Adaptive Driving Access Inc.; Success is Embedded in Family Values
Ever wonder how ADA came to be? Well, a family tragedy in 1992 spurred a career change for owner Tom Poole. A serious car accident left Tom’s close friend and brother-in-law, Lacy, a quadriplegic. After helping the family find a wheelchair accessible van for Lacy, Tom decided to leave the construction industry and start up a mobility equipment dealership in 1995 with Mike Kizer and Adaptive Driving Access, Inc. (ADA) was formed. The opportunity to use his fabricating skills was a bonus to being able to help people gain back independence through mobility. By staying true to their family values and outstanding customer service, ADA has taken the Greater Houston area by storm and is looking to replicate their success in other markets. (ADA is opening in Corpus Christi, TX this summer.)
For the first couple of years, ADA grew purely by word of mouth. In March of 2004, ADA had eight employees and they were enjoying their new spacious 13,000 sq ft Pasadena facility. “In the beginning, we would go around to car dealers, just getting to know people,” describes Tom Poole. “We got connected with DARS (The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services) which was a great resource. We had no clue how to market; we were a mom and pop shop with two pops but we survived. We continued a slow and steady growth and when we moved into our new Pasadena facility, we celebrated our best year.” The city was growing and the demand for mobility vans and service was as well. So to better service their customers, ADA expanded. In 2007, ADA opened up their second location in Northwest Houston which relocated in to a state of the art 15,000 sq ft facility in March 2010.
Today between the two locations, ADA has 28 employees including Tom’s wife Kerry, and a dedicated staff who love what they do. They also have thousands of loyal and satisfied customers. The family environment is felt from the top down through to the customers. When Tom speaks of ADA, he says “we” and “our”, not “me” or “mine”. ADA employees do whatever needs to be done to take care of the customer and the company.
ADA is also continually looking for ways and opportunities to deliver the best experience for their customers. “One of the biggest changes over the past few years at Adaptive Driving Access has been the expansion of our Service Dept. to make the ADA experience more of a one-stop-shop,” said James Norris, ADA’s General Manager. “We offer oil changes, tire rotations, air conditioning repairs, and other basic automotive services. Something like the air conditioning working properly is imperative because some of our customers’ lives depend on it. Some of our customers experience frustrations going to car dealerships and regular auto service centers because of accessibility issues and they are not as comfortable in the waiting area. They are comfortable coming to our facility so the expansion of other services was an easy decision.” When we can’t meet their auto repair needs in-house we try to assist in getting the vehicle were it needs to go. Obviously the mobility equipment is our main focus but this added service seems to be greatly appreciated by our customers.
From their monthly electronic newsletter that features many things including technical tips and a recipe from Chef Jeff to their annual Customer Appreciation Day, the customers of Adaptive Driving Access are in good hands. Knowing that they have competent and compassionate people to help solve mobility solutions are priceless. Poole concludes, “My family experienced tragedy and like all of our great customers, we overcame the challenges and strive each and every day for triumph in life. Our best demonstration of this is the family we have created with our loyal customers and suppliers.”
Posted on May 12, 2011 by Katie Larson