AES Acquires Florida Based Company – Regulator Control Repair

Link to Article – http://mtairynews.com/news/49821/a-e-s-acquires-florida-company

A.E.S. acquires Florida company

 

By Andy Winemiller – awinemiller@mtairynews.com

 

Gordon Reeves works on electronics at A.E.S.

Tony Lowe works in the mechanical shop at A.E.S.

A Mount Airy firm continued its growth with the recent acquisition of a Florida company.
In March, Advanced Electronic Solutions Inc. purchased Chrystal River, a Florida-based Regulator Control Repair, according to a written statement from A.E.S.According to the statement, Regulator Control Repair performs regulator and recloser repairs for utility companies throughout the United States. It also has a large inventory of regulators and reclosers available for purchase.

“A.E.S. does not currently provide regulator control repair for our customers, and we are thrilled to be able to add this service to our portfolio to better serve our customers here in the U.S. and around the world,” noted the company.

A.E.S. was founded in 1992 in Mount Airy, according to A.E.S. Financial Coordinator Nicholas Cooke. Two people fixed electronics in a small building. Now A.E.S. employs more than 130 people at its 90,000 square feet facility on Technology Lane.

The electronics repair business has continued to grow throughout the company’s 25 years in business, and the company has also serviced Kodak printers for a number of years, according to Cooke. The company also eventually branched into the business of repairing mechanical and hydraulic equipment.

The firm’s most recent expansion prior to the purchase of Regulator Control Repair began with the new year.

In February, A.E.S. announced it would soon offer two new lines of services and products. It is adding a division which services the power modules used to turn solar energy into electricity, and it is devoting a new section of the company to testing circuit boards used in windmills.

The company will also begin to produce charging stations for electric automobiles. According to Cooke, those expansion efforts will create 11 new jobs for locals.

The acquisition of Regulator Control Repair could create more jobs for local residents, as the operations of the company will be moving to Mount Airy.

“Since the (Florida) facility is small in size, we are moving the company into our current facility at 101 Technology Lane in Mount Airy,” states the press release. “Once the equipment has been moved to our facility and setup, all items previously repaired in Florida will come to A.E.S. in Mount Airy.”

According to A.E.S., its engineering and electronics repair teams were in Florida training with Regulator Control Repair representatives in March. By April 17, A.E.S. plans to have all of the former Florida-based company’s operations housed in Mount Airy.

“We are very excited about this new addition to our company and are exploring additional growth opportunities for the near future,” said the company by way of the statement. “We are rapidly growing and expanding every day.”

According to A.E.S., the company’s revenues are already 20 percent greater than they were at the same point in time in 2016.

From Mom’s House to Success

From mom’s house to success

The 25-journey of A.E.S.
Link to article – http://mtairynews.com/news/50591/from-moms-house-to-success 

By Andy Winemiller – awinemiller@mtairynews.com

 

A.E.S. electronic technician Caleb Thomas repairs a circuit board.

The mechanical department at A.E.S. continues to grow.

Mechanical repair technician Stan Lowe rewinds a motor at A.E.S.

Mechanical repair technician James Smith works on a motor.

Workers at A.E.S. repair electronics in the company’s electronics repair division.

A.E.S. founders and owners Steve and Leslie Cooke pose for a picture in the conference room at the company’s headquarters.

Ultra module repair technician Aaron Hooker repairs an Ultra Module for the company’s new solar power division.

The 135 or so employees at A.E.S. pose for a picture at the company’s Mount Airy headquarters.
Submitted photo

They went all-in 25 years ago, but the gamble Steve and Leslie Cooke took paid off.

“We had to move back in with my parents to do it,” said Steve Cooke, co-founder of Advanced Electronic Services Inc.

Cooke said he had been schooled in electronics at a community college in South Carolina after a school counselor pushed him in the direction of what was a growing career field at the time. He went on to work for a number of companies, learning many skills and eventually realizing those companies were charging clients a lot of money for his services.

“We decided to do it for ourselves,” said Cooke, and in his mid-20s, he and wife Leslie poured everything they had into the endeavor in 1992.

“We moved back in with my parents,” recounted Cooke. “We had a few things, a Bayliner boat and a dirt bike, which we sold for some start-up funds.”

It started out simple. The couple did repairs in a little wooden building, but business did start to grow. Their first customer was Cross Creek Apparel, a memory with some irony.

“They were in this building,” said Cooke, as he gestured toward the A.E.S. headquarters on 101 Technology Lane in Mount Airy.

In the initial years, any money generated went right back into the company, said Cooke. It was in about 1994 when the company turned the corner. The Cookes could pay their bills with the money earned at their new business, and they could get out from under mom’s roof.

Now A.E.S. employs more than 130 people and inhabits a 90,000-square-foot facility.

“I don’t like to say it because it sounds conceited, but there was a dream behind moving in with my parents 25 years ago,” said Cooke. “That vision is absolutely what we have here at A.E.S. today.”

As he stood in that little wooden building where it all began, Cooke said he had come to the conclusion he wanted to own a business with a nice building and that employs 100 or more people.

“I’m very happy with the direction of the company,” added Cooke. “I can’t ask for or expect anything to be any better.”

A.E.S. has expanded quickly throughout its 25 years in operation, and it continues to do so.

Recently the company entered into the solar power industry, and it also purchased a Florida company which performs repairs on regulators. Soon A.E.S. will be manufacturing charging stations for electric vehicles, and for some time, the company has been repairing Kodak printers and performing hydraulic and mechanical repairs.

