1947 - 2018
Albert Grimes was the President of Curtis Engine from 2006 ‑ 2018. He passed away in April 2018 and his passing left a huge void, but it also left a big legacy.
So as we celebrate Curtis Engine’s 75th Anniversary, we also celebrate one of our great leaders.
Al Grimes was a true leader—someone you would follow anywhere. And, those brave enough to take the journey would never be disappointed. His stories were legendary. What he would do or say next was totally unpredictable.
He was an accomplished entrepreneur and executive, who had built and grown a number of businesses in the telecommunications industry including serving as the first President of Cellular One in the 1980’s and founding Microcell and Resource Tower, which developed portfolios of cellular towers in the 1990’s. In 2005, Al was part of a group of local investors who acquired Curtis Engine. Al came out of retirement to serve as President of the Company and assembled a great team to reposition and lead the company.
Albert loved cars, boats, fishing, tiki bars, and the Chesapeake Bay. He was fun to be around, had a great sense of humor, and he loved a good party. He had a larger-than-life laugh and was always looking to make others laugh. Our employees loved Al and respected him. All of them rallied to his cause when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and continue to honor and miss him today.
People often comment about the unique culture of Curtis Engine. We describe it as “work hard —play hard.” Our company is a respected leader in its industry, with blue-collar roots, and a name that is known all over Baltimore and beyond — not unlike Albert himself. It is a place where we ask a lot of our employees, long hours and time away from their friends and families, usually when it’s dark and the weather is bad. That said, we also have a lot of fun.
Many people would describe our culture as a family. It is fitting that Al was the President of Curtis Engine. He was the heart and soul of our Company. The patriarch of our family. He was the disciplinarian, but he was also the fun parent.
Al was patriotic and he loved our Country. A veteran himself, he actively sought to hire those that had served and made it a point to recognize their sacrifices often. Whether that was laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, treating our employees to a special meal each Veterans Day, or allowing our technicians to decorate their service trucks with the name and insignia of their military unit, he was proud of our servicemen and servicewomen.
Al believed in the importance of service. He believed in taking care of our customers. Shortly before his death, Al was interviewed for a video, and his philosophy on customer service persists as his legacy to Curtis Engine:
“The bottom line is that we are always there for the customer. What does Curtis Engine do? We provide reliability. We tell a hospital, a data center, an airport: ‘We’re there when you need us. We’re the guys you should call…’ We understand what reliability means. When you’re out of power, you’re out of business.”
Thank you, Al Grimes. You taught us what it takes to build a great company and you live on in the culture and spirit of Curtis Engine.
Trip Harrison, President
Paul Koch, COO
The entire team at Curtis Engine