Independently operated and 100-percent employee-owned ACRT, Inc. reached a major milestone in 2010. ACRT first opened its doors 25 years ago on February 11, 1985 with fewer than 50 employees. Today, Akron, Ohio-based ACRT employs more than 400 professionals throughout the United States and is the recognized leader in utility vegetation management.
“We have some of the most experienced utility arborists, horticulturists, urban foresters and GIS technicians in the industry,” said Mike Weidner, president and CEO for ACRT. To celebrate this milestone we are taking the time to commemorate our history; but, most importantly, we are looking to the future and focusing on how we can make continuous improvements that will make the next 25 years as great as the first.”
ACRT has grown significantly over the past 25 years. In May 2003, ACRT solidified its independence by becoming 100-percent employee-owned and in 2004 the company moved to its current location in Akron.
Pat Paternostro, an ACRT employee for 18 years, remembers the early days of the company, “It was a different company then – smaller in number of employees but not in terms of vision,” Paternostro said. “It’s been a great privilege to be part of the company’s evolution and to see ACRT grow in structure and character. It is a great place to work with excellent opportunities for advancement.”
Paternostro began his career as a field forester and has held various positions in both transmission and distribution within ACRT, including supervisor and, most recently, operations manager. He also leads ACRT’s Ready Force team, which deploys expert foresters anywhere in the country when natural disasters and other factors cause vegetation to interfere with power lines.
“It’s a sought after place to work for foresters where you can move up the ladder,” Paternostro said. “As an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), ACRT gives a voice to employees. It’s more than just a job because anyone can make a difference and help the company succeed.”
According to Weidner, ACRT has great vision and looks to expand its operations in the near future.
“We are looking at ways we can leverage our expertise to assist companies in new markets,” Weidner said. “But, while we are exploring new opportunities, we will never lose sight of our primary goal – providing excellent service to our customers.”
For more information on ACRT, visit www.acrtinc.com.