About Us

About Optimum Fire & Security

Listen to an interview about our veteran team and backgrounds

Richard “DJ” Oates

President/Owner

My name is Richard Oates, but everyone calls me DJ. I have been involved in fire protection & security from an early age and have now been exposed to the industry for over 20 years. My goal is to usher in a new era for fire protection & security, and my passion is providing our end users with superior service & products.

Joe Barber

Vice President

My name is Joe Barber, and I am the Vice President of Optimum Fire & Security. I oversee the entirety of our commercial division. I live in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina with my beautiful wife Tiffany and our daughter Lilly. I have been in the fire alarm industry for over 20 years and boast numerous accolades, certifications and degrees pertaining to my craft.

Megan Oates

Office Manager

My name is Megan Oates, and I am from upstate New York but moved to Wilmington, North Carolina over 19 years ago. I have been married for 15 years to my husband Richard Oates, the owner of Optimum Fire & Security, and we have 4 daughters together. I have been with the company for almost 4 years as the Office Manager & handle invoicing, billing, payroll, and other administrative duties.

Brian Lessard

Federal Division Director

My name is Brian Lessard and I am the Federal Division Director for Optimum Fire & Security. I handle all aspects of Optimum’s federal accounts from sales to service. I have over 25 years of electrical, fire alarm and security experience ranging from sales & programming to service. I also have a multitude of certifications including NICET Level IV in Fire Alarm Systems. I currently travel across the country establishing relationships with VA hospitals, military installations, National Park Service facilities and other government-run facilities. I am originally from Biddeford, Maine and joined the United States Air Force after graduating from high school. I now reside in Surf City, North Carolina where I enjoy fishing, golfing, traveling & boating with my friends, my daughter Sydney and my 2 dogs.

Dan Soares

Service Division Director

My name is Dan Soares, and I am the Service Division Director for Optimum Fire & Security. I moved to Wilmington, North Carolina from Northbridge, Massachusetts in late 2018. I am married to my beautiful wife Julie and together we have one amazing son named Dylan. I have been in the security industry for over 16 years.

Mike Peterson

Warehouse Manager

My name is Mike Peterson, and I was born & raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. I am currently the Warehouse Manager for Optimum Fire & Security. I also manage the Fire Extinguisher program for Optimum as well. I have been married to my wife Elizabeth for over 43 years. We have one daughter, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren with another grandchild on the way. I have over 37 years experience in the fire protection industry including time served on the fire department boasting a Level 2 Fire Marshal certification.

Tim Walton

Federal Projects Manager & Safety Officer

My name is Timothy Walton, and I am a native of Aiken, South Carolina and a disabled United States Navy Veteran. I am Optimum’s Federal Project Manager and Safety Officer. As a Navy Seabee I worked on safety projects for 13 years and managed projects for 12 of those years. I am married to my wife Krystle Walton, also a native of South Carolina, and I am a proud father to 2 great sons and 3 wonderful daughters

Kyle Boyd

Operations Manager

My name is Kyle Boyd, and I’m a native of the Crystal Coast hailing from Morehead City, North Carolina. A strong sense of family & community has been ingrained in me from a young age boasting a family of four brothers and four sisters. This bond fuels my passion to see our Commercial Install team through to success in our daily goals. Fun with family & friends in the sun is my favorite pastime, remembering from my childhood that “Summer is not a place in time but a state of mind.” I now reside in Clayton, North Carolina with my family.

Gary Ketelsen

Sprinkler Foreman

My name is Gary Ketelsen, and I am originally from Columbia, Maryland. I moved to Florence, South Carolina 28 years ago with my wife Karen and our two sons Chris & Anthony. I have been in the fire protection industry for over 35 years starting in the UA Local Union 669 and did my apprenticeship at Penn State University. My role with Optimum is to expand and grow our Inspection & Testing Division for fire sprinkler systems.”

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