Ensuring A Strong Culture of Core Values and Progressive Motion
President Darin Boik talks on AEC’s family culture, solid core values, and continuing a legacy of a well-respected reputation.
Meet the President
For more than a decade, Darin Boik worked as an Outside Sales Account Manager for Advanced Equipment Company. But since 2018, he’s had a new job title: company President. Now, nearly two years later, Darin talks about what made him take on the new role, and what he sees for the future of the company.
How did you come to start at AEC?
My background is in electrical engineering, and after working 10 years with an automated vehicle group I learned of a position available at AEC from a former colleague.
It was a rare opportunity to find employment at AEC because of the loyalty of their employees and culture of the company. The majority of the employees had worked 20 or more years at AEC. It’s really a testament to a great culture created by owner, Larry Abernathy.
And how did that change go for you?
It was great. I had my own territory, it was similar work as far as project engineering went, and while I’ve never seen myself as a salesperson, I was comfortable stepping into a sales role so long as I had a good base understanding of the products.
And then after more than a decade, you find yourself as Company President. How did that happen?
They saw me as somebody who could fill that role based on my personality. Daryle Ogburn, former President, said at one point that he could see me taking over for him some day and wanted to know my thoughts.
I was definitely interested; I love the company and said I’d like to be a part of making sure this place stays strong with the culture we have and keeps moving forward for a long time.
Is that what kept you around for so many years? The company culture?
Yes. I always thought this was a great company and I love the way that Larry Abernathy, the owner, has always operated. The business model is solid, it’s proven, and it’s lasted the test of time.
I wanted to stay a part of that, which means helping us stick to our principles and values so we can continue maintaining our great and loyal customer base that trusts us.
Can you talk a little bit about those values, and what you plan to do to maintain those values?
The main value is just doing the right thing. And I mean the right thing for the customer. We always make sure that we act as an extension of our client and do what’s right for them, not what’s right for AEC. So we make sure we’re aligning with their company mission and goals.
We listen to what problems they have and any proposed solutions, and then work with them to find even better solutions to reach their goals. Our solutions are usually proven, and yet we know how far we can push those boundaries with new technology.
Is that the secret to AEC’s success? Learning and implementing new technology?
I’d say that the most important piece of our company is actually our employees.
AEC has always attracted excellent talent to our company that want to be a part of our family, and these individuals, past and current, along with our owner Larry Abernathy, are the real building blocks of our success and reputation.
What would you say is the best part of your job as President?
I think what I’ve been enjoying most is learning more about the sales team: learning each person’s personality and how they approach customers with their own unique style.
It really accelerates my learning as well, and I can take bits and pieces from each person where they really excel and use that to help the others.
And what about outside of work? Any particular hobbies you’d like to share?
I play a lot of tennis. I’m also big into fitness and love to travel. Family time is always good too, but my kids are getting older now so they’re usually off running around and doing their own thing. I used to play golf a lot—I actually thought that would be a profession for me at one time, as a country club pro or something like that—but I’m happy with the choice that I made. Though my golf game is nowhere near what it used to be.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share with potential customers now that you’re President?
Just that we’re still going to be the same company we have been for the past 60 years. AEC has an excellent, well-respected reputation within the industry and it’s due to the excellent individuals that are a part of our AEC family as well as the relationships we’ve built over our long history.
We’re always going to stand behind our solutions and we’re only going to give you the best experience that we can. Those are the reasons and values that made me want to be the next leader, and I look forward to continuing to preserve the culture we’ve built over the many years at AEC.
Advanced Equipment Company has had a unique history of successful, continuous growth with more than six decades in our industry—and that success starts with a strong partnership with you, our customer. Through the years, we have evolved into a respected top resource for automated systems, conveyor, storage, and other material handling solutions and integration. For help finding a solution that fits your application, call AEC today at 704-527-3141.