For those of you who were around the Twin Cities in the ‘70s you may remember Palmer Harbison as the keyboard player for a locally famous band named Fairchild. He didn’t become the world-famous rock star he thought he was going to be so naturally he went into the AV business.
Years later Palmer worked his way up (mostly on the weekends) getting certified as a Crestron programmer. In 2003 things weren’t going well at the AV company where he was working so he decided to take a leap of faith and go out on his own. Palmer set up an office at his home and on May 1st of that year an independent AV control programming business named Palmer Systems, Inc. was born.
A few months later he brought on programmer Kevin Lieder, rented some office space from a friend and changed the business name to Advanced Control Systems Design, Inc. (ACSDI)
As time went on and word got out that Palmer had started an independent programming company, business started to grow so he needed to hire another programmer and get a larger office. He moved the business to one room at an old motel that was converted into offices in Plymouth.
You probably know what’s coming next, he needed to hire more programmers, an Ops Manager to get everything organized and an even bigger office. ACSDI moved three times within that old motel but finally out grew it and around 2013 moved to a bigger office in Minnetonka. In 2016 that space became too small because, yep you guessed it, ACSDI kept hiring and the business kept growing so he moved it again to St. Paul where it currently resides.
Even though Palmer says he didn’t really know what he was doing or have a business plan (go figure), the business kept growing. His hard work and due diligence paid off, but it didn’t hurt that he was well connected in the AV industry. They say it isn’t what you know but who you know that is important, right? For Palmer knowing both (& fate) has made him the proud, successful entrepreneur he is today.
If you are ever at a MN Wild hockey home game, look up at the organist and give Palmer a wave.