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400 Nave Road SE
P.O. Box 1100
Massillon, OH 44648
DOING BUSINESS THE PERSONAL WAY
In the beginning, it happened because one person knew another person. It still happens that way at A.R.E.
In the late sixties two workers built a friendship. Sal respected Jonas because of his vision, his ability to see a job through to the end even before it had been undertaken, and then to get it done. Jonas appreciated Sal because of his business skills, his ability to build the kind of relationships with customers that engendered loyalty, and then to follow through with those relationships.
So Jonas Yoder and Sal Gatti left the company they were working for and forged a new company, to manufacture wood frame truck caps, which was the fashion of the time. Just as the company began someone knew someone else, the company found a home because Yoder knew a person who had a building they could rent. Aden Miller was a life long friend of Yoder's, as well as the cousin of his wife. When Yoder approached Miller about renting the garage on his property, Miller, who had been working as a finish carpenter, indicated an interest not only providing a place for the company to build its product, but also in working for the company. Immediately Gatti recognized in Miller someone with a vision similar to that of Jonas Yoder. Another life-long friendship and business relationship was struck on the spot. A.R.E. had a home and its first full-time employee.
The name A.R.E. actually pre-dated the cap-manufacturing venture. When Gatti was involved in another business he incorporated under that name. The A. is for Anne Marie, his oldest daughter; the R. is for Ralph, his only son at the time; the E. is for Elizabeth, his youngest daughter at the time. The family theme fit the character of the company from the start, and has remained part of the company lore to this day, providing the answer to one of the most oft-asked questions, "What does A.R.E. stand for, anyway?" Initially the business focused on serving its niche market based on the customers with which Gatti had already built a relationship. But new product lines were already on the horizon. An aluminum welder was acquired and Miller began to understand the intricacies of welding. This allowed for the construction of aluminum framed caps and aluminum framed storage sheds. Rachel Keim, Miller's sister-in-law, was the next employee; she became the full-time welder, allowing Miller to work his way into other areas of production and design.
Jonas Yoder moved on to other ventures. From the start the joy of the seeding and planting of the business motivated him, but he had no interest in continuing in the day-to-day operations. He started another company, JoWill Industries, a metal distributor and fabricator. JoWill provided crucial support and product inventory for the fledgling cap manufacturer. Finally, Yoder settled into the construction business, where his vision and need to be part of building from the ground up, as he had done with A.R.E., could be satisfied.
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