The Campbell Family and AME Incorporated
The Early Years of AME
Our Early Years
Associated Mechanical Erectors (AME) was founded in 1960 by PM Campbell, and his son Ronnie Campbell. AME opened for business in a 2000 sq ft building in Rock Hill, SC with only 5 employees focusing on Industrial Equipment Installation and General Metal Fabrication. The Company’s first job was with Celanese Corporation in Rock Hill and over the next 2 years they worked for other companies such as The South Carolina Port Authority, Uniroyal, and General Electric. 1963 was the beginning of expansion and the growth for the company, starting with the purchase of their own property and a new 5,500 sq ft facility. By 1969 A.M.E. had increased its fabrication facility to 35,000 sq ft and 2,500 sq ft of new office space. Ronnie, P.M.’s eldest son had become fascinated with truck cranes and was convinced there was an opportunity to expand the company in the crane rental business. They already owned a couple of lattice boom cranes, including a 30 ton American that the company still owns today. Ronnie felt that the new hydraulic truck crane was the way to go because of the speed at which it could mobilize to and from each job. So in 1968 A.M.E. purchased its first hydraulic truck crane, an 18 ton Grove. Also in 1968, Frank Campbell, PM’s middle son joined the company working in the field doing equipment installation and rigging jobs.
Even though the United States went through some tough economic times in the 1970’s AME continued to maintain controlled growth and expand its business. In the early 70’s AME partnered with a company from Florida to manufacture a water filtration system. This company is still one of our most valuable and respected customers today. By 1979 AME had increased its fabrication facilities to 50,000 sq ft, opened a crane rental office and yard in Charlotte, NC, increased its crane rental fleet to a dozen cranes with capacities up to 90 tons and employed close to 200 people.
In the 1982 Frank Campbell took over all of the Equipment installation operations for the company and in 1984 the company furthered its expansion by acquiring a Crane Rental Company in Greenville, S.C. and opening a branch office. P.M. sent his youngest son Robert and Ronnie’s oldest son Gregg to Greenville to expand the business by focusing on the same type of work as the corporate office but on a smaller scale. In 1985 P.M. decided it was time to turn the business over to his boys to run on a day to day basis. Ronnie moved to President, Frank was promoted to Executive Vice President and Robert to Secretary/Treasurer. Gregg was transferred to the corporate office to begin training for his management role in the company. Frank’s focus remained in the rigging side of the business while Ronnie handled the crane and fabrication division. Robert continued to grow the Branch office in Greenville. Jeff, Ronnie’s youngest son, joined the company in 1988 as a crane operator in the Charlotte branch.
The 1990’s brought a lot of change to AME. In 1990 the company relocated its corporate offices to a new facility in Fort Mill, SC. but continued its fabrication work at the Rock Hill location. Jeff transferred from Charlotte to Fort Mill to train for the position as a Project Manager in the Equipment Installation Division. In 1993 the crane fleet had grown to almost 50 machines so in 1994 the company opened a larger facility in Charlotte, NC. Also in 1993 Frank Campbell saw an opportunity to expand the company into the General Contracting market offering our customers a turn key project. In 1994 Jeff transferred back to the crane division in Charlotte as an estimator and Assistant Manager. Early in 1997 AME sold its branch location in Greenville to PM’s youngest son Robert where he established his own Crane Rental Company. In August 1997 PM Campbell passed away leaving his legacy in the hand of his sons. In 1998 Ronnie Campbell took his fathers place as Chairman of the Board and Promoted Frank Campbell to President. Gregg Campbell was promoted to Executive Vice President and Jeff Campbell was moved to Vice President in charge of all equipment. Also in 1998, to expand its General Contracting business, AME acquired Christman and Parsons, Inc. in Spartanburg, SC, a highly reputable Commercial Contractor in business for more than 40 years.
The New Millennium
The new millennium brought more changes to AME. 2000 was a record year for the company, exceeding $25M+ in sales and moving the companyinto the top 100 privately held companies in South Carolina. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 AME, like a lot of Companies in their line of work, saw a major decrease in Work Load. In 2003 Frank Campbell turned over the daily operations to Gregg Campbell, promoting him to President and Jeff Campbell to Executive VP. He moved to CEO to take a more hands off approach for the company. The company had to evolve to a new way of doing business in a very competitive market. Gregg replaced some of the top operation staff with new members, bringing with them fresh ideas and a positive outlook. This new group of management personnel has proven to be one of the best things to happen to this company in some time.
In 2007 Gregg and Jeff Campbell reached an agreement with Frank Campbell to buy all of his corporate stock and retain his services as an adviser when needed. “He has years of experience in this business and I will continue to rely on his knowledge as much as possible”, Gregg said. In 2008 Ronnie Campbell known throughout the industry as “The Crane Man”, passed away leaving his legacy as his father did, in the hands of his sons.
2009 was another year of growth for the company. AME purchased an 110,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and 85 acres in Chester, SC. “We plan to move our Fabrication Division from Rock Hill to the new location in Chester sometime in early 2011. We will demolish our buildings in Rock Hill to make the way for more suitable development. Tearing down those buildings will be an emotional event for Jeff and me, Gregg said. There are a lot of memories in those buildings. We grew up there, working and just hanging out with family and friends”.
As tradition would have it, AME is still 100% family owned by Gregg Campbell, President/CEO and Jeff Campbell, Executive VP as they control all outstanding shares of AME Incorporated. The Corporation is poised and ready to continue to grow through its success in the Industrial Contracting Industry.
AME, Inc. holds numerous license and certification credentials.
- Unlimited General Contractor licenses in force in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee,
- Rigging and Equipment Installation licenses in force in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee,
- Wastewater Treatment license in force in South Carolina
- Master certification in concrete troubleshooting
- South Carolina Economic Developers' Association
- North Carolina Economic Developers' Association
- York County Economic Development Association
- Lancaster County Economic Development Association
- Member of the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Chester Chamber of Commerce,
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and Gaston Chamber of Commerce
- Represented on the boards of the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce, York Technical College,
and York County Economic Development Association
- Memberships in Association of General Contractors (AGC), Specialized Carrier and Rigging Association (SCRA), Association of Builders & Contractors (ABC), and Association of Facilities Engineers (AFE)
Specialized Carriers & Riggers Association. The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) is an international trade association of more than 1,300 members from 43 nations. Members are involved in specialized transportation, machinery moving and erecting, industrial maintenance, millwrighting, crane and rigging operations, manufacturing and rental.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 77 chapters representing 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with two million employees. ABC's membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors of the industry.
A full service national trade association with a nationwide network of exceptional chapters, AGC represents more than 33,000 leading firms in the industry - including general contractors, specialty contractors and service providers and suppliers.