John Berzanskis Sr., a hard-working man with humble beginnings, originally founded AMS back in 1963, under the name of Antarctic Refrigeration, Inc. John began his refrigeration company as a sole proprietor 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 and in 1982 became the new president and owner of what is known today as AMS Mechanical Systems, Inc. Practicing under the same philosophy as his father, providing excellent service with a reputation for quality and integrity, combined with a renewed vitality for change and growth, led AMS to flourish throughout the Chicagoland and Indiana regions. Throughout the seventies and eighties, AMS continued to prosper into new directions. A strong background and a conscientious approach to clients’ needs enabled AMS to grow naturally from the retrofit service market for Industrial Ammonia Refrigeration to the 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 refined and further expanded its capabilities into the HVAC, and Industrial piping with continued growth into Industrial Refrigeration.
In 1985, John Jr. formulated a partnership with Dennis J. Kiley, a friend and 35-year veteran in the mechanical contracting industry. Together, with years of cumulative experience, dedication, and commitment, this partnership established a remarkable force in field operation and a dedicated project management team. Focusing efforts on furthering HVAC expansion, as well as on future company development and diversification, this partnership served as the nucleus for which AMS would become a recognized leader in commercial HVAC. Sadly, in 1989, this brief partnership ended when Dennis passed suddenly following a heart attack, leaving his partner, family, and friends, as well as the entire mechanical contracting industry, realizing a great loss.
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.
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 consist of superintendents, general foremen, field engineers, safety personnel, journeymen, and apprentices for each signatory trade.