Amerex was started by Ned Paine, who was born in 1923. He started Amerex in 1971, at age 48, with a $50,000 investment. Ned has since retired and is presently in Chicago, living with his daughter, but still enjoying life by taking family cruises.
Bill Beyer graduated from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. Bill went into the banking industry from 1971 until 1995. In the early 1990s, he was associated with Automated Industries, headed up by George Baureis, Ned Paine’s partner who supplied some of the fire extinguisher shells to Amerex. George Baureis passed away in 1992 and, in 1995, Bill was named General Manager. In 1997, Ned Paine asked Bill to join Amerex as President of Amerex. In 1999, Ned Paine retired and sold Amerex Corp. to McWane Corp., based in Birmingham, Alabama. Bill was asked to remain as President. The same executive group remained at Amerex and Bill headed up the entire Amerex operation. In the early 2000s, Bill spearheaded the efforts to make Amerex a true fire protection company by forming Janus Fire Systems, an engineered company specializing in engineered systems design and fire suppression equipment. Shortly thereafter, Bill coordinated the buyout and eventual move of Solberg Foam to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Getz Manufacturing, Janus Fire Systems, and Solberg Foam all remained under Bill’s operation. Bill was instrumental in making sure the overall state of the industry moved forward, combating rules and regulations that could have been detrimental to our industry by his participation in FEMA and his willingness to ensure Amerex’s visibility by sponsoring events at NAFED and NFPA, as well as other events involving State Associations and various State Fire Marshal’s Associations. In his 15 years as President of Amerex, Bill attended nearly every FEMA, NAFED, and NFPA Conference and always had the time to talk to distributors to gain that valuable insight into the industry trends.
Since Bill took the helm at Amaerex, sales have more than tripled. With the exception of only one year, Amerex’s sales increased every year from the previous year – and that one decrease was due to an unusually large government order that was not duplicated. He successfully guided Amerex to become a “full line fire extinguisher company” by adding pre-engineered industrial systems, pre-engineered clean agent systems, engineered systems, and foam systems to Amerex’s product offering. He started Amerex Defense, a separate group dedicated to providing fire safety products to the government, and more specifically to the military. Through his efforts, he successfully was able to get ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications. He was a past president of FEMA, and like Ned, attended virtually every single NAFED meeting in order to get a better handle on the industry by meeting with distributors one-on-one. His president-employee relationship is evident by his open-door policy, which in turn has reduced the turnover rate immensely. He is a great host for Amerex, inviting distributors as well as vendors down to the Amerex facility to show off the manufacturing process, and is an Ambassador for Amerex, traveling to virtually every continent in order to meet with customers, and establish a better understanding of International business. Bill has a great management style, and surrounds himself with people that know specific aspects of the business, relying on their input to make decisions to lead Amerex forward. Like Ned, Bill believes in education, and he provides incentives to those that wanted to further their education. He seldom says “no” to a worthy cause, and once said it costs Amerex money every time he walks through the plant, giving in to employees needs and requests, whether it is for something personal, or something that is job or work related. Safety and environment are his number 1 priorities and he is proud of the record for the consecutive hours the Amerex employees have worked without a lost-time injury, and the environmental and clean OSHA record Amerex has. His leadership has made Amerex a true fire suppression company by extending the product offering from what was once simply portables to a company that can compete with the biggest of the giant conglomerates in the fire protection industry — all by doing this with a the basic style of listening to customers, answering the phone, and communicating. All the high-tech stuff aside, Bill believes that nothing is better than sitting down face to face with a customer and asking: “What can Amerex do to make your business better?”
Bill will be retiring on December 31, 2014. He plans to remain in New Jersey, enjoying retirement either at his home or at his favorite place away from home on the New Jersey shore.