George Adams Sr. founded his business in 1970 and watched it grow into the largest Florida-based distributor of electrical and data communication products.
In 43 years, Electric Supply Inc. can boast of never laying off an employee -- even during the roughest days of the last recession. The family-owned company has earned profits in all but its first year, its owners say.
“In some years profits were razor-thin but somehow we stayed in the black,” said George Adams Jr., who stepped into the role of company president when his father retired. The senior Adams died in 2009.
Adams Jr. spoke recently at a groundbreaking ceremony for a 35,000-square-foot expansion at Electric Supply, located at 4407 Manhattan Ave. The company now has a 55,000-square-foot warehouse and a second building, both near Tampa International Airport. Among the hundreds of products it sells are transformers, circuits, wiring, panels, batteries, fiber optic cables, speakers and paint. Sales last year totaled almost $95 million.
The new construction will increase available space while consolidating operations of the two existing buildings. “We want to preserve jobs but also add jobs, too,” said Adams Jr.
The project will cost just under $3 million and take about 15 months to complete, with construction of the warehouse expansion taking about eight months. A second phase will include construction of more storage space, a parking lot and about 5,000 square feet of office space.
Buckhorn touted the Tampa Bay area as a leader in reinvigorating the economy, with increases in residential and commercial building permits.
“I’m excited about this,” said the mayor, referring to Electric Supply’s project. “What this tells me is we’re moving forward and we’re creating new opportunities.”
Miranda said Drew Park is well situated next to the airport and within a few minutes of “anywhere you like, including the Port of Tampa. There is not an industrial area in the state that is primed for development more than Drew Park.”
After four decades, the company remains family owned and operated, with Adams Jr. assisted by family members including his sister, Sandra Brock, on the board of directors; his daughter, Kelly Pound, as administrative assistant; and his nephew, Shaker Brock, as vice president of sales.
A few years ago employees became stockholders in the company.
“We want to get everyone under one roof,” said Adams Jr. “We think it will strengthen our (family) culture.”