} Company History - Hi-lite Airfield Services, LLC | Preparing Airfields Today For A Safer Tomorrow

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Company History

1990's: Hi-Lite Group, LLC started in 1990..
Hi-Lite Group, LLC started in 1990 as a New York State road markings contractor when Richard C. McNeely Jr. (Dick) decided to go in business with his son, Calvin, and his wife, Rhonda. The goal of the new company was to be a full-service road markings contractor. It was a consolidation of smaller businesses operated by Calvin and Rhonda. John McNeely joined the business in 1991.

From the beginning Hi-Lite has always been a family operated business with various members taking on specific responsibilities. To this day the family is very much involved in senior positions:
  • John is President
  • Calvin is Vice President, Operations
  • Rhonda is VP, Sales and Marketing
  • Dick is Chief Compliance Officer
In the 1990's the highway market in NYS presented many opportunities to grow the business. By the mid-90's, Hi-Lite was working throughout the state. Most of its equipment was manufactured by MRL Equipment Co. in Montana. Working closely with MRL allowed Hi-Lite to build specialized equipment to be competitive in the market.

In the 1990's no markings contractor specialized in airfield markings. General contractors were compelled to find a local markings contractor to bid on airport projects.
1995: First airport project at Wheeler Sack Air Base..
In 1995, Tug Hill Construction hired Hi-Lite for it's first airport project at Wheeler Sack Air Base on Fort Drum. Even though their equipment was not set up for 3 foot wide airfield markings, the client was satisfied with the finished project. Hi-Lite started to get more airport work.
1996: Improving quality and productivity..
After its first few airport projects, Hi-Lite decided to invest in equipment manufactured to airport specifications to improve quality and productivity. Working with its equipment supplier, MRL, Hi-Lite took possession of its first airport truck in 1996.

1996 was a milestone for Hi-Lite. For the first time, Hi-Lite took on projects outside of NYS. Hi-Lite successfully completed 2 runway markings projects in Montgomery, Alabama and Harlingen, Texas. This positioned Hi-Lite as the first markings contractor specializing in airfield markings willing to travel to distant locales to complete an airport project.
1998: Waterblasting for airfield maintenance services..
As the markings business steadily increased the need to offer more services became a necessity. In 1998, Hi-Lite purchased a waterblasting company, HEMS, from Virginia. Having waterblasting equipment allowed Hi-Lite to add surface preparation, curing compound removal, and rubber removal to their list of airfield maintenance services.
2000's: Business continues to grow
In the early 2000's Hi-Lite's airport business continued to grow. By 2005, Hi-Lite was working and bidding projects throughout the United States. The airport business had overtaken the highway business.
2005: Hi-Lite makes its second acquisition..
In 2005, Hi-Lite made its second acquisition with the purchase of RejuvaSeal, the world's premiere asphalt rejuvenator used extensively in revitalizing, sealing and protecting paved airport runways and roadways. With this purchase, Hi-Lite became the first full service airfield maintenance contractor in the United States. It now had the ability to offer turnkey maintenance packages to airports.

Hi-Lite's first international opportunity occurred in Canada with a project to remove rubber at Montreal International Airport. Hi-Lite's method of removing rubber was not only more effective than the current methods being used in Canada, but also required less runway closure time. With this project successfully completed, Hi-Lite Canada purchased the assets of Riddell Pavement Markings and established a full service highway and airport striping company in Kingston, Ontario.
2008: First trip outside of North America..
At the beginning Hi-Lite did not seek international work; contractors and airports outside of North America sought out their expertise. The first trip outside of North America occurred in 2008. John McNeely was asked to take a road trip across Honduras to visit the San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa International Airports with a stop at the US Soto Cano Air Base. This adventure led to a rubber removal contract in Honduras.
2009: Hi-Lite completed its first turnkey project..
In 2009, Hi-Lite completed its first turnkey project in Latin America at the Guatemala International Airport in Guatemala City. The project included all of the airfield maintenance services Hi-Lite offered at the time; RejuvaSeal, rubber removal, paint removal, friction testing, and new markings. The success of this project affirmed that there are opportunities for the company's services outside of North America as airports and engineers continued to seek out assistance on various maintenance and safety related issues found at airports. Since 2009, Hi-Lite has completed other projects in Latin America, including Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Ecuador.
2010: In 2010, Hi-Lite took a larger leap..
In 2010, Hi-Lite took a larger leap in to the international market with the signing of a contract at the New Doha International Airport in Doha, Qatar. Once again it was a result of a customer seeking Hi-Lite's services. This project opened up Hi-Lite to the entire Middle East market resulting in further work in the region in Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Also in 2010, Hi-Lite started Hi-Lite Solutions, LLC to manufacture AEROGREEN, it's own line of water-based cleaners and degreasers used in airfield maintenance including runway rubber removal, mold, mildew and algae removal, and aircraft cleaning. Bobbie Pettit, a chemist from Virginia that has specialized in aqueous, environmentally-friendly chemicals for the aerospace, military, and industrial markets, has developed a full line of AEROGREEN products to compliment the airfield maintenance services that Hi-Lite offers.
Today
Today Hi-Lite offers a complete line of airfield maintenance services. Their clients span the globe. Hi-Lite has business units in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Middle East, and the Caribbean. Whether they send a crew across town or across the world, Hi-Lite's main objective is to enhance airfield safety, and minimize runway incursions and excursions, making it safer to fly for every man, woman and child that boards a plane.