Celebrating 60 Years, Building The ACE Way

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This year, the ACE team celebrates a major milestone in their journey: 60 years of building complex stainless steel The ACE Way. From the company’s beginning in 1960, when 16 sheet metal workers started their own company to avoid relocation, to today, ACE has remained loyal to the belief that everyone matters. ACE METAL CRAFTS COMPANY has faced many external crises since the company’s founding. The 1970’s gas crisis, the 1980’s recession, 9/11, the 2008 housing crisis, and now COVID-19 have all presented different challenging obstacles for businesses. Still ACE has been able to navigate through these crises by following The ACE Way: As members of the ACE team, we are on a journey, which challenges us to fulfill the promise that we continue to share our greatest gifts at work and lead fulfilling lives through deliberate kindness.

Built on the values the company was founded on, The ACE Way has remained strong through the last six decades, as the legacy was passed on through generations. One of ACE’s earliest employees Jack Stout dedicated 40 years to ACE, pioneering techniques that defined the industry. His commitment to quality was rivaled only by his drive to treat all with kindness. These are qualities he passed onto his son Keith Stout, who grew up around ACE. Keith’s first job with company was working in maintenance when he was 18 years old. He carried that core belief with him as he grew with ACE, being named President of the company in 2018. Similarly, former owner Jack Lichter, who purchased ACE METAL CRAFTS COMPANY in 1982, guided the company with a caring approach and trust in people that defined ACE’s growth for the next 30 years. Those are ideals instilled in his daughter Jean Pitzo, whose journey with ACE took her from sales rep to Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to her father’s replacement as President and owner, to her current role as CEO. Jean continued her father’s investment in people, cultivating a culture of trust.

The company has remained consistent to the four ACE Truths. The first of which, Culture, includes trust, respect, care, clarity, and discipline. Essential to this truth is the belief that everyone matters, and when everyone matters, everyone succeeds. The second truth, customers first, includes responsiveness, trustworthiness, and communication. For customers to truly come first, every member of the ACE team must possess the kindness, emotional intelligence, and training to solve their problems. The third truth, Lean Manufacturing, includes problem-solving, 5S, schedule & sequence, safety, quality, and SOPs. With lean manufacturing, ACE can create more value by reducing waste and costs and improving lead times. Lean manufacturing allows us to successfully adapt when facing new challenges. The final truth, the ACE Operating System includes accountability, process, quarterly rocks, issues ID & solve, pulse meetings, and scorecards. The ACE Operating System ensures everyone understands the ACE vision, that the right people are in the right positions to succeed, that issues should be resolved, and that results are reviewed so future outcomes can be improved.

While ACE has grown and adapted to change with the times, the fundamental beliefs of the company have remained true to our roots. We can live more fulfilling lives and build a better company, and world, through kindness.