On January 23, 1984, APG opened its doors and began providing quality electrical installations in Tampa Bay. On that day thirty-five years ago, our staff consisted of only three people – John Kavula, his wife Pat, and Jerry Lightner. But by the end of that very first year, we had over 25 employees and more than $1,100,000 in sales! We continued to grow, becoming one of the most respected electrical contractors in the state with a reputation for exceptional service and quality.
In 1994, we expanded beyond basic electrical construction and service, adding electrical engineering and design as well as installation and service of low voltage systems such as fire alarm, voice/data/video, security, and building automation. Later, building information modeling and audio/visual systems were added. With all of these skills under one roof, we became a truly full-service electrical contractor, backed by a diverse team of professionals from across the industry.
While we continue our commitment to those principles, growth does inevitably bring change, and we’re constantly working to improve! Some of the positive changes that have been implemented in the past five years include expanding our engineering group to provide full mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology engineering services. We opened Root Integrated Systems LLC, an audio/visual technology subsidiary company in Ohio. Our commitment to safety was bolstered by bringing on Safety Director Sean Hendry, establishing a monthly safety awareness award, and launching our Safe Driving Program with the goal of eliminating accidents and injuries in both company and personal vehicles. We increased our focus on employee wellness by offering health insurance discounts to everyone actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle, introducing our APG Tobacco-Free Initiative, and providing a wholesome and inexpensive lunch in our APG Café.
To stay ahead of our growth and provide quality leadership at every level of the company, President Mike Henley and Executive Vice President Chris Johnson announced the appointment of seven new officers of APG. We now employ almost 450 people, over 100 more than just five years ago! As we’ve continued to scale up, we’ve needed more space for company functions like our annual Safety, Service & Apprenticeship Awards Party, which was held at Ruth Eckerd Hall for the first time last year. Our Clearwater headquarters needed to be expanded and renovated too, and we showcased the new offices in July at our Open House event. It was a big hit with architects, engineers, general contractors, and our industry partners from all over Tampa Bay.
Our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction have earned us the continued trust of our customers. Repeat business is the greatest compliment we can receive, so we were truly honored to be awarded full engineering and construction contracts for the expansion projects taking place at St. Joseph’s Hospital North and St. Joseph’s Hospital South. The original construction of these two hospitals remain the largest projects in our company’s history and we’re proud to contribute to their success.
In January 2018, Moss Construction awarded APG a $2.2 million contract for the core and shell electrical and fire alarm portions of the Nova Southeastern University—Dr. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine in Clearwater. Tampa Bay cardiologist, entrepreneur, community leader and philanthropist Dr. Kiran C. Patel provided the gifts and financial commitments to make this project a reality. The mission of the college is to provide learner-centered education for osteopathic medical students, post-graduate trainees, physicians, and other professionals. It will prepare competent and compassionate lifelong learners, support research, scholarly activity, and community service, and advocate for the health and welfare of the community, including the medically underserved.
Our portion of the project has since expanded to a more than $13 million contract, including security, voice/data and BIM services. This job has presented unique challenges. One is the location near the Courtney Campbell Causeway, close to the water. Due to the low elevation and proximity to the bay, the entire site had to be built up. The marshy surroundings also mean that working during dawn or dusk involves battling mosquitoes. The compressed schedule has also been a difficulty, as the building is 225,000 square feet. Thanks to the hard work and skill of our team, we are overcoming these challenges, and we are grateful for their dedication.
This design-assist project has also offered many opportunities for us to use our talents and abilities. We were brought into the process while the project was still in design development. We then collaborated with Moss Construction, Dr. Patel’s team, NSU, ACAI Associates, Baker Barrios Architects and RDG Consulting Engineers to produce the construction documents, all while the building is being constructed, saving time and increasing efficiencies and quality. We are able to draw on our many years in the industry, specifically our experience with design-assist, to ensure that we deliver a quality product, on time and in budget. This results in a project that the entire team can be proud of.
Project Superintendent DJ Hall and his large crew of field technicians have been going above and beyond to keep the project on track and in budget. We are confident that this complex project will be complete in June 2019 in order to be open for students in the fall semester next year. We are happy to play a role in bringing this college to life, as we know that it will continue to have a positive impact on the Tampa Bay area.
All of us at APG were excited to earn this contract and we greatly appreciate having been selected by Moss Construction as their electrical contractor of choice. We are proud of the hard work of Terry Ryan, preconstruction special projects, Austin Buxton, senior project manager, DJ Hall, project superintendent, and the entire team on site. Keep up the great work!
