When St. Louis-based integrator Conference Technologies Inc. acquired United Visual in July, it took along most of the employees, including salespeople, management and more. But not everyone joined the new parent company.
Among those left behind—by their own choice or otherwise—were United Visual partner Lee Wolf and a small crew of union tech laborers. Wolf, whose wife’s father started United Visual in 1949, felt “better suited to stay in the field with the field guys” than moving on, he says, believing he “had a responsibility to keep the (United Visual) name alive.”
Wolf, who now serves as president of United Visual Labor, says his crew of three or four installers works mostly in the six-county area of Chicagoland, although they will travel beyond the Windy City confines for some customers on particular jobs. Most of the jobs they tackle as subcontractors last anywhere from a day or two to as long as two weeks or so. Almost all of their work so far has been in corporate, industrial and college settings, but Wolf is open to expanding into different markets.
“Expansion is a reality for us in the spring,” he says. “We won’t stay this small for long.”
Interestingly, CTI has been among the companies that has utilized United Visual Labor’s services. Being able to retain the UV brand was important to Wolf and has helped the company attract business, he says.
“The weight of that name is a tremendous positive for us,” says Wolf.