Riverside’s Phenix Technology Celebrates 50 Years of Better People, Products & Public Safety
Phenix Technology celebrates 50 years and a new facility on Sept. 1, 2022. Courtesy Phenix Technology, Inc.
In 1972, two fire captains set out to leave the world a better place by creating a safer firefighting helmet — to protect and serve those who protect and serve.
Fifty years later, with nearly 40 employees and thousands of customers worldwide, that vision still acts as a guiding light for firefighting equipment manufacturer Phenix Technology, Inc.
Phenix produces three styles of helmets assembled in Riverside including the TL-2 traditional leather helmet, the TC-1 traditional composite helmet, and the First Due modern thermoplastic helmet. With more than 150 years of combined firefighting experience among staff, intimate knowledge of the product gives Phenix a strong advantage.
Chloe Carriere, customer experience manager for Phenix, says that although she is not a firefighter, she has experienced the fear of losing her home living in Southern California.
“Firefighters are privy to the worst days of peoples’ lives, and they’ve been privy to some of mine,” said Carriere. “We all feel a deep appreciation for what our customers do.”
Firefighter uses a Phenix fire helmet. Photo via @theroy Instagram
This heart-forward approach led Phenix to unprecedented growth, particularly in the last decade under Angel Sanchez, Jr.’s leadership — the director of global operations turned CEO. The company vastly expanded its international presence, stretching from Chile to Canada to Thailand, while strengthening its domestic footprint and earning numerous awards, including the prestigious 2018 Presidential “E” Award. The award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.
In addition to scaling the business, the company also developed an award-winning, lean, people-centric culture that they share generously through weekly immersion tours. Thousands of visitors from over 25 countries have come to study the Phenix business culture, especially those in its own backyard.
“We’ve been lucky to host well over a thousand global and local Riverside business professionals who toured our facility and spent time with our people to learn how we operate to apply those ideas and strategies in their workplaces,” Carriere said.
Since the start of COVID, Phenix’s staffing has grown by 75% and counting. This explosive growth led Phenix to a new location in 2021, and the choice to stay in Riverside was obvious. Over 80% of the company’s vendors are within 60 miles of its headquarters.
“We are fortunate to have so many local resources, mentors, and partners in Riverside,” Carriere said. “We needed to find a building that would keep us in the area we love, where we have such great support.”
Business professionals on a tour of Phenix Technology, Inc. Courtesy Phenix Technology, Inc.
The company celebrated 50 years in business this fall with the grand opening of its new facility in the Hunter Park area. Over 100 guests attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, including local firefighters, government agencies, business partners, and friends.
What’s next for Phenix is delving into other firefighting tools and protective equipment, as well as removing barriers to employment for those with disabilities through its “Opportunity for All Program.”
“Phenix Technology has been committed to better products, better people, and a better world for over 50 years,” said Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson. “Phenix’s leading example empowers all of us to raise our ambitions and use our resources to expand Riverside’s global footprint.”
For more about Phenix Technology, Inc., go to www.phenixfirehelmets.com.