Ameridian Specialty Services Inc.
Brothers Matt, Tom and Jim Owens practically grew up with hammers in their hands. Today, the trio has come together to own and operate Ameridian Specialty Services Inc. (Ameridian). The Cincinnati-based commercial contractor has been providing a one-stop shop for all things roofing and construction for over 14 years, but has recently added solar energy installations to its broad line up of services.
Ameridian is the result of two companies that formed in the early 1990s and Native American ownership, which is where the name Ameridian originates. “The company was initially established in 1999 by my former sister-in-law and for several years we were a woman- and minority-owned business,” shares Matt, president of Ameridian.
A Brother-to-brother Operation
Matt, whose background is in electrical engineering, joined Ameridian in 2009 after some persuasion from Tom. “I’d been in the automotive industry, manufacturing cars and parts since 1992,” he recalls. “In 2009 Tom wanted to start up a solar-energy division and asked me to bring my expertise to Ameridian.”
“We had the existing commercial roofing capacity,” adds Tom, vice president and sales director of Ameridian. “Jim came on a few years before Matt and headed up our project management team. I then recruited Matt from the auto industry and brought in his electrical and solar knowledge.”
Tom says Matt’s presence has made a significant impact on the family business. “He’s made Ameridian a different and better company; he’s a true leader in that aspect,” Tom notes. “I passed the torch, so to speak, to him, because I felt like he was the right person in the right spot for the job.”
Offering Value-added Service
Today Ameridian and its staff of 35 skilled project managers, installers and technicians offer commercial roofing, 24/7 emergency repairs and solar and renewable energy services to clients throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The company has always been a trusted commercial roofer, but in an effort to provide a one-stop shop and value-added service, Ameridian has ramped up its solar capabilities.
“We offer some general contracting services, such as building additions, exterior and interior renovations and tenant finishes, but we generally don’t do buildings from the ground-up,” notes Matt. “What we’re trying to do is act as a one-stop shop for people who need a new roof and are also interest in renewable energy, but commercial roofing is the core of our business.”
Entering the Market with Force
As the saying goes, one should lead by example, and that’s exactly what Ameridian is doing to display its new capabilities. “On our own building in Cincinnati we’ve installed solar modules to generate electricity,” shares Matt. “It’s saving us about 65 percent on our energy bills and showcases our service.”
Since entering the solar market in 2009, Ameridian has hit the ground running. “The approximately $4.4 million Hubert Project in Harrison, Ohio, was the exact scenario we had in mind when we entered the solar PV market in 2009,” explains Matt. “This customer had the need for a new roof and – knowing the parent company was based in Germany, which is a significant player in the global solar market – we proposed a rooftop solar PV system.”
After about a year of deliberation, Ameridian was awarded the project in October 2011. “We were a little hesitant to begin the project, because we were heading into winter and winter weather in this area is very unpredictable, but we started the roof installation in early November and we got lucky,” admits Matt. “It was one of the mildest winters I can remember in my lifetime. There was little ice and snow and temperatures were above normal.”
Ameridian installed 380,000 square feet of TPO solar-ready roofing as a retrofit over the existing metal roof, installing about a megawatt of solar paneling in total. “We began the solar-array installation in late December 2012 and the physical installation was completed in early March. With all said and done, the system was fully operational by March 24, 2012.”
During its first year in operation, the installation produced 1,257,435 kilowatts of energy, and Hubert Project went down in the books as a pivotal job for Ameridian, launching the company into the PV solar market with force. “We self-performed the roof installation and the physical array, system commissioning and provided the overall project management,” shares Matt. “Since its completion we’ve been providing O&M services for the solar PV system.”
With a successful transition into a new market, Matt says the company continues to focus on unmatched quality. “Our name and face is on our work and we take great pride in that,” he assures. “We also take great pride in family ownership and the working relationship we have as brothers.”
The brothers are hopeful that Ameridian will continue to ramp up its solar business. “We want the renewable energy aspect to be a greater part of our total volume,” Matt notes. “We have the capability and we’re positioned well. As opportunities arise we will be ready to respond.” Ameridian Specialty Services Inc. is powering today and tomorrow through expert commercial roofing and value-added solar installations backed by a family team.
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