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SELMA — After working with area companies in the air filter industry for a combined total of 40 years, Jeff Holt and Roy Boswell decided to go out on their own in January 2002 by establishing Airflow Products Co. Inc. in Selma.
From that modest start and with a limited bankroll, the two men soon amassed some 35 employees to begin production of air filters for industrial and commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Airflow, located in Oak Tree Industrial Park in Selma, has since grown to 360 workers and has expanded the business twice more by adding new facilities on Yelverton Grove Church Road in Smithfield and on U.S. 70 Business East in Smithfield.
For its contributions to the town of Selma, Mayor Cheryl Oliver recognized Airflow Products with Selma’s Business Excellence Award during the Selma Town Council’s Nov. 12 meeting.
“Since 2002 Airflow Products has been one of the anchor corporations at Selma’s Oak Tree Business Park on West Noble Street,” said Oliver. “Their solid management practices and quality products have made this business very successful.”
“This is the kind of company you want to have in your town, and we are so proud to have them in Selma,” said Oliver. “Jeff Holt, Roy Boswell and their team are very deserving recipients of this award. We thank them for their contributions to Selma and wish them continued success.”
In discussing Airflow Products’ history, Holt said forming the new company was a big risk with many sleepless nights early as both he and Boswell left other good-paying jobs.
“We had been employed with companies that had gone from being family-owned operations to become big corporations,” said Holt. “We saw some struggles and problems and felt like we could do the same thing better than the larger companies.”
“Our goal from the very start was not to become larger, but to provide a better-quality product at better prices,” said Holt.“We have been blessed, and the business has far exceeded our expectations. We never thought we would outgrow that first facility, but we continued to grow and add more people.”
“Lots of people have helped us, including employees, customers and vendors, and all have been important players on the team,” said Boswell. “We value and care a great deal about our employees. Each one is important and they have helped make the company what it is just as much as Jeff and I have.”
“The filter business has been good for us and I feel like we are doing a good thing here,” said Boswell. “We are cleaning air, not polluting it.”
The business began in February 2002 in a rented facility in Four Oaks at the former Forest Hills School facility.
Holt and Boswell knew this facility would only be temporary, so they began looking for something more permanent and found a 100,000 square-foot facility at 100 Oak Tree Drive in Selma that they purchased and moved into on Labor Day weekend 2002.
In addition to producing air filters, the company also has a transportation division, allowing it to deliver outbound products to its customers.
“Roy and I are appreciative of the town of Selma,” said Holt. “Any time we have needed any kind of help, we have called on them and they have been right there.”