Automotive Division receives recertifications
Company News
Automotive Division receives recertifications
Monday October 25, 2021

Congratulations to the Automotive Division! During the last three weeks of September, the Automotive Division was audited for recertification of their IATF 16949 and ISO 14001 Quality certifications.  This allows the division to maintain its…

A visit from Senator John Mannion
Company News
A visit from Senator John Mannion
Thursday October 14, 2021

Thank you, Senator John Mannion for taking the time to tour our East Syracuse campus and learn more about how United Radio provides manufacturing and repair solutions for electronics providers worldwide. Our employees were also…

Communications Division Sales now offer financing options!
Company News
Communications Division Sales now offer financing options!
Tuesday October 12, 2021

United Radio has partnered with numerous financial resources to offer a customer-friendly financing program for its products and solutions. Our desire is to offer an easy-to-use lease or financing option which may include a simple…

United Radio employee focus: Jim Fellows, Director of Technical Development

Jim recently celebrated his 50th year of employment at United Radio! He has held several positions during the last half century with the company and is currently Director of Technical Development, which involves training United Radio employees to get their Certified Electronics Technician certification amongst other accreditations.  Also, in support of United Radio’s dedication to community and industry service, Jim serves on the Board of Directors for several local schools and national electronics trade organizations.

Jim possesses several industry-related accolades. Two that he is most proud of include being inducted into the National Electronics Industry Hall of Fame “For outstanding service to mankind through contributions to the advancement of the electronics industry” in 2012.

Jim also received the first-ever Gerry M. McCann, CET/CSM/EHF Memorial from the National Electronic Services Dealers Association, “For dedication to promoting the goals and welfare of NESDA” during the preceding year in 2008. He again received the award in 2019.

We asked some members of our Senior Management Team this question: “What has Jim Fellows meant to you and your division during his 50 years of service to UR?”

Here are their responses.

Phil Rubenstein: Jim Fellows has been a teacher and mentor to me for many of his 50 years at United Radio, in not just electronics, but also customer service and when to use more commas.

Mara Charlamb: Where do I begin to try to explain what Jim Fellows has meant to me over the vast majority of my life? As Jim will tell you, he has known me since I was in diapers. Our relationship has seen many different phases over the course of 5 decades. He has watched over me when I was young, taught me about United Radio, and managed me when I was working in “the Shop” as we used to call it. Today, he is still trying to teach me electronics, advise me on things that have or have not worked in the past, and ensure that Phil and I continue the success of United Radio.  Most importantly, Jim is FAMILY and I don’t tell him that enough!

Keith Martin: The thing that stands out to me about Jim is his enthusiasm and willingness to teach others the things he has learned.  He has spent years not only trying to better people for United Radio but to also give them skills that will make them better for the rest of their lives.

Jim Fitzgerald: I have had the pleasure of seeing the amount of respect and admiration Jim is viewed with from people in our industry. His name is synonymous with United Radio in our industry. The legacy he has created is well known and respected. I aspire to gain the respect and influence he has achieved in our industry.  He is a role model and hero to me.

Mark Fuller: “For me, Jim has always represented our commitment as an organization to “Learning, growing and accepting challenges…” He and Arnie bring a wealth of history, institutional knowledge and deliver plain-talk perspective often when it is difficult for some of us to hear. I appreciate Jim’s commitment to teaching, his ability to meet his students where they are and his innate knowledge of how stuff works.

Here is some more about Jim:

What makes you the happiest at work? When we are recognized by a customer or dealer for the great service we provided.

When not at work, you’ll probably find me doing this:  Reading, working on my old house, and playing guitar.

Looking into the future, the one thing I’m most excited about for United Radio is: The amount of electronics in almost all new products; automotive, industrial, and consumer is increasing at a very fast rate.  New semiconductors entering the market promise to make greater advances in efficiency, especially in the automotive and power industries. United Radio can service almost any type of electronic equipment, so the opportunities are endless.

Why have I stayed at United Radio for 50 years?

My previous job was as part owner of a small electronics service business in Oneida, NY. We ran a very ethical company, and prided ourselves in how well we treated our customers. I knew about United Radio at that time and had heard they had a great reputation.  Also, I had purchased parts from them in 50s and 60s when they were in the old State St. location, and I was always treated very well at the counter. When I was offered a job at UR, it was a tough decision, but I felt in the long run it would be the right choice. After a very short time at UR, I really enjoyed the family atmosphere and how well everyone worked together. Equally important, their business philosophy meshed very well with my own. In short, just “Do the right thing”. Today that is summarized in our “Core Values”, and I often refer to it as the “United Radio Way”. I’m very proud of how we conduct business at UR, and have never regretted choosing to come here.

Jim Fellows hard at work with our team!

Dedicated. Inspired. United. 

Radio repair leaves owner