Detecting success

Recipient: Armstrong Monitoring Corporation
Region: Ottawa
Total funding allocated: $100,000

Joanne Johnson with some of the legacy detection equipment (to the right) and newer equipment (to the left)

We all love the smell of fresh bread baking or our favourite meal cooking on the stove, but when it comes to detecting toxic gases, does your nose really know? Fortunately, Armstrong Monitoring Corporation (AMC) is taking the guesswork out of gas detection and is saving lives in the process.

Established in 1981 by Lawrence J. Armstrong, AMC became a pioneer in gas detection technology in Canada, known for its innovative problem-solving approach. Fast forward to 2014, Joanne Johnson and partner Rod Sprules purchased AMC with a vision to develop a new modular, technology-enabled platform that would allow them to improve productivity in all areas of the business. With Joanne’s business savvy and background in economics and statistics, coupled with Rod’s 26 years of engineering experience, the pair has been taking gas detection innovation to the next level.

Today, AMC designs, manufactures and services gas detection equipment in industrial and commercial settings. Selling primarily in North America, AMC is currently targeting international sales and growth opportunities. The company’s product development is informed by feedback from clients located anywhere from Windsor to Nova Scotia, including various Canadian Air Force bases and the United States Navy. AMC’s equipment can detect hundreds of different types of hazardous gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, ammonia, chlorine and oxygen, and products range from complex monitoring and detecting systems, to remote audio-visual alarms. 

As President of AMC, Ms. Johnson is focused on streamlining processes and finding efficiencies as well as expanding the company’s product offerings. Ms. Johnson was instrumental in the development of a new technology-enabled platform, allowing the company to stay on the cutting edge and improve productivity in all areas of the business. With support through FedDev Ontario’s Women Entrepreneurship Fund, AMC has been able to remain competitive, moving forward on multiple projects, including data digitization, a customized payroll system and hiring a specialist for data collection and analysis.

Since 2014, AMC has expanded its workforce from 35 to 55 employees, with the majority of the growth in research and development, manufacturing and skilled technicians. AMC anticipates that its staff will double over the next seven years.

As a female business leader and entrepreneur, Ms. Johnson is passionate about her involvement in the women’s business community in Ottawa, mentoring other women entrepreneurs and seeing her employees fulfill their potential through coaching and professional growth opportunities. Detecting success in those around her and identifying new ways for AMC to thrive make Joanne Johnson’s role as AMC President rich and rewarding.

Stay Connected

The Women Entrepreneurship Fund has proven invaluable to us. The program allowed us to finalize the development of our new operations software, shift to electronic record-keeping, and introduce computers into all of our manufacturing work stations. These investments have made our company more efficient and productive, enabling us to deliver better products and services more quickly.
Joanne Johnson, President, Armstrong Monitoring Corp.