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Anniversary Scrapbook

Kudos to the companies celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2010.


Advanced Battery Technologies (Greensboro, NC)

President Ken Fearn established Advanced Battery Technologies in 2000 as a greenfield start-up with only a network of contacts and a small SBA loan. In December 2009, the company moved from a leased 4,700 sq. ft. building (left) to a purchased and completely renovated 8,300 sq. ft. building (right). An open house is planned near the end of the year to celebrate the 10th anniversary, show the new headquarters and thank customers and vendors.



Advanced Equipment Company (Charlotte, NC)

Last Christmas, Advanced Equipment Company kicked off its 50th anniversary year with a luncheon at the Charlotte office attended by several local suppliers and subcontractors, employees, their families and guests. The company’s 50th anniversary logo was on display throughout the building on banners and company shirts. AEC President Daryle Ogburn (below, right) presented CEO and Owner Larry Abernathy (below, left) with a commemorative plaque of North and South Carolina illustrating AEC’s 50 year commitment of serving the material handling needs of the two Carolinas. The 50th anniversary logo remained prominent on the company’s website, all marketing materials and at company-sponsored events throughout the year.


A.J. Jersey (South Plainfield, NJ)

Company founder Pat Rizzo, seen in the photo at right showing a Crown lift truck to potential buyers, passed ownership of the company to his sons David Rizzo and Steven Rizzo in 1999.  The company’s 2nd building (below), located at 1555 East Linden Avenue in Linden, NJ, was one of four facilities the company has called home during its 40 years in business.

A. M. Davis Company (Richmond, VA)

Earlier this year, A. M. Davis Company held an employee recognition breakfast to celebrate 65 years of business and the continued dedication of its employees. “We know that without our employees, there is no way we would still be in business today,” says President Spencer Whitt, whose wife hand-prepared the breakfast for all staff. Employees with more than 15 years of service received plaques. Honored employees include Crissy Wilmoth, administrative secretary; Jeff Hunt, service manager; Kevin Mann, technician; and Reeves Whitt, part-time parts manager. Pictured are A. M. Davis Co.’s old shop (left) and current building (right).


Associated Integrated Material Handling Solutions (Carol Stream, IL)

Founded in 1960, Associated has gone from a small store front in Chicago, Illinois, with one customer to six locations serving over 16,000 customers throughout the Midwest. President Michael Romano says, “Over the past 50 years, our success has been driven by our employee’s individual and collective efforts which have earned our customer’s loyalty and dedication.” Earlier in 2010, Associated unveiled a new brand identity and restructured the company to position itself for 50 more years.


Atlantic Coast ToyotaLift (Winston-Salem, NC)

Incorporated in 1970, the company was brought under current ownership as Vesco Material Handling Equipment in 1973. In 1999, it changed its name to Atlantic Coast ToyotaLift (ACT) for better market visibility. CEO Vann Williford (right) handed day-to-day control of the company to his son Jay Williford (left) in 2009.




Atlantic Handling Systems (Fair Lawn, NJ)

print-and-apply system

In April 2005, Atlantic Handling Systems installed its first large job, a print-and-apply system for a cosmetics company (pictured). Since then, President John Cosgrove has served as 2007 MHEDA President and the company moved from Ho-Ho-Kus to Fair Lawn, NJ, and has grown to employ eight people. This year, the company is celebrating its 5th anniversary. “We are providing a lot of value to our customers during these tough economic times by helping them to increase productivity,” Cosgrove says.


Brauer Material Handling Systems (Hendersonville, TN)

Company president Jeffrey Brauer (left) and founder Les Brauer have helped Brauer Material Handling Systems achieve 30 years in business in 2010. No specific anniversary celebration has been planned, but President Jeffrey Brauer says, “We simply intend to provide ever-higher levels of service to our customers and bask in the glory of the many thank you’s we receive!”


Warren Gandall (r) and Larry Trowbridge (l) at a Cisco-Eagle sales gathering from the 1980s

Cisco-Eagle (Dallas, TX)

A host of activities are planned for Cisco-Eagle’s 40th anniversary, including a company-wide recognition day. “We plan to recognize our associates, customers, company culture and vendors that have been a key to our success over the last 40 years,” says Larry Trowbridge, director of operations. “We will be communicating the history and recognizing milestones in Footnotes, the company newsletter, on our website and through other marketing efforts.” The company is also commemorating its 10th year as an employee-owned company in 2010.




