SouthEast LINK has been an Atlanta fixture since before it was even known as SouthEast LINK.

Larry Holtzman, Ailene’s father, had long worked for a jan/san manufacturer when, in 1983, he and his colleague Adelman decided to purchase one of their employer’s customers, a distributor by the name of The Adams Company.
The Adams Company already had some brand equity, so the partners kept the name and continued the company’s upward trajectory.

Ailene, born and raised in Atlanta, was wrapping up her second year of college at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, some 70 miles east of Atlanta, when her father purchased the company. So she decided to transfer to Georgia State in Atlanta in order to be closer to home and start working at The Adams Company.

Grego worked for the distributor while finishing her degree, and then after graduation, she was offered a low-paying job in Macon, Georgia, at a local news station. The way Grego saw it, with a strong desire to pay for her own apartment and living expenses, she couldn’t afford to take the Macon job and instead stayed on at The Adams Company, which eventually renamed itself to SouthEast LINK.

In the ensuing years she worked her way up from the bottom through just about every position she could: accounts receivable, data entry, accounting, customer service, outside sales and general manager.

SouthEast LINK provided all of the jan/san products, labor, port-a-potties and golf carts for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and the company has even called Turner Field, former home of the MLB’s Atlanta Braves, and Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, as customers. And today, SouthEast LINK is working with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the brand new home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer expansion club Atlanta United FC, to equip the facility with an engineered water solution to help meet its LEED Platinum status.

A large part of SouthEast LINK’s rise to prominence in the Atlanta market has been its willingness to get ahead of the innovation curve, particularly as it relates to green cleaning and sustainability in the 1990s.

“It was coming whether you liked it or not,” says Grego.

SouthEast LINK was an early adopter of engineered water solutions, and this particular product is at the forefront of the distributor’s green push. For Grego, all of this is about providing a service to the customer. As with most jan/san distributors, a large part of SouthEast LINK’s profits come from chemical sales. This is made doubly complicated by the fact that her father acquired a chemical manufacturing company, American Formula, in 1993. Grego’s brother, Michael Holtzman, is a general manager at American Formula, which operates just down the road in SouthEast LINK’s former location.

But SouthEast LINK, under Grego’s direction today and under her father’s direction in the past, has put helping its customers above all else.

“The customer comes first,” says Scott Nix, operations manager. “And there are times when the customer comes almost before what’s best for SouthEast LINK. I mean, you’ve got to look at the big picture.”

For example, most of SouthEast LINK’s customers save so much by adopting engineered solutions, their budgets are freed up to purchase new capital equipment — from SouthEast LINK.

And, says Grego, “it makes [the customers] look even better.”

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