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What’s Local: Alpha Controls expands footprint

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – A homegrown Rockford company with roots in Barber-Colman is expanding its footprint beyond the Stateline.

Alpha Controls & Services has purchased the assets of Controls Solutions Inc. (CSI), of Belville, Wisconsin. The company has been a Schneider Electric EcoXpert partner for 16 years. Coupled with Alpha’s 15 years as an industry leader in Illinois the acquisition will create the strongest EcoXpert team in the expanded territory.

According to the company’s motto, Alpha Controls & Services is a team committed to enabling opportunities by eliminating barriers through the leveraging of technology to assist their customers in achieving their business objectives.

And leveraging that technology has been something the company has been doing for near 100 years.

Alpha Controls began in the 1920s as division of Barber-Colman, a company that helped make Rockford a manufacturing mecca into the 1980s. President Brent Bernardi, a Barber-Colman engineer, and CEO Frank Rotello purchased the Rockford and Springfield operations in 2003 when Barber-Colman/Invensys Building Systems decided to sell its 22 regional branches.

“Brent and I are thrilled to expand our business into Wisconsin and continue to build on the successes we’ve experienced and those of Control Solutions,” Rotello said. “We knew CSI was a good fit because there were instant synergies. Our businesses share a similar culture. Our main focuses are on our employees and customers.”

Rotello said the companies also differ in ways that complement each other. Control Solutions has more experience in access controls, which is something they can now deliver to Illinois-based customers. Thanks to Alpha’s Barber-Colman roots, it already has established processes it will implement in Wisconsin.

“We look forward to exploring new opportunities in Wisconsin, while maintaining and growing our business here in Illinois,” Rotello said.

The sale was finalized Oct. 1. Alpha Controls now has 65 employees that will be based out of four offices across the two states. Rotello said the offices will be fully equipped to meet customers’ needs in building automation systems, mechanical, power management, lighting, and security.

With Rockford as its headquarters, the company’s employees have more than 400 years’ experience and dedication to the communities they serve. That equates to the same local design, manufacturing and support Barber-Colman was known for and continues to provide under the Alpha umbrella.

The company serves a wide customer base such as schools, municipal buildings and offices. Hospitals, courthouses and just about every type of commercial building can now be covered by Alpha’s new footprint.

Alpha Controls is a 2012 recipient of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award. R.



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