Every year, APG sends a group of employees to the Florida Healthcare Engineering Association’s Annual Meeting and Trade Show. For the past several years, the FHEA has held their trade show in conjunction with the annual seminar put on by the Office of Plans and Construction in the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). These two events combined draw thousands of professionals in the healthcare facilities industry from all over the state, and this year was no exception!
This year the conference returned to the Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando on October 8 and 9, with the theme: “Back to the Basics of Health Care Design and Construction.” APG was well represented by members from all over the company. Our booth at the trade show was a major hit and hundreds of visitors stopped by to discuss trends in construction, upcoming projects, and where the industry is headed. A television screen scrolled through pictures of our many completed and ongoing healthcare projects, and several people stopped by just to marvel at the work on display. We are incredibly proud of the work of our field technicians and this booth gave us a chance to show everyone why.
While our estimators, project managers, and business developers visited with general contractors, product vendors, and healthcare facilities professionals at the trade show, our engineers attended seminars on designing and building the best health care environments, getting back to the basics of doing things right the first time, something our company takes very seriously. Various break-away sessions gave them an opportunity to network with other designers from all over Florida and to explain why the APG engineering model is proving so successful. When one company is able to provide full MEPT engineering services and then actually install the electrical and low voltage systems themselves, the owner wins.
APG was excited to get started on this project and quickly assembled a talented team. Led by Project Superintendent Chris Gobright and Project Manager Brian Stine, our field technicians have been going above and beyond to keep this complex job on track and in budget. We are especially proud of how they reacted to and overcame a recent challenge. For reasons beyond our control, we were left with only 30 days to meet the scheduled permanent power date, which was a daunting task considering the amount of work left to be done. For many contractors, that deadline simply wouldn’t have been met. But thanks to our constantly growing workforce, APG had the manpower to make it happen. Several of our project superintendents and their crews rallied together, working 10 hour days and weekends to meet this extremely aggressive schedule. Brian Stine reported that an astounding 4,700 hours of overtime were worked in this 30-day period alone. True to our reputation, APG did everything it took to meet the deadline! This is all the more impressive considering that we’ve installed nearly 53 miles of conduit, 198 miles of wire, and three paralleled 1,500kW emergency generators. Our Technology Group will be installing seventeen fully integrated audio visual conference rooms, six video walls that have the ability to display all traffic cameras in St. Petersburg and 122 TV monitors with IPTV capability throughout the facility.
Ensuring that more than $70 million of active projects are equipped with the right tools, materials, and storage trailers, while also maintaining our 50,000 square foot headquarters, is no easy feat. Luckily for us, we have Warehouse Manager Bruce Lyle and his team of Ralph Cordasco, Mick Mitchell, and John Kadlec to keep our ship sailing smoothly.
With over $3 million worth of tools in our inventory, including power tools, ladders, material carts, safety gear, and more, the warehouse team is kept busy moving these between projects, and doing maintenance and inspections when these tools return to the shop. Currently, we are replacing hundreds of our older power tools with new, standardized Milwaukee brand tools. The team has also been preparing a new mobile prefabrication shop, which will be stationed on large projects to help speed up production. This trailer will house a smart bender, table bender, band saw, heat boxes, a threader, and a shearing machine.
Around our property, the warehouse team completes important maintenance tasks throughout the day to keep everything in order. They empty the trash, ensure the restrooms have paper products and soap, change lightbulbs and ballasts, move furniture, setup and breakdown for special events, deliver packages, and oversee renovation and other maintenance contractors. Their work is often behind the scenes but it doesn’t go unnoticed.
A big thank you to the Warehouse team for your daily hard work and dedication!
We welcomed customers, vendors and partners to our Open House, held on Thursday, July 12, to showcase our new office renovation. Guests toured our engineering offices, café, hub room, huddle room, and fleet area to see our recent upgrades. Each group contributed to the hospitality provided in their own unique way. A major hit was the Technology Group’s walk-the-plank, a 3D virtual reality experience of walking between two high-rise buildings. The Service and Life Safety Group had a luau in their area, complete with frozen margaritas. The IT Group celebrated Tampa Bay craft breweries with a selection of local beers. Our Fleet Group shared a dunk tank and everyone enjoyed trying to send Sam Barber plummeting into the water. Human Resources wowed with a functioning Tesla coil.
Delicious catering for this event was provided by Bascom’s Chop House. We’d like to thank Chef Paul Bullard and his staff for the fantastic appetizers—spring rolls, meatballs, bacon-wrapped scallops and more. The spectacular three-tiered, lighted ice sculpture garnished with shrimp and seaweed was the centerpiece of the café. Guests went home with a premium box of chocolates from Norman Love Confections.