A.E.S. has always expanded at an expeditious rate, said Cooke. It was the nature of the electronics industry. However, now the company is expanding by continuing to branch into other lines of business.

“Others might say, ‘You can’t do that, Steve,’” remarked Cooke. “But anything we think we can learn, we bring it in.”

He further explained the company often uses one pilot customer in order to see if it can get good at the product or service.

“A lot of times it’s because we are doing a good job on something else,” explained Cooke. “They say, ‘Hey, why don’t you learn how to do this for us?’”

Cooke chuckled, adding, “They are usually related enough. We didn’t say we could make socks.”

Happy with his company’s progress throughout the course of the past quarter-century, Cooke said the sky is the limit.

In thinking about where he thinks he will be in 10 or 20 years, Cooke noted he will probably be on a walker, but A.E.S. will be chugging along better than ever.

“Based on our current direction, I see us expanding into several more industries,” said Cooke. “All of the right things are in place.”

Cooke said the company has dabbled in government contracts, and he believes A.E.S. will grow through nailing down larger government and military contracts in. An audit his company will soon undergo will help build the confidence in A.E.S. that is needed to be awarded those contracts.

The business owner said he had plenty of people to thank for the company’s success. That group includes his family, but he also owes some thanks to a supportive community.

“We were fortunate to have ended up in Mount Airy and Surry County,” said Cooke. “I don’t see how another city could have matched what this place had to offer.”

He noted the city and county have always supported his endeavors through incentives, and people in the community who had made it in business were always there to offer a little advice.

There was also a time when growth could have stopped at A.E.S. When the company needed to move from its humble first home it needed a loan.

“We went to a community bank, and we didn’t meet any of the criteria we needed to for that loan,” recounted Cooke. “The banker said, ‘You don’t qualify, but I believe in you, buddy.’”

He said there were some bumps in the road along the way. In the early days, cash-flow was an issue, and the company made some mistakes in the midst of its rapid growth.

“Thankfully, we had some customers who saw our loyalty and determination and stuck with us,” he said of the company’s ability to overcome those mistakes.

At times, it was tough to find qualified people to fill the technical jobs at A.E.S. However, the community has stepped up to the plate in that regard as well.

“Surry Community College helps us tremendously in recruiting our employees,” said Cooke.

He added A.E.S. offers a scholarship. Many employees take advantage of it and earn their associate’s degree at the college. Then some work for the company while attaining their bachelor’s degrees from four-year institutions.

Cooke said it’s been a long road and a lot of work, but he is delighted with what he, his family and his employees have built.

“It took a tremendous amount of sacrifice and work,” said Cooke. “We worked night and day, seven days a week.”

He kept doing that as the company grew, to a point in which he was blind to the company’s success. One day, at some point along the way, a long-time employee offered a reality check though. She pointed to the company’s financial statements.

“I didn’t even realize it had turned into something,” recounted Cooke. “I had never seen seven figures on a bank statement before.”

AES Certified as Great Place to Work!

great-place-to-work-badge-16-17A local company which started in a wooden shed is now a Great Place to Work.

In late October, Advanced Electronics Services Inc. earned a Great Place to Work certification, according to Nicholas Cooke, the company’s financial coordinator.

Great Place to Work is an organization that calls itself “the global authority on building, sustaining, and recognizing high-trust, high-performing workplace cultures.” The entity also produces the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

The program evaluates organizations across the country through employee surveys which gauge matters such as the work environment and involvement in the community.

Cooke said AES scored particularly well in the areas of employee pride and offers a great work atmosphere.

AES is housed in a 90,000-square-foot facility on Technology Lane off Riverside Drive. Starting in 1992, two employees did repairs to electronics in a shed, said Cooke. Since then, the company has grown and branched into other areas. AES continues to perform repairs on electronics, but it also services all Kodak printers, and recently the company started a section which repairs mechanical and hydraulic equipment.

According to Cooke, AES now employs 135 people.

Cooke said one thing the company does particularly well — and something which contributed to the company’s certification as a Great Place to Work — is the company’s work in the community.

AES actively supports the Children’s Center of Surry, even serving as event sponsor for the Children’s Center’s annual Heart of a Child fundraiser. It also donates to the Shepherd’s House, Yokefellow Ministries and Helping Hands, a charity organization Cooke started.

Cooke noted the company also puts together teams of employees for charity events such as 5k runs.

The Great Place to Work certification process took AES two to three months to complete, said Cooke.

Human resources director Donna Stevens said her company hires the most qualified and best candidates available for jobs, and the Great Place to Work certification will do nothing but help AES in that goal.

“Our positive reputation in the community provides a nice applicant flow of qualified job applicants,” said Stevens.

She said one employee told her on his first day at AES, “I already love this place.”

“We do our best to be welcoming and provide the training and resources for every one of our employees to be successful,” said Stevens. “It works well for us.”

Outstanding Giving Increase of 46% for United Fund of Surry

AES allows employees to elect to have a specified amount of their paycheck be donated to a local non-profit organization, United Fund of Surry. This year AES was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation due to our giving increase of 46% this year! The United Fund of Surry provides funding for 26 member agencies in the Surry County area. United Fund’s main goal is to raise money for these agencies to allow them to do what they do best, helping people, instead of focusing efforts on fund-raising. AES encourages employees to donate to the United Fund and other organizations throughout the year in order to promote community involvement.

Certificate of Appreciation 46% Increase of Giving

Certificate of Appreciation 46% Increase of Giving

New Website

Welcome to AES’ new website, we hope you can find what you’re looking for!