Fresno is abuzz right now with the recent opening of Dave and Buster’s along with the new Krispy Kreme (opening soon), but we wanted to take a minute to focus on a true Fresno family business success story, Geil Enterprises.
Steve and Eileen Geil started the business in 1986 with five employees and grew it to be one of the largest companies in Central California, employing over 500 people.
Geil Enterprises is a 100% employee-owned company that specializes in the security and janitorial industries and operates five divisions: CIS Security, Janitorial Inc., Valley Security & Alarm, Valley Sanitary Supply and A-MAZ. Each of these divisions operates under the same core values on which the company was founded: be honest, be accountable, cooperate and evolve.
From the very beginning, Steve and Eileen Geil’s entrepreneurial spirit led them to create a company that would last. Steve Geil was the type of man who did not want to work for anyone but himself. His background in sales proved to be a solid foundation for building a business based on the needs of his clients. The business began with security, but with satisfied customers came opportunities to expand, and Steve Geil was never one to turn down an opportunity.
Fast-forward to 20 years later; when Steve and Eileen were ready to retire, they decided to make the company an ESOP, an employee-owned company, in 2006. Ultimately, this could not have been done without faith. The Geil family knew that their business would continue to grow because of the loyal employees, some having been with the company from the start.
Their little family business had thrived and become bigger than they had ever dreamed; but the family portion of the business would live on: Steve and Eileen’s sons, Ryan and Jason Geil, had worked at the company since they were teenagers and would take over as President and Business Development Manager, respectively. The family feeling permeated all levels of the business, reaching well beyond the Geils—which is no small feat for a company with over 500 employees.
“You know, it’s not like work. It’s like your family,” said Sandy Kevorkian, a Payroll Specialist that has been with Geil Enterprises for almost 25 years. “We fit together, we support each other, we lift each other up, and we care about each other. Employee ownership is just icing on the cake.”
This year, Geil Enterprises Inc. is celebrating its 30th anniversary. They have survived a lot as a company. Hard times, recessions, failed ventures, drastic changes; you name it, they have faced it.
President Ryan Geil credits hard work and a group of dedicated employees for this durability. “It’s not a Geil story, really. It’s a company story,” said Geil, who actually owns no shares in the company. “Employee ownership was the only way we could conceive to have our company truly endure.”
And endure it has, creating recognizable brands and job opportunities in the Central Valley since its inception in 1986. CIS Security, Janitorial Inc., Valley Security & Alarm and Valley Sanitary Supply are leaders in the security and janitorial industries, providing services to residential and commercial clients alike. There is no doubt that Geil Enterprises is primed for at least another 30 years of success.