Stephan Edwards (President, RME) and the Systemcenter were recently awarded the Hawaii Business Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for “Long-Term Success”. The story was featured in the May 2015 issue of Hawaii Business Magazine. Click HERE to see the article or read below:
LEE ANN BOWMAN
In 1976, Joyce and Bill Edwards modified a room in their Hawaii Kai home to launch a family business named Systemcenter. Joyce’s mother, Isabelle Souza Browning, whose father ran a plantation store on Kauai, did the bookkeeping.
Youngest child Stephan Edwards was 6 when the business began and, today, heads the family business. In the interim, Systemcenter has grown into a multimillion-dollar, nationally recognized company that designs and installs compact storage systems and commercial furniture for businesses, nonprofits and governments in Hawaii and the Pacific.
Systemcenter’s 21 employees now include two of Stephan’s siblings: Sandra Edwards, the company’s education, library and museum market manager, and Bryan Edwards, operations manager.
None of the siblings originally wanted to be involved with the company. For instance, Stephan got interested in parasailing and captained a boat for a local parasailing company, until its owner asked Stephan and his manager to introduce the sport in Guam. But a serious injury brought him back to Oahu. When his parents picked him up at the airport, they said they had been contacted by a company called Spacesaver Corp. that wanted Systemcenter to sell its storage systems in Hawaii. His family’s business needed him and, this time, he welcomed the opportunity.
The first Spacesaver installation was for the Queen’s Medical Center. On Christmas Eve, a 240-foot container “showed up at the door.” There was no room to store it, so 18-year-old Stephan and a hastily assembled crew worked over Christmas to get the medical filing system installed at Queen’s.
“Spacesaver took our business from Mom, Dad, Grandma and me and a packer or two … to a whole new level,” Stephan explains.
Today, Bill and Joyce Edwards still live in the same home in Hawaii Kai. About 10 years ago, they decided that Stephan should head the company, though Bill remains CEO and Joyce is secretary-treasurer.
“Mom likes to review and look at financials, which I love,” Stephan says.
Jon Yee, IT manager for ProService Hawaii, says his company was looking for furnishings for its growing staff.
“What they – Systemcenter – provided was so much more than that,” he says. “They were able to articulate a vision that fit the needs of our organizational culture.”
That’s also what Stephan Edwards hopes for the company.
“We strive to be the No. 1 referral,” he says, explaining that much of their work comes from architects or builders who know Systemcenter will do a good job assisting their clients.