For 50 years, the Advanced Vacuum Company has provided standard preventive maintenance rebuilds and vacuum equipment service solutions. ADVACO has been based in Westminster for the past 40 years, after spending its first 10 years in Owings Mills.
“During our 40 years in Westminster, we have provided stable, long-term employment for our employees, and have supported the community with such activities as food drives and donations to Carroll Hospital Center and St. John’s Catholic Church,” said Kaye Kolb Jr., president of ADVACO and a 37-year employee of the company. “We support local businesses as much as possible and appreciate the long-term relationships we have had with many of them. We are a long-standing member of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce as well.”
In those 40 years, ADVACO became a cornerstone to the small business community in Carroll County.
“I think a company that stays in business for 50 years in Carroll is another brick in the foundation that makes up the small business community,” said Mike McMullin, spokesperson for the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. “Think of the families this type of business supports and provides for. These business owners are local heroes.”
For employees, it is a rewarding experience to work with a company that contributes so much to the local community.
“It has been a very rewarding and inspiring experience to work here,” Kolb said. “While very few of our customers are in Carroll County, we have provided stable local employment, contributed to the county and state tax base, and supported other local business for many years, hopefully leading to their prosperity as well.”
Kolb started at the company in 1985 while he was a senior majoring in business administration at what was then Towson State University. Originally, he was a sales representative. Then, in 1987, he became marketing manager and years later, general manager.
In 2007, he became the company’s president. While working for the company, he also obtained an MBA from Mount St. Mary’s University.
The company was founded by its current owner, Brian L. Raver in 1972. Raver had previous vacuum pump service experience, and decided to start his own company to support customers in the area, Kolb said.
The Raver family is originally from Baltimore but moved to Carroll County in 1974 and have resided here since then. Raver and his wife Darleen raised three daughters, Tammy, Michelle and Dawn, in Carroll County. They have seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
“Advanced Vacuum Company, Inc. started out as a means of providing a stable future for my family,” said Brian Raver. “As years have passed, it has become a company that provides a service for manufacturing companies throughout the United States.”
Since being established in 1972, the company has evolved from a handful of employees providing local vacuum pump rebuilding services in the Baltimore/Washington area, to an organization with more than 50 employees providing vacuum pump rebuilding services, field service, and equipment sales nationally and internationally, Kolb said.
“Our focus is on restoring the vacuum pumps we rebuild to original OEM [original equipment manufacturer] specifications, regardless of whether or not the equipment is obsolete,” Kolb said. “We provide the best warranty in our industry, which is two years from date of installation. Our 50-year experience in the industry and tenure of many of our employees allows us to provide the best service, best warranty and best experience for our customers. Since we focus solely on servicing the customer, every interaction with them is important to us to retain their business.”
The company attributes its longevity to its staff’s skills and ability to adapt as well as the customers who have asked for its services for years.
“The company has been in existence for 50 years due to the dedication and skills of our staff, our ability to innovate, our continued focus on the customer, and by our knowledge of our customer base and the services that are required by the various industries we support,” Kolb said. " Our focus has always been on service, which is the key to our long term success.”
Currently, three generations of the Raver family work for the company. The Raver’s daughter, Tammy Bowers, has been vice president for more than 30 years. Dawn Raver recently started in the accounting department. Josh Bowers is the Ravers’ grandson, and he has been human resources and accounting manager for more than nine years.
“It means a great deal to me that I can provide a future for many families within the community,” Brian Raver said. “I am very proud of the service and sales commitment that my company has provided.”
ADVACO held a 50th anniversary celebration on June 18 at the company’s headquarters at 1215 Business Pkwy., in North Westminster.
The event featured DJ Spin City, children’s activities, food trucks and giveaways. There was a ribbon cutting with the chamber of commerce and tours of the facility.