AMS Industries Story
Our story begins when John Berzanskis Sr. founded AMS back in 1963, under the name of Antarctic Refrigeration, Inc. John is a hard-working man with humble beginnings who began his refrigeration company as a sole proprietor. When he started the company, he was working out of a former gas station facility in Chicago, Illinois. His simple premise was to work hard and to provide honest, reliable service to the refrigeration industry.
Upon his father’s retirement in 1978, John F. Berzanskis, Jr., assumed his father’s duties. In 1982, he became the new president and owner of what is known today as AMS Mechanical Systems, Inc. John continued his father’s philosophy of excellent service, quality, and integrity, igniting growth and change at AMS. This approach led AMS to flourish throughout the Chicagoland and Indiana regions. Throughout the seventies and eighties, AMS continued to prosper into new directions. With a strong background and conscientious client focus, AMS naturally transitioned from Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration retrofit services. Consequently, we expanded into larger plan/spec and design/build construction projects. These capabilities became the foreground, which would ultimately serve as the foundation for the future of AMS. Continually investing in people and equipment, AMS expanded its capabilities into HVAC, industrial piping, and refrigeration with sustained growth.
In 1985, John formulated a partnership with Dennis J. Kiley, a friend and 35-year veteran in the mechanical contracting industry. With years of experience, dedication, and commitment, this partnership formed a formidable field operation and project management team. By prioritizing HVAC expansion and future growth, this partnership became AMS’s core in leading commercial HVAC. Sadly, in 1989, this partnership ended when Dennis passed away suddenly due to a heart attack. His loss was deeply felt by his partner, family, friends, and the entire mechanical contracting industry.
During the early 1990’s AMS broadened its capabilities into the industrial marketplace providing mechanical services for light industrial and manufacturing industries. Today, with the continued commitment to development and dedication to its people, AMS has come to flourish as one of the Midwest’s leading mechanical contractors in the heavy industrial markets servicing the power, petrochemical, and steel industries.
Moving Forward Into Employee Ownership
In 2012 with the goal of completing its commercial diversification, AMS added a plumbing business group consisting of both plumbing service and construction. Today AMS plumbing has become a significant and integral part of AMS’s Commercial Service and overall corporate success.
In 2017, John Berzanskis handed over the reigns to the employees and we are now a 100% Employee Owned Company. As John takes a step back and eases into retirement, he has appointed Ben Campbell as the new president assuming all of John’s duties. Ben is continuing on our course of action of building a better, stronger and more durable company for future generations, protecting the AMS brand, meeting our commitments to clients, developing our people, and helping improve communities.
Today, AMS employs over 500 people from office personnel to the field. Our office and support staff incorporate an array of highly qualified, experienced employees including graduate mechanical engineers, professional engineers, piping and sheet metal designers, experienced estimators and project managers along with trained administrative assistants and accounting personnel. Field operations, on the other hand, tell a different story, consisting of superintendents, general foremen, field engineers, safety personnel, journeymen, and apprentices for each signatory trade.