[pullquote_right]”We are pleased to reach another landmark year at Aerial Services, but we are continuing to look to the future and exceed expectations another 45 years.” [/pullquote_right]
Back in June of 1967, Aerial Services was incorporated, setting the stage for 45 years of aerial imagery, mapping, and geospatial excellence. Based in the Cedar Valley the entire period, Aerial Services has employed generations of Iowans, changed and grown what they do, and has become a trusted resource for clients around the Midwest and expanded with time to all of North America.
“We are pleased to reach another landmark year at Aerial Services, but we are continuing to look to the future and exceed expectations another 45 years,” noted Mike Tully, President & CEO of Aerial Services. “We have a wonderful history, current team, and ample opportunity in the years to come. By reaching our 45th birthday we show we do remote-sensing very well.”
On June 5, 2012, exactly 45 years to the day the company was incorporated, the modern day team hosted a number of clients, partners, family, and friends to celebrate over an informal luncheon. While dining on summer cookout fair, current employee and visitors shared stories of working with Aerial Services, viewed historic documentation of the company’s history, and found out about its current endeavors.
“I’ve been with Aerial Services for over 35 years, and while the profession has changed, we have never ceased in our goals to provide excellent geospatial deliverables to our clients,” mentioned Walter Ertz, Vice President & COO. Kirk Fisher, Vice President & CFO, emphasized, “Not only have we grown as a nationally recognized aerial imagery, mapping, and LiDAR provider, but we have done so while staying true to our roots – trustworthy and quality work.”
The company was established in 1967 and has an impressive history of success and the growth that comes with it.
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 Chief Operations Officer (COO), Mr. Fisher acts as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Director of Flight 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.
Aerial Services thanks all well wishers, decades of clients, and dedicated staff throughout the years for their support of the organization. Aerial Services remains proud of its first 45 years and looks forward to 45 more great years to come!