Curlin Inc. (Tampa, FL)

Current owner Bob Gesemyer purchased the company in 1986 from R. B. Curlin and continued the company’s long history of providing reliable integration of material handling solutions. At a special anniversary luncheon, Gesemyer (center) unveiled a portrait of Mr. Curlin (left). Employees also received specially made shirts with a special logo to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary.




Delta Materials Handling (Memphis, TN)

Delta Materials Handling recognizes 2010 as its 50th anniversary because it was known by a different name prior to 1960, at which time partners Vic Vandevoir, Willie Sherman and Maury Soltz decided to give the company a name that described its function and location. The name Delta Materials Handling, Inc. was chosen both because of being situated in the Mississippi delta and because of the Greek letter and triangle symbol that represented the three owners. In 1974, Joe Costa (right), father of current Delta president Greg Costa, bought out the other partners. To this day, it remains a family owned and operated business.


Equipment Depot of Ohio (Cincinnati, OH)

Founded by William Portman with five employees as Portman Equipment Company in 1960, this company was renamed as Equipment Depot of Ohio in 2008. The company’s Blue Ash, Ohio, location is pictured in 1963 (left) and 2010 (right). An old-fashioned family picnic was held on September 25 to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, made possible by following founder Portman’s philosophy of being “committed to customer satisfaction.”


Lift Atlanta (Decatur, GA)

Lift Atlanta was started on September 1, 1975, as an Otis equipment dealer (right). In the early years, Lift Atlanta grew on a simple philosophy of providing quality material handling equipment and honest sales and service, to help customers save money, a philosophy the company still follows as it reaches its 35th anniversary. A new facility (below) was needed by 1979, and the company moved into its current headquarters shortly after in 1983. CEO and founder Mitch Milovich turned the reins over to his son, Mark Milovich, president, in 2001. 

Liftow Limited (Mississauga, ON, Canada)

Through 50 years of servicing the material handling industry, Liftow has become one of the largest Toyota dealerships in the world, with 23 branches that stretch across eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Provinces), two branches in Wisconsin and more than 430 employees. “We are very grateful and appreciative for the dedicated effort of our current and past employees who have contributed to our success. It’s been a great ride!” says Roger Sutton, CEO of Liftow Limited.


Power Machinery Center (Oxnard, CA)

(l-r) Rick Power, John Power and company founder Bob Power

Founded in 1950 by Bob Power, Power Machinery Center is in its second generation of family ownership, and the founder’s legacy has been a cornerstone of the company’s success. “When my father passed away three years ago at age 91, he still maintained an office at our building,” President Rick Power says. To commemorate the 60th anniversary, Power ordered special stickers, letterhead and golf balls for distribution to customers and employees.

Power Machinery’s original facility in Oxnard, CA


Star Equipment (Blaine, MN)

Star Equipment started out in October 1990 with three personnel: President Mike Jenni, Vice President Gary Denardo and Sales Rep Steve Schmitz. A receptionist joined the group shortly after (left photo), and the company moved to a 1,500 sq. ft. warehouse. By 1997, the company had acquired 16,500 sq. ft. of space. On October 1, 2010, Schmitz, now president, and his staff of 25 employees (right photo) celebrated 20 years of longevity with a company barbecue.


Towlift Inc. (Cleveland, OH)

In 1965, a young entrepreneur named Gerald Cannon (left) started a sales dealership for the Towmotor forklift line. At that time there were only six employees in a small office covering the sales for greater Cleveland, Ohio. Cannon moved Towlift in 1968 to Valley Belt Road in Cleveland. The facility was expanded and remodeled several times to add more and more customer services as Cannon grew the small sales operation into one of the largest material handling dealerships in the Eastern half of the United States, now employing more than 300 people under the leadership of Gerald’s son, President David Cannon (right).



Yale Materials Handling – Green Bay (Green Bay, WI)

President Gary Fairchild started Yale Materials Handling – Green Bay in 1985 with three technicians, eight total employees, a 5 percent market share and a half million dollars in revenue. As it reaches its 25th anniversary, the company now has 56 technicians, 110 total employees, a market share of more than 20 percent and a high volume of $35 million. Physical growth has also occurred, as the company has expanded its original 7,500 sq. ft. facility (right) into a 65,000 sq. ft. facility (below).

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association


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