Our Story

Since 1964 Rochester has specialized in providing high quality armored car services to the middle U.S. Over the years, the company’s services – as well as its service area – expanded as the needs of its customers changed. With one of the most experienced management teams in the industry, Rochester believes that success lies in remaining focused on the company’s mission – With honesty and integrity, to profitably provide the safe and secure transportation of valuables while giving professional and extraordinary service to the customer.

Although the corporate headquarters have always been centrally located in Omaha, Nebraska, the company was named after the first office that opened in Rochester, Minnesota.

Our story starts in 1964 when Joseph M. Shea, Sr., and Keith Carter along with a small group of investors purchased Samardick & Company’s Iowa operations, creating Lewis System of Iowa. At that point, Shea had been the general manager for Samardick & Company for nearly 20 years. Shea Sr. and Carter saw an opportunity in providing armored car services to the smaller communities. However, the other investors felt this business model was too risky. Shea Sr. and Carter didn’t want to miss the opportunity and led another group of investors to purchase a guard company in Rochester, MN and began Rochester Armored Car.

Lewis System of Iowa and Rochester Armored Car remained separate for decades, but were both led by Shea Sr. and Carter. They operated as Lewis System of Iowa in Iowa and expanded into smaller markets as Rochester Armored Car. Shea Sr. committed to this new business model in the industry, which focused on providing service to smaller communities with professional and extraordinary care. Sixty years later, Rochester still follows this business model.

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Left to right: Joseph M Shea, Joseph M. Shea Sr., Bill McGowan, Keith Carter, and Thomas D. Shea. Joseph M. Shea (far left) and Thomas D. Shea (far right) are the sons of Joseph M. Shea Sr.

Serving the Middle U.S. Since 1964

Our Strengths

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Federal Reserve Best Practices

We lead the way in the implementation of recommended best practices by the Federal Reserve and special compliance requests by the banking industry. We use the Federal Reserve’s manual of operation procedures as the foundation for all of our procedures.

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Comprehensive All-risk Insurance

For peace of mind, we carry one of the most comprehensive all-risk insurance programs in the industry.

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Adapting and Evolving

We adapt to the ever-changing industry and evolve to offer the armored transportation services and cash management solutions our customers need.

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Industry Best Practices

We are a leader in adopting and implementing industry best practices.

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Safety and Security Focused

We remain focused on safety, security and professional and extraordinary service.

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Experienced Management

With one of the most experienced management teams in the industry, we excel at listening to the needs of our customers, creating solutions that work for them, and providing exceptional service they can count on.

Our Culture

Rochester was founded on a simple commitment to provide professional and extraordinary service to its customers. Over the last six decades, the company has kept focused on this simple commitment. The result is a culture of delivering more than you expect.

Rochester is grateful for the leaders that kept this mission at the forefront and for the many employees who embody it.

Joseph M. Shea Sr. (left) and Keith Carer, principals of Lewis Systems Iowa, purchased a guard company in Rochester and began what we know today as Rochester Armored Car. Shea Sr. committed to create a new business model in the industry, which focused on providing service to smaller communities with professional, extraordinary care. Sixty years later, Rochester still follows this model.

Joseph M. Shea Sr. and Keith Carter created a strong leadership team to grow the company.

Pictured below are some of those leaders. (Left to right): Joseph M Shea, Joseph M. Shea Sr., Bill McGowan, Keith Carter, and Thomas D. Shea.

Our Mission

In 1994, Rochester formalized its commitment to safety, security, professionalism, and extraordinary service in a written mission statement.

The values and principles outlined in this mission statement had been guiding the company’s operations for 30 years at that time. However, the company believed spelling them out in a written mission statement would help unify, motivate, and direct all of its employees.

As Rochester continues to grow and evolve, its leadership relies on the mission statement to stay in line with what the company was first built on and uses it to create clear expectations for Rochester employees.


For six decades, Rochester Armored Car has served financial institutions, retailers, and government agencies throughout the middle-United States. We are grateful for and celebrate the many milestones and all who made them possible.

Expanding Our Service to Smaller Communities

In 1964, a group of investors purchased a guard company in Rochester, MN and began Rochester Armored Car. They are committed to serving smaller communities that at the time were overlooked by the larger carriers.


Dash Cams

Decades of growth later, Rochester’s commitment to safety coupled with the development of more available safety features has led to many improvements in the company’s fleet over the last six decades.

The most recent addition is dash cams. Rochester invested in dash cams for each truck throughout its footprint.These cameras use AI technology to help prevent accidents and offer individualized insights that help the company create better drivers.


Expanding Our Services

In the last six decades, the company’s service have expanded beyond just armored transportation. Today Rochester’s services are designed to provide customers with safe and secure transportation and cash management solutions that reduce risk and increase efficiency. They include:

  • Armored Transporation
  • ATM Services
  • Cash Vault Services
  • Coin Services
  • Smart Safe Solutions
  • Courier Services

Growth in Cash Vault Services

In the 1990’s Rochester formalized its Cash Vault Services. Prior to that point, the company had a few cash vaults throughout its footprint. During this time, Rochester secured an online web portal and used industry best practices to standardize policies and procedures.

The growth has been nonstop. Today, Rochester’s 14 cash vaults service:

  • 500
  • 3,000
  • 7,000
  • 300
    smart safes/ cash recyclers

Fine-tuning Our Coin Services

One of the greatest conveniences Rochester offers its customers is handling coin. Around 2012, Rochester finetuned its Coin Services to better meet the changing needs of its customers.

Today Rochester helps customers minimize operating costs by offering coin wrap, coin deposit processing and verification, and change order preparation.

Today, Rochester’s Coin Services manages 11 Federal Reserve Coin Terminals.


SCTA Founding Member

In 2013, Rochester joined others in the cash supply industry to establish the Secure Cash Transport Association. This non-profit represents the shared interests of professionals and organizations involved in the cash supply industry.

As a founding member of the Secure Cash Transport Association and a member of the Independent Armored Car Operators Association, Rochester is a leader in adopting and implementing industry best practices.


FedCash® E-Manifest Service Launch

In 2023, The Federal Reserve officially launched its FedCash E-Manifest Service. This is a major step for the industry-wide Cash Visibility initiative. Rochester is an early adopter of this service and was tapped by the Federal Reserve to be involved in a few pilots in preparation of this launch.

The E-Manifest Service enables financial institutions and armored carriers that work directly with the Federal Reserve to electronically process currency deposits and payments using industry supported data standards. This service replaces the manual process of matching paper manifests for deposits and orders at the Federal Reserve docks with a technology that enables scanning and an electronic exchange of data.

Management Team

Joseph M. Shea, President

49 years of service

Tom Shea, Vice President

38 years of service

Joseph W. Shea, VP of Sales

24 years of service

Michael "Mick" Shea, VP of Branch Development

19 years of service

Paul Herek, VP of Risk Management

18 years of service

William "Bill" Shea, VP of Strategic Accounts

13 years of service

Ben Bauman, Sales

7 years of service

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