HM Electronics Has Room to Grow, Thrive in Carlsbad

January 25, 2022

​​From startups to long-established businesses, Carlsbad attracts innovative companies from a variety of industries thanks to the city’s high quality of life and pool of skilled workers. Among those innovative companies is HM Electronics, Inc., which has called Carlsbad home for four years.

Founded in 1971, HME is a family of industry-leading companies that provide communications technologies to niche markets around the world.  

HME relocated to the Whiptail Loop area of Carlsbad in 2018. The custom-built headquarters houses the company’s administration offices, customer support center, engineering, research and development center, and manufacturing facilities. The 140,000-square-foot site is twice as large as the company’s former headquarters in Poway.

 HME relocated from Poway to Carlsbad in 2018. (Credit: HME)

“We were very fortunate to find the Whiptail Loop area which still had undeveloped land,” Farnan said. “It was an opportunity to build a large, new facility that would meet our future needs.”

The site enabled HME to “significantly increase” its manufacturing capacity and provide a more enjoyable work environment for staff. The building features an on-site fitness center, bocce ball courts and nearby walking trails.

“It’s a great location for employee wellness,” said Jennifer Sharpe, senior principal recruiter for HME. “It’s just a wonderful layout that contributes to work-life balance and employee wellness.”

HME’s custom-built headquarters in Carlsbad houses the company’s administration offices, customer support center, engineering, research and development center, and manufacturing facilities. (Credit: HME)

The company’s location in Carlsbad has been key to continued success.

Not only is the site situated between Interstate 5 and Interstate 15, but it’s not far from major universities and central to top talent.

“Our location is really key,” Sharpe said. “It’s a central location that can appeal to the college grads but also the field professionals.”

With business booming and room to grow, HME has roughly 50 open positions, ranging from leadership and engineering roles to assembly and supply-chain roles. These include entry-level manufacturing jobs that offer on-the-job training.

“It’s a great opportunity for someone who doesn’t have experience,” Jack Farnan, vice president of human resources for HME said.

“HME is a place where they can learn and grow,” he added. “They can develop their careers in a successful, stable organization. And it comes right back to the culture of the company. We work hard at developing and nurturing the kind of company where people want to be.”

The company has continued to thrive in the coastal city even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

HME pivoted during the pandemic, with some employees working remotely and others adopting a hybrid work model. But the company’s manufacturing facilities never shut down due to demand.

“COVID impacted a lot of our customers’ businesses,” Farnan said. 

“It increased the importance and the need for drive-thru systems. That’s why our products were in continual need and demand from our customers — to help them stay in business and to help them be able to meet the needs of their customers, which was going through the drive-thru rather than inside to a restaurant.”

HME was founded in San Diego by Harrison “Harry” Miyahira with a focus on wireless microphones and intercoms. Today HME consists of five companies that design, manufacture, sell and service specialized communications, audio and software. HME celebrated its 50th anniversary as a leading provider of communications products and services last year.

“It’s a major accomplishment when a company survives that long,” said Jack Farnan.

Farnan attributed HME’s half-century of success to the company’s “rich culture,” which stems from its core values. Those values include integrity, customer care, an innovation mindset, a passion for excellence, a commitment to quality and continuous improvement, and a drive to win.

“It comes back to each one of our core values as they contribute to the culture of the company,” Farnan said. “We’ve been able to stay around for 50 years because each one of those core values is fundamental to good business.”

The company expanded several times over five decades as demand for its products grew and HME acquired other companies. 

  • In 1999, HME acquired Commercial Electronics, which provides third-party drive-thru headset and timer system repairs.
  • In 2010, HME acquired Clear-Com, which was the first company to develop portable wired and wireless intercom systems for live performances.
  • In 2015, HME acquired JTECH, the largest onsite paging company in the world and the first to introduce silent paging systems to the restaurant industry. That same year the company formed Hospitality & Specialty Communications, which joined CE, Clear-Com and JTECH under the HME Corporate umbrella. HME’s Hospitality & Specialty Communications company was the first to introduce the wireless drive-thru headset system to the quick-service restaurant industry.
  • A year later, the company acquired Trilogy, the first to deliver Internet Protocol intercom systems to the communications industry.

Over the years, HME’s headquarters moved to the Scripps Ranch and Sorrento Mesa areas of San Diego, Poway, and finally, Carlsbad. 

HME has roughly 50 open positions, ranging from leadership and engineering roles to assembly and supply-chain roles. (Credit: HME) 

Although headquartered in Carlsbad, HME has customers and employees around the world. In fact, the company serves customers in more than 140 countries, with corporate offices in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“Our industry has been strong and growing for 50 years, and we’re optimistic it’s going to continue to be strong for another 50 years,” Farnan said. “It won’t be too long before we celebrate our century anniversary!”