Steve Ellis was raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas and attended The University of Pennsylvania where he studied civil engineering and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Louisiana State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Memphis. He also acquired a Certified Public Accountant license which he keeps active and earned several other professional certifications. Steve and his wife, Crystal, have three children and live in Hickory, North Carolina, where they are very active in their community and in local non-profit organizations.
He is currently a director on the board of Lake Hickory Country Club and has served on multiple boards such as the Catawba Science Center, Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry, Catawba County United Way, March Of Dimes Foothills Division, and Greater Hickory Tennis Association. He has also acted as the Finance Committee Chairman for First United Methodist Church in Hickory, NC. His wife Crystal has also served as President of the Catawba Science Center Guild where she was directly responsible for their annual dinner and auction and raised the most money in the history of the event.
Steve is an extremely avid tennis and golf player as well and has enjoyed exercising under the CrossFit training regimen. In tennis he has earned a USTA ranking in 2013 of 71 in men’s open singles in North Carolina, and he and his younger son are ranked 33 in the South in Father-Son doubles. In golf he carries a 8 handicap. He trains to maintain his fitness level, most recently demonstrated in 2014 finishing 37th (and third in his age group) in his first-ever obstacle course race, the BattleFrog 5K held in South Carolina. This result qualified him for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships for 2014. Steve has been an accomplished sailor and racer in the past and has sailed on both oceans and raced on other major bodies of water in the Southern U.S.
Steve Ellis is the President and CEO of Automated Solutions, a diversified manufacturing company located in the Charlotte area of North Carolina. Steve joined Automated Solutions in 2013 after more than 20 years of advancing high leadership positions in primarily international corporations. Steve is currently responsible for leading the employees at Automated Solutions to another year of sustained profitability and profitable growth. Here he has turned the company around the company from the second-worst performance in company history to the second-best performance in company history in his first six months as CEO.
Prior to joining Automated Solutions, Steve held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for HSM Solutions. HSM Solutions is a global manufacturer of integrated solutions, also located in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. At HSM Solutions Steve Ellis was the Executive Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer and reported directly to the CEO. He was also a member of the Board of Directors. Steve was recognized for his innovative pension work at a Manhattan press conference with Prudential and gained national recognition.
Before HSM Solutions, Steve was the Vice President of Finance with Tarkett, located in Johnson City, Tennessee, at over $2 billion in revenues one of the largest global manufacturers of integrated flooring and sports surface providers. Steve’s positions at Tarkett included leading a strategic direction change in order to own the flooring products distribution channel.
Steve has served in a variety of leadership positions here in the United States and abroad. Before working at Tarkett Steve worked for Gate Gourmet from 1998 to 2004. Gate Gourmet offers a wide range of culinary solutions to airlines, railway companies, convenience stores, and more. His positions with Gate Gourmet allowed him to travel across the U.S. and beyond, including almost three years living in Zurich and London. Steve served Gate Gourmet, at over $2 billion in revenues, and undertook many projects and responsibilities. In his 6 year career with the company Steve was first hired as Director of Pricing, then appointed Director of Development for a new President which was followed by Director of Finance for a start-up joint venture, Project Leader in 2002 in the Zurich head office, and ultimately Finance Director of the U.K. and Ireland region.
Prior to Gate Gourmet, Steve Ellis was Controller at Horseshoe Gaming from 1995-1998. Steve oversaw all accounting activity and a team of 20 employees. Steve was responsible for all financial reporting, cash management, preparation and analysis of financial statements, and SEC reporting for the location.
Steve transitioned from military service to work within the Big 4 public accounting world, first with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 1992 as a Senior Audit Associate and then with Ernst & Young (EY) in 1994 as a Senior accountant.
Steve has also been the focal point of pension-related news and information over the last few years and was featured by Prudential in this video for his leadership and knowledge in the first pension buy-in transaction in the U.S.
Steve’s Military Experience
In college Steve was a member of Navy ROTC at The University of Pennsylvania from 1984-1986 and at Louisiana State University in 1986-1988. Steve started his career as a Naval Officer in 1988 where he gained early leadership and operations experience as a line officer and international experience with a total of a year deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. Stationed on an amphibious cargo ship of 400 people, Steve led 23 men during his tour.