Lexington, KY – Dec. 7, 2016 – Big Ass Solutions (the parent company of Big Ass Fans) is building the world’s toughest and brightest battery-powered LED work light, and offering it first through Indiegogo…. Read more »
Lexington, Kentucky – Big Ass Solutions today announced it was named Marketing Team of the Year in the 2016 UBM Americas Annual Creativity in Electronics Awards. The awards program honors the people and companies behind… Read more »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — LEXINGTON, Kentucky — After weeks of urging from her supporters, Fanny is excited to announce her candidacy for President of the United States. For Fanny, the last straw in her… Read more »
Houston, Texas - Sept. 15, 2016 - Big Ass Solutions, the parent company of Big Ass Fans, Big Ass Light and Haiku Home, has chosen Houston as the location of its new retail store and distribution… Read more »
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Headquarters: Lexington, Kentucky
International reach: Products sold in more than 125 countries. International offices in Australia, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore.
Number of employees: 784
Revenue in 2014: $165 million
Revenue projected for 2015: $225 million
Fan diameters: 18 inches to 24 feet
Degreed engineers on staff: 75+
LEED-accredited employees: 50+
R&D spending: More than twice the industry average
Employee benefits: Employees’ average annual wages in 2014 exceeded the national average by more than 20% and Kentucky’s by more than 40%. Approximately 9% of earnings are distributed to all employees through an annual bonus program.
Employee retention rate for 2014: 85% (National average is 60%)
Customers: More than 60% of Fortune 500 companies and 90% of companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average use Big Ass Fans and Big Ass Light fixtures. Well-known customers include Costco, Ikea, Planet Fitness, Starbucks, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Whole Foods, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Toyota, Tesla, Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines.
Since retiring from The Tonight Show in 2014, Jay Leno has stayed busy working on his personal car collection, one of the world’s largest, with more than 150 automobiles and 100 motorcycles. To keep… Read more »
Have you ever thought that light affects the quality of your food? Food Quality & Safety magazine featured Big Ass Solutions writer Jamison Stoike, who told the readers about some unexpected benefits of LEDs…. Read more »
Fine Homebuilding’s ProHome publication featured Haiku Lights. The article reviewed Haiku Light’s premier model in a closed, low-ceiling environment and praised them for their low profile. Some of the light’s other features assessed by… Read more »
Speaking and Sponsorships
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For information about Founder and Chief Big Ass Carey Smith, please visit:
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Founder and Chief Big Ass
Founder and Chief Big Ass
Started Big Ass Fans In 1999
As the name suggests, Big Ass Fans isn’t your traditional business, and Carey Smith isn’t a traditional CEO. In fact he forgoes the title altogether, answering instead to Chief Big Ass. While it sounds like big fun, it’s serious business behind the scenes that drives the company’s innovation and fast growth.
Childhood and Education
The eldest of four children, Carey learned his first management lessons by organizing his siblings—after all, chores don’t happen on their own. He began his path to entrepreneurship in elementary school, selling handmade crafts at local gift shops. At age 9, Carey started working and never stopped. He gained a tireless work ethic as he sold shoes and Christmas cards, changed bedpans and newspaper type, and washed shirts and floors—all before graduating high school. When his parents moved to Maryland, Carey attended the mostly all-women Hood College in Frederick, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. After graduation, he began a master’s degree at the University of Chicago, also in economics. But, unable to pay the tuition, he was forced to abandon his studies for a full-time job.
With a belief there was money—and opportunity—in dirt, Carey joined a large industrial cleaning company, mopping floors and managing custodial teams. The job offered few benefits aside from perspective. In 1976, he left for Dallas, where he quickly moved up in the burgeoning insurance industry. Dissatisfied with working in a traditional corporate environment, Carey left insurance in 1981 to begin his first company, Sprinkool, which installed sprinklers on the roofs of industrial buildings as a cooling mechanism. While revenue grew to $1.4 million, the profits weren’t enough to sustain long-term growth.
Going Big Ass
At age 46, Carey launched the unremarkably named HVLS Fan Company (that’s High Volume, Low Speed). Taking a cue from customers who asked again and again about “those big ass fans,” Carey renamed the company and adopted a strategy of direct sales, so customer feedback would continue to drive innovation. Today, the Big Ass approach centers around investing in research and development, offering top wages and benefits, and showing an industry-leading commitment to innovation.
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer
With Big Ass Since 2016
Jon Bostock came to Big Ass Solutions from General Electric. He held a variety of positions throughout GE, but there was one common thread – he always went against the grain, avoiding the company’s prescribed career paths to take on its hardest challenges. This contrarian nature drew him to Big Ass Solutions. Jon joined the famously disruptive company to tackle the unique challenges of helping a quality-focused, direct-sales manufacturer reach its potential. He leads growth, strategy and operations, with a focus on the company’s industrial and commercial brands, Big Ass Fans and Big Ass Light.
He’s no stranger to pushing the status quo. Prior to GE, he spent several years exploring his entrepreneurial side, co-founding a tech company in the early 2000s that allowed users to download newscasts to new-fangled devices called “iPods.” In his free time, Jon enjoys creating abstract art and spending time with his wife and two sons. After a glass or two of bourbon, he’ll happily tell you about the similarities between creating art and running a business.
Previous Work Experience
General Manager of Consumer Ventures; General Manager of Trademarks, Licensing and Partnerships; Executive Marketing Director; Brand Manager; and Product Manager for General Electric.
- Haiku with SenseME Technology
- Big Ass Fans at the X Games
- How It's Made
At Big Ass Solutions, we have an insatiable drive to improve, engineer, design, test, re-engineer, re-design and re-test until we get it just right. We don’t do things halfway — we go Big Ass. And we’ve got the awards to prove it.