Turn5 celebrates new HQ opening with Gov. Wolf

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By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

Gov. Tom Wolf answers questions from the media during his visit to Turn5’s new headquarters in Paoli.

PAOLI — You may not know much about Turn5, that is if you don’t drive a Jeep, Ford Mustang or a pickup truck, but as one of Chester County’s real local business success stories, expect be hearing more in the coming years. A lot more.

The company — founded 14 years ago in a basement by two then-teenaged brothers, Steve and Andrew Voudouris — celebrated their brand new 90,000-square foot headquarters Monday with a grand opening that featured many of the region’s top elected officials, not to mention Gov. Tom Wolf, on hand to help them celebrate. The big news, beyond the impressive new space: Turn5 expects to expand from 450 employees by more than 180 in the coming months as part of an expansion of their Web commerce and content business.

Turn5 — better known to gearheads under their AmericanMuscle.com, AmericanTrucks.com and ExtremeTerrain.com web sites — sells customizing and upgrade parts for respectively, owners of Mustangs & Ford F-150 trucks, Chevy and Ram trucks and Jeeps. It is a business segment that has seen major growth as vehicle owners seek to put their personal stamp on their cars, trucks or Jeep — or seek to improve performance with upgraded parts.

Gov. Tom Wolf flanked by Turn5 co-founders: Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Voudouris (left) and CEO Steve Voudouris during Monday’s grand opening celebration of the company’s new 90,000-foot headquarters.

Wolf was there in part to accept thanks for state grants — as part of the governor’s Action Team on economic growth — about $600,000 of the $7.9 million project and to continue to promote job growth around the commonwealth.

“They (Turn5) are investing $7.9 million dollars in this project and they’re looking to hire 180 new employees and they have 450 now,” Wolf said in an interview following the event. “It’s a business that has real growth potential. With the Internet, they can actually reach out to people across the county, actually, around the world. This is the kind of company that can continue to grow and innovate. They attract a really good, energized employee — this is a great thing for Pennsylvania.”

The elder Voudoris — Steve, who serves as the company’s CEO — praised the governor as well as Chester County for its base of well educated, hard working employment pool, which he suggests has been a big factor in fueling the growth of his company.

“The governor and his team committed early on to this project — and we committed Turn5 to hire over 180 people here in Chester County and the governor and his teammates made a contribution to help the project and push it along,” Steve Voudouris said.

The new building allows expansion of a number of business efforts by the company, Steve Voudouris said.

“This space is really going to do a lot, there’s a lot of great video studio space for us and it’s fantastic to have a new, modern work space, that’s going to be great to collaborate in for our team.”

He noted the old Malvern facility was overcrowded — as the company grew quickly, some staff literally had to sit in closets due to lack of space.

He said the decision to stay in Chester County was an easy one.

“We found great people here,” he said. “A lot of the team is from Chester County, so it’s a ‘if isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ thing. We found great talent in Chester County and we’re happy to be here.”

The Voudouris brothers — Andrew serves as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer — had a little fun with the governor, already famous for his own Jeep, which he used during his 2014 campaign to drive around the state. Steve said he called the governor’s office asking if Turn5 could “borrow” the Jeep for a few upgrades. Which was promptly declined. Twice.

For his part, Wolf merely said he was hoping someone at Turn5 could help him with his aftermarket radio.

But then the two brothers showed off how they’d customize the gubernatorial Jeep: 40-inch tires, a lift kit, new, larger bumpers, a light bar — and of course, a large wolf painted on the side. The governor — noting some concern about being able to actually climb up into his Jeep if modified as such and politely declined, again asking for assistance with his radio.

The new facility is extensive and full of unusual details for an office beyond the usual cubicle farms. In addition to showroom areas — during Monday’s event various custom cars, trucks and Jeeps were parked there — there are work bays for vehicles, numerous nooks and crannies for meeting spaces and multiple TV studios — the company is growing its online video efforts both to promote its own brands, but also to promote some of the high quality product lines it sells from various manufacturers and educating consumers on benefits of specific upgrades.

A handful of the new features are there just to give employees the chance to blow of steam: such as a two-lane bowing alley and a golf simulator.

The building was packed with folks including all three Chester County Commissioners: Michelle Kichline, Terence Farrell and Kathi Cozzone. State Rep. Warren Kampf (R-157), state Sen. John Rafferty and U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-6) also were on hand to offer congratulations.

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