Robert Sires is founder and CEO of American Elite Molding, which was named one of GrowFL's Companies to Watch for 2016 and Florida Manufacturer of the Year in 2017.
Sires, who is a recipient of the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award and was named one of Florida’s 500 Most Influential Business Leaders by Florida Trend in 2018, is a serial entrepreneur operating seven businesses across the country that are all based on the theme of Made in the USA. Sires originally worked for a family of investment bankers, operating an aerospace and medical device company for them.
"I caught the entrepreneurship bug working for them," Sires said. "About 15 years ago we sold the aerospace and medical device companies and I was looking for different things to do. I wanted to retire but I was too young to retire. I was sitting on the board of a company that made nylon products and thought it would be interesting to get in to that business. I always liked manufacturing and I'm a believer in Made in the USA."
American Elite Molding is now the leading manufacturer in the U.S. of nylon cable ties, making more than 1.5 billion cable ties a year. Located in Crestview, Florida, its state-of-the-art facility operates 24/7/365 and boasts the most advanced production processes in the U.S. The company has grown to 150 employees from 4,000 to 75,000 square feet in just over a decade.
"We offer a full line of ties where our competitors do not," said Sires. "We have the ability to make competitive products in a commodity market, and we value our customers and treat them as kings. Our top quality service and delivery have allowed us to grow like we have."
American Elite Molding focuses on producing top quality products at competitive prices, combined with extraordinary customer service, and is committed to continuous improvement in all areas. Their American-made cable ties are UL Listed and Mil-Spec approved, and they offer UL 62275 Type 21S ties. The company is ISO 9001:2015 certified, indicating its dedication to superior quality management and constant process improvement. Four distribution centers—in CA, FL, CT, and IN—enable the company to maintain inventory and ship products out quickly for Just-in-Time delivery. AEM’s commitment to American manufacturing includes using American-made raw material and supplies such as bags, boxes, and labels. The company focuses on customer success as well as satisfaction, and all American Elite Molding products are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Sires says that being named as a GrowFL Company To Watch is testament to his team as well as economic development infrastructure throughout the State of Florida. "We're very proud of that honor," he said. "We've worked very hard as a team to do what we've done. Our partners in Florida have been great, from the Governor to the county EDC to CareerSource. Everyone has helped us tremendously and we feel that not only is it a win for us, but it’s also a win for the state. It's a recognition of how hard we've all worked both internally and external to the company."
Sires’ advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: "Do something that you love," he said. "Have passion for it and hire people who are smarter than you."