Southern Elevator History

Southern Elevator History

Founded by elevator engineer M. B. Toler in 1949, Southern Elevator Co., Inc., began as a manufacturer of elevator systems, but has evolved over the last six decades into one of the leading service and modernization contractors in the southeast U.S.

Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, the company was sold for estate reasons to Rodney C. Pitts in 1991. With experience in private-equity investing, a familiarization with elevator companies, and degrees from Duke University and the University of Chicago Business School, Mr. Pitts recognized the need for a safe and reliable elevator service company in the region.

At the time of the acquisition, Mr. Pitts promoted Bryant Aydelette, Toler’s grandson, to executive vice president and later president of the company. The two of them began to develop a client base for the company’s service oriented business.

Our trained technicians perform a range of services from repair to complete refurbishments. Our customer base has expanded to include commercial office buildings, medical facilities, nuclear and coal-fired power plants, sports and entertainment centers, retail outlets, government offices and military bases, airports, manufacturing plants and universities.

Since the early 1990s, Southern Elevator has expanded beyond its base throughout North Carolina and into South Carolina and Virginia with the acquisition of Mountain Elevator (Asheville, North Carolina), Piedmont Elevator (Danville, Virginia), Quality Elevators (Wilson, North Carolina), and Atlantic Elevator (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). We have grown from two branches to six. Southern Elevator has more than 1,200 clients in three states and maintains more than 4,000 elevators.

In moving from manufacturing and installation to a pure service company, Mr. Pitts recognized the differences between the large, multinational elevator corporations and regional companies like Southern Elevator. Regional companies focus on getting closer to the customer, by educating, empowering and choosing talented and trustful technicians to represent the company.

By being able to service a huge variety of elevator brands and models, we have been able to accommodate major clients like universities, hospitals, and federal, state and municipal buildings as well as small commercial applications.

Since 1949, Southern Elevator has kept up with the changes of technology and code requirements and will continue to do so. We will always provide safe and reliable elevator services – today and for decades to come.