a massive expansion of channel capacity.
  • He was highly active in the creation of what became the Pennsylvania Cable Association and is now called the Broadband Communications Association of Pennsylvania (BCAP).
  • In the twilight of his active involvement at Armstrong, he oversaw Armstrong’s entry into the broadband internet business.

Jay Sedwick

While leading a rapidly growing company and continually influencing cable technology, Jay led the expansion of Armstrong into Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland. His leadership and technological prowess enabled Armstrong to become the 11th largest Cable TV Multiple System (MSO) in the United States that now serves more than 350,000 customers in six states.

Today, the Armstrong Group is diversified beyond Cable TV and is led by Jay’s son and CEO, Dru Sedwick. Armstrong is still recognized for its engineering excellence, which is directly attributable to Jay’s early engineering prowess, technological curiosity, and passion for doing new things the right way.

Diane Potochny promoted to Chief Financial Officer for the Armstrong Group
Butler, PA January 4,2024

Diane joins the Armstrong Group executive team in managing and monitoring the performance of the Operating Business Units.

Diane joined the Armstrong Group in 2004 as an Accountant. Over the years, she progressed through roles in the Armstrong Group’s Finance department as Financial Systems Analyst, Manager of Accounting Operations, Corporate Controller, Director of Compensation & Benefits, Cable Controller, and most recently, CFO for the Armstrong business unit. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh with additional Accounting certification from Slippery Rock University.

Guardian and Variety Present Adaptive Bikes to Children with Disabilities
Warrendale,PA, October 24,2023
Guardian logo Variety logo

WPXI was on the scene at Guardian Headquarters in Warrendale when Guardian and Variety gave children with disabilities each a new Rifton adaptive bike. The bikes help children with disabilities who may have a hard time balancing or steering.

Since 2008, Guardian Protection has partnered with children’s charity organization Variety and in 2015, the Guardian team began an annual tradition of raising funds to sponsor adaptive bikes or adaptive strollers for kids with disabilities.

The Guardian team did whatever it took to raise the funds because they truly believe in the importance of giving kids newfound freedom and the chance to be just like the other kids.

The Ziegenfelder Company Breaks Ground on $46 Million Manufacturing Expansion Project
Lockhart,TX, October 17,2023
Twin Pops logo

The Ziegenfelder Company Breaks Ground on $46 Million Manufacturing Expansion Project

The Lockhart Texas expansion will support production capacities, commerce & area economy

Lockhart, Texas – The Ziegenfelder Company, America’s largest producer of Twin Pops, honored their manufacturing expansion with an official groundbreaking ceremony at the soon-to-be Lockhart, Texas location. Ziegenfelder Company executives joined by the Office of Governor Abbott, Lockhart City Officials and the RFW Construction Group celebrated the $46 million capital investment that will generate more than 100 jobs, increase production capacity and generate economic benefit for the region.

President of The Ziegenfelder Company, Kevin Heller, stated Here at the Ziegenfelder Company, we strive to maintain our consumers’ expectations of a high-quality product at an affordable price. Expanding to Lockhart enables us to continue living that vision. Ziegenfelder President, Kevin Heller continued, The facility is an investment in our future growth & our consumer. This Lockhart location will allow us to more efficiently serve our southwestern customers and consumers.

Photo of the Texas groundbreaking ceremony The Ziegenfelder Company announced in September 2022 that the Texas Enterprise Fund grant had been extended by the State of Texas based on the capital investment and jobs to be created at this new facility, solidifying the company’s production growth in the State of Texas.

Texas’ world-renowned business climate continues to attract company relocations and expansion projects, and I am proud The Ziegenfelder Company is breaking ground on their new manufacturing facility in Lockhart, said Governor Greg Abbott. As an industry leader producing affordable, high-quality frozen treats, this new manufacturing facility will help spur the local economies in Central Texas and further boost the mighty Texas economy. With Texas’ business-friendly policies, our young, skilled, and growing workforce, and predictable regulations, we will ensure that partnerships with companies like these continue to flourish. I look forward to working with The Ziegenfelder Company as they expand their operation in our great state and become a key component for the economy of the Texas of tomorrow.

I am thrilled to welcome the Ziegenfelder Company to our community. It’s a refreshing addition to Lockhart’s growing economic landscape, said Lockhart Mayor, Lew White. In a time of rapid growth in our area, the Ziegenfelder Company’s presence will contribute to the economic vitality of our city, providing more employment opportunities for our residents as well as those looking to call Lockhart home.

The Ziegenfelder Company is expected to begin hiring for its 100+ employee need in March of 2024, with expansion completion expected in December 2024.

Company President, Kevin Heller, stated in closing We appreciate the new partnership we are forming with the state of Texas and the City of Lockhart, a relationship that is foundational in our future success.

The Ziegenfelder Company is the largest producer of Twin Pops in the United States. Founded in 1861 as a candy and ice cream maker, the company evolved into making the “Rainbow Array™” of frozen ice novelties. The Armstrong Group Company has production facilities in Wheeling, WV, Chino, CA and Denver, CO, The Ziegenfelder Company remains committed to community programs, fundraising and creating smiles.

Guardian Protection Acquires Vintage Security
Pittsburgh, PA, October 3, 2023
Vintage logo

Acquisition of Maryland-headquartered company adds 23,000 accounts to Guardian’s base.

Guardian Protection (“Guardian”) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Vintage Security (“Vintage”) in Jessup, Maryland. Founded in 2001, Vintage Security is a leading provider of home security and automation products and services to 23,000 customers in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas. The acquisition includes all of Vintage’s 23,000 accounts, expanding Guardian’s existing customer base in its mid-Atlantic footprint.

Guardian Protection President Bryan Cipoletti commented, Like Guardian, Vintage Security is a trusted provider of residential security and home automation services. We are especially impressed with their success with home builders, providing new construction home buyers with the latest smart security and home technologies. The acquisition represents an opportunity for us to grow, expand talent and expertise, and leverage both the Vintage and Guardian brands. We will continue to look for additional acquisition opportunities to grow our business.

As part of the acquisition, Vintage customers will transition to Guardian’s U.L.-certified Five Diamond Accredited monitoring centers.