CAMRON GHANEMI, Vice President, ACE World Companies
ACE has long been a leader in the overhead crane business, particularly for steel and autos. Now it’s moving into maritime in a big way, and Ghanemi is leading the charge.
(Article originally published in Nov/Dec 2017 edition.)
ACE WAS FOUNDED BY YOUR FATHER 30 YEARS AGO. TELL US ABOUT THAT AND HOW THE COMPANY HAS EVOLVED SINCE THEN.
There was a niche in the marketplace for robust, heavy-duty, custom lifting solutions at the time. Being in the industry, my father recognized this and founded the company in 1987. From then until 2005 we dealt almost exclusively through a network of dealers. We would sell components to dealers, and they would use the components to build cranes for their customers.
Since then we have migrated to dealing directly with end-users in addition to dealers. And instead of just selling components we are now selling complete cranes – some of the largest and most sophisticated overhead cranes in use today. We have also grown our machining capabilities and are growing our power transmission and special machinery businesses as well.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE COMPANY?
As Vice President, I oversee sales, marketing, contract negotiations and risk management.
HOW MANY EMPLOYEES AND FACILITIES ARE THERE?
We average between 100 and 150 employees and have two facilities, one in Fort Worth, Texas and the other in Knoxville, Tennessee.
WHERE DOES THE NAME “ACE” COME FROM?
My father emigrated here from Iran and wanted a more acceptable “American” name, so he adopted “Ace” and later named the company after himself.
ACE SERVES A WIDE RANGE OF INDUSTRIES – AUTOMOTIVE, MANUFACTURING AND STEEL, TO NAME A FEW. WHAT IS ITS INVOLVEMENT WITH MARITIME?
We specialize in heavy-duty cycle applications – like steel production. We make equipment that has to be reliable 24/7 and is used and abused. The maritime market is like this, so we decided it would be a natural progression – at least in terms of the product construction itself. So a few years ago we started an initiative to penetrate the market and are starting to gain traction.
IS MARITIME THE BIGGEST SEGMENT?
Although it certainly has the potential to be the biggest segment and we would welcome that, steel production is currently our largest industry served.
HOW IS BUSINESS?
Business is good for us right now. Companies are spending money on large projects again, and we’re trying to get our piece of the pie.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE COMPANY IN FIVE YEARS?
Twice the physical size and twice the revenue with a greater presence in maritime markets.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Because I travel so much I spend most of my spare time with my wife and kids. But I do enjoy playing golf and often play by myself when at home. I’ll walk 18 holes early in the morning a few times a week just for exercise and to clear my mind. It’s my time, I guess.
When travelling, I’m always looking for an excuse to golf with a customer or vendor. It’s a much better meeting venue than a conference room. MarEx
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.