Our guests shared the following comments about the Open House:
Thank you to everyone who attended and to those who made this evening possible, including Steve Tallyn, Rachel Kotsch, Charmin Henley, Kim Barber, Carol Quiroz, and Jessica Griffith. This was another event to remember!
With construction booming across the state and cranes lining the skyline of Tampa Bay, APG is breaking all-time records for jobs under contract and we’re privileged to be a part of some truly exciting projects. Many of them have unusually tight deadlines, and our field teams have been putting in long hours all summer to finish them the APG way: on schedule.
It’s no secret that staffing projects and growing a skilled workforce has become an industry-wide challenge. Even so, we’ve been amazed by the number of new team members choosing to begin their electrical careers here at APG. We’ve hired more than 80 people this year alone! These men and women are quickly building their skills under the mentorship of our more experienced electricians while working on some fast-paced and demanding jobs. Many of them also attend apprenticeship classes at night, making their dedication all the more impressive.
Meeting tight deadlines on complicated, large-scale projects takes an above and beyond effort from our crews in the field, and APG has several of them under construction at the same time. One in particular is the continued renovation of Raymond James Stadium. Now in its third phase, all work has to be done during this year’s offseason so that the stadium is totally finished and ready to welcome fans by Opening Day. To meet that deadline, our field techs have been putting in very long days with many of them working 70-80 hours per week. Every weekend, over 80 of our techs routinely put their lives on hold to carry this project into the end zone. On the other side of the bay, our crews at the St. Petersburg Police Headquarters have been putting in unusually long hours, even gathering a crew of 40 techs on the weekends. Going south to Venice, our team really stepped up by working on a project on the fourth of July to support the glass manufacturing plant at PGT Industries.
All this extra effort isn’t just coming from our Construction Group; our Service and Technology Groups have been working around the clock too. Service has been extremely busy with major shutdowns at Catalent, Linvatec, and Sheraton Sand Key, while Technology is doing an unprecedented amount of work at USAA Crosstown. In just two months, our Technology crew has installed nearly 1 million feet (over 180 miles!) of cabling as they build out twelve telecom rooms and provide complete audio/visual integration of nearly one hundred other rooms at USAA alone. To accomplish this incredible feat, a crew of twelve has been working nights and weekends, putting in up to 80 hours per week.
These are just a few of our ongoing projects that require significant overtime. The Ringling College Student Housing building had a mandatory 6-day workweek with an accelerated schedule, and crews at the Atlanta Braves Stadium and many others have been working well over 40 hours per week to stay on track.
The more than 300 men and women at the front lines of our projects in the field are the lifeblood of APG. They put their skills to the test every single day as they carefully lay out miles of underground conduit, install perfectly parallel feeders, hang thousands of light fixtures, teach our apprentices how to solve problems, coordinate shutdowns in healthcare facilities, and do so much more. Their attention to detail and pride in their work is widely recognized by our customers who highly praise their professional installations. Many times, it’s what our customers see as they walk through a completed job that makes them want to hire us again and again.
To everyone in the field who has made sacrifices to go above and beyond this summer: THANK YOU. Your hard work, your long hours, and the way you overcome challenges will not go unnoticed. You and your families are what make APG special, and YOU are the key to our success!
We held our 15th Annual Family Fishing Tournament on Saturday, June 23 at the Belleair Boat Ramp. This year should have marked our 16th tournament, but last year’s event had to be postponed due to the active hurricane season we experienced. We had a record turnout of 154 anglers, including 31 kids who were twelve years of age or under. Each of the kids received a fishing rod and reel combo, including a fishing net, for participating, and seeing the smiles on their faces was priceless. All of our anglers enjoyed a great day outdoors catching their favorite fish, and many got that all-important photo of the big one that didn’t get away.
The tournament shirt was another winning design by Alan Woodford of Big Lagoon Designs, which all of the participants were proud to wear. The fish looked great on the shirt and even better on the hooks! Everyone enjoyed the food, drinks, and raffle prizes, and many of the adults were excited to walk away with a cash prize for their catch. Our fishing tournament has been growing since its inception and continues to be an event that employees and their families look forward to every year. All of us at APG would like to thank the following individuals for organizing this stellar event—Mike Henley, Chris Johnson, John Kavula, Jerry Lightner, Bruce Lyle, Mickey Mitchell, Rachel Kotsch, Tim White, Bruce Balcombe, Ralph Cordasco, and Steve Tallyn. We hope to see everyone again next year!
Tampa Bay Headquarters
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4825 140th Avenue North
Clearwater, Florida 33762
Serving Central Florida
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Lakeland, Florida 33805
T: 863.688.0600 | 407.999.8300
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