What do you think of when you get on an elevator? If getting to your destination is your only thought, you aren’t wrong in your stance. But there’s more than meets the eye when you consider the inner workings of elevators. Just ask Trey Zackery, owner of Corporate Elevator Asset Management (now TruLux Solutions).
Zackery didn’t have a clue about the elevator industry, outside of pure generic experience. His tenacious spirit, which derived from his father, drove him to graduate from Michigan State University and complete an internship at Pfizer. Both MSU and Pfizer would be precursors to his continued future.
“Going to MSU was an eye-opening moment for me because there were 60,000 students at that time,” Zackery said. “You don’t have anyone holding your hand, which is like life. The great thing was, there were groups and mentors at MSU that helped me out. Academically, MSU has the best programs, professors, and networks for you to grow. At Pfizer, I learned skills that would help me succeed in Corporate America. Being on time and professional were all things I learned along the way. I was accustomed to speaking to executives, and presentations weren’t anything new, so when I start interviewing at different companies, I was getting tons of jobs. I was getting jobs that I didn’t qualify for because I interviewed well.”
After an encounter with a recruiter from KONE Inc., an elevator company, he set his sights on dominating his space in the industry. He worked at KONE Inc. for five years, then moved back to Detroit, MI, to work for ThyssenKrupp Elevators. Now, he’s the CEO of TruLux Solutions, making him one of the only minority-owners of an elevator company in the nation.
“I developed a relationship with a consultant in our area, which was Corporate Elevator Consultants, owned by Mike Riley,” said Zackery. “We developed a relationship, and I bought him out of the company in 2016. Now, we have three companies which we’ve rebranded under one parent company, called TruLux Solutions. Through Corporate Elevator (now TruLux Consulting), we started designing elevator interiors, before sending them to be built and installed by third-party companies. Then we started TruLux Elevator Interiors as a branch of Corporate Elevator. Recently, we acquired a local metal shop called Unique Metal Products, which we rebranded as TruLux Metals.” Zackery expects to gross $5 million in revenue.