Apsites Path Is Signaling Successes

August 9, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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HOLLAND — As the new president of Group Signal, Aivars Apsite is following the path of convergence.

The Grand Rapids native is taking his experience and coupling that with what the six-year-old company already has accomplished to stay on the track of technology development.

Apsite earned his bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University in computer information systems and then landed a job at Steelcase working the third shift as a computer systems operator. From there he achieved the title of office animation analyst while receiving his master’s degree from Ferris.

“That was one of the most defining moments that has helped me get where I am today,” said Apsite. “Being able to work at Steelcase and learn what I did there and then eventually attaining my master’s degree really put me in a position to build on that.”

After leaving Steelcase, Apsite went to work for Priority Health as an administration and technology director. After five years with Priority Health and after some interest from Parkway Group, Apsite decided to try his hand at developing Parkway Group’s telecom division, which would become Group Signal.

“I have been the general manager for six years until my title change this year,” said Apsite. “But basically nothing has changed as far as responsibilities.”

As president of Group Signal, Apsite manages the day-to-day operations and concentrates on staying abreast of the latest technology breakthroughs while maintaining customer satisfaction. He also is responsible for directing his staff toward meeting future goals.

Over the years, Apsite has been witness to the evolution of business communications technology and the increased need and interest by businesses for appropriate technology solutions.

“In order to meet our customers’ needs it is important that we stay on top of the constantly changing world of technology and be able to make the most of their operating systems,” said Apsite.

Group Signal provides service and support in the area of engineering, design, planning and cable installation of network, voice, data, paging, security and fire protection systems. The company services a wide variety of clients, from large corporations and school districts to the small, family owned businesses.

“We really focus on business and industrial work, but we have done some schools, some prisons and some hospitals,” said Apsite.

Recently, Group Signal added systems integration of audio/visual systems to its repertoire.

“It makes it so much easier on the client if we can control all of their systems integration,” Apsite said. “This way if there is a problem with one part of the system we can identify it, fix it and have the whole thing up and running as well as having everything connected so you can access your security system, telephone system, fire protection system and sound system all from the same place.”

And that is part of what Apsite enjoys most about his job — the diversity. He said the joy in his job, besides being able to provide everything for the customer, is fostering that relationship.

“When we start out with providing voice and data cabling for a customer and then they realize they need audio/visual integration and so on, we are really forming a relationship with that customer, a long and solid relationship,” he said. “It also allows me to get out and meet new and varied customers and learn their business and what it is all about.”

While meeting the customer’s needs and striving to lead a relationship-driven company into the new technology world, Apsite also enjoys a little time off here and there. Between working with his church, snow skiing, playing volleyball and keeping up to date on his 12-year collection of National Geographic magazines, Apsite also finds time to spend with his wife of 18 years and their three children.

“My staff has played a large part in my (success) and in our success as a company,” said Apsite. “I also enjoy my work, so it’s been easy to concentrate on what I need to get done. And I hope to just keep following the convergence path and keep learning.”    

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