Origin & Growth
The company’s original stockholders were Robert F. Walden, Richard Walden, Fred Debe, and J.R. Holmes, all residents of Waterloo, Iowa. The business was initially located at 222 Waterloo Building in Waterloo, Iowa but moved to 4302 University Ave. in Cedar Falls, Iowa in September of 1968.
In 1974, all shares were purchased by acting General Manager of the corporation, Paul G. Allee (Mr. Allee’s daughter still works for the company). In September of 1976, the corporation moved to its location at 2120 Center Street in Cedar Falls, Iowa. During this period the company’s work become more advanced and laid the ground for the company we know today.
Gary G. Brown purchased the company in 1988. Aerial Services had employed Mr. Brown as an assistant manager since 1983. Under his guidance, the company’s work grew. In 1995, the building expanded to accommodate a darkroom and the expanding staff.
During this time, new computer production tools helped the company become an important player in the geospatial progression nationally. This was helped by Mr. Brown being a recognizable national advocate for Aerial Services.
The New Millennium & Leadership
Walter Ertz, Kirk Fisher, and Mike Tully purchased the company from Mr. Brown in 2000. These three individuals are long-time employees of Aerial Services and are committed to its success. Mr. Ertz serves as Vice-President of Geospatial Solutions, Mr. Fisher acts as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Vice-President Operations, and Mr. Tully is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President.
In June of 2008, the company’s location at 2120 Center Street was destroyed in the record breaking flood of the Cedar River. After a temporary stint in a leased building, the company built & relocated to their new permanent home in Cedar Falls Technology & Industrial Park at 6315 Chancellor Drive in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Later in Fall of 2008, the company purchased their first fully digital aerial imagery sensor, the Leica ADS80-SH82, of which they had such success that they followed up and purchased a second in 2010. In early 2012, the company acquired a Riegl VQ-480 LiDAR sensor to further bolster their abilities to create high-resolution terrain data.
In June 2008, Aerial Services’ home of over 30 years was destroyed during the record-breaking Midwest floods. One floor was totally submerged, a second floor saw water up to the hips, and a third floor had water at your feet. Only one level was spared. After the flood event passed, Aerial Services decided to move on from the site, and in late April 2010, the building was demolished. The City of Cedar Falls completed demolition of Aerial Services’ old 2120 Center Street office on Wednesday, April 28, 2010.