KLA Labs - About

History of KLA

1929 - 1947

· KLA Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, by three friends, Kraus, Ludwigson and Almas.

· Early projects included radio transmission, antenna reception, voice reproduction (paging), data collection and time keeping systems. Early customers included Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Packard Motors. Highlights of that time period include witnessing the Great Depression, the birth of the industrial assembly line, prohibition, and World War II.

· KLA was instrumental in promoting the War Bond Drive through the use of the days' latest technologies - Public Address Systems

· Legend has it that Al Capone frequented nightclubs that were staffed by KLA Technicians operating the music systems.

1947 - 1973

· Through the 1940's and 1950's, High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) radio continued to be the rage and KLA was among the Midwest's leading retailers, distributors, and installers of these products.

· James "Pat" O'Bryan started with KLA in 1947 upon returning home from the Army after WWII. Pat began to purchase stock in 1956 and acquired a controlling interest in KLA in 1964.

· With Pat's leadership, KLA branched out to nine retail locations including many inside the then J.L. Hudson's stores (now Macy's) throughout Michigan.

· In addition to retail outlets, KLA continued to install a variety of systems for churches, schools, government offices, auditoriums, stadiums, racetracks, professional sports arenas and recording studios including “Hitsville USA”, the Motown Recording Studios.

1973 - 1990

· In March of 1973, KLA closed all of its retail locations and moved from Detroit to Dearborn to be more centrally located in the Metro-Detroit area. Pat decided that there was greater potential in the systems contracting and installation business and began selling off the retail stores. To this day, former KLA retail Hi-Fi locations continue to operate as Almas Hi-Fi and Pointe Electronics.

· In 1978, KLA became the first local company to install a Broadband Local Area Network Cabling System for General Motors and 3M. This new, innovative, coaxial cable network system was designed to remotely monitor and manage the resources on an automobile production line.

· The successful Broadband Network installation along with the overall growth of computer networking prompted a rapid expansion of this new technology. This proved to be a boom time for KLA as additional automobile plants and industries rushed to install this revolutionary new technology.

· Broadband Local Area Networking was developed by the cable television industry and required the installation and testing of active components such as signal amplifiers, status monitors and system power supplies.

· From 1978 through 1992, KLA installed Broadband Networks in more than 300 plants and facilities. During that period KLA installed thousands of sound and specialty communication systems including sound systems at the Pontiac Silverdome and The Palace of Auburn Hills.

1991 - 1999

· On January 5, 1991, the President and Owner of KLA, Pat O'Bryan, passed away. His wife, Norma O'Bryan, assumed control of the company and became its President.

· KLA named Matthew O'Bryan as Vice-President of Operations and Donald O'Bryan as Vice President of Sales. Following in their father's footsteps, Matt and Don were exposed to the industry at an early age, beginning their careers in 1984 and 1976 respectively.

· 1995, Ford Motor Company began its GENI (Global Enterprise Network Integrator) Project, a worldwide Fiber Optic Local Area Networking Project. KLA was selected as one of the cabling contractors for this IBM managed project.

· 1997, KLA was named as the sole provider for Structured Network Cabling Projects at Ford Motor Company manufacturing facilities throughout North America.

2000 - Present

· 2002, Norma O’Bryan sold her interest in KLA to Don, Mary and Matt O’Bryan. Matt was named President and Chief Operating Officer and Tommy Cataldo III was named Vice President and General Manager.

· 2007, KLA implemented a strategy for growth as Dwaine Polio was named Director of Network Services and KLA formed its Network Services Division. KLA expanded its service offerings and technical expertise to include Network Design, Implementation, and Staging Services as well as Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) design, survey and implementation.

· 2008, KLA opened its Network Staging Center and since then KLA has staged and implemented thousands of network routers, switches and access points.

· 2009, Tony Verdun was named Director of In-Building Wireless Services to further support our carrier clients including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint as well as our Enterprise client base.

· June 2015, KLA celebrated its anniversary and expansion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Technical Engineering Center in Dearborn, which is a space for network and wireless in-building services and an extension of KLA’s Chase Road headquarters.

· June 2016, KLA expanded its services to the west coast with the opening of the Las Vegas location, which offers KLA’s full suite of services.

· KLA continues to deliver value every day at locations all across North America in stadiums, arenas, entertainment centers, both large Enterprise and medium-sized businesses, manufacturing facilities, parts distribution centers, health care facilities, and educational and governmental entities.

· May 2018, KLA opened its Service Center. The center offers network troubleshooting and end-user support; it is designed for quick response times and escalation to ensure a high level of service to customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.