2008, Technology COMPANY OF THE YEAR
If you're driving along Moanalua Road in Aiea, you might miss the Audio Visual Company sign. The Audio Visual Company (AVCO) is tucked in-between ap pizza delivery company, a business that customizes trucks for off-roading and a store that sells tropical fish. The unpretentious warehouse-like building belies a company that handles multi-million-dollar contracts for some of the biggest clients in the state and won the 2008 Technology Company of the Year Award by the Pacific Technology Foundation. "I was very surprised to get it," says company owner Thomas Lee on winning the award, "because we're not a company that develops or makes technology. We take everyone's equipment and we take their product and we put it together to create an integration of high-technology systems. We're systems integrators," he explains. Lee began as a technician and built AVCO from the ground-up. "As a tech, he and others got together and realized at some point things couldn't be fixed and it was time to sell people new ones," says Ainsley Mahikoa, AVCO's Market Development Manager. "And so instead of giving it to somebody else, they got into business selling and replacing pieces that didn't work anymore and eventually built it into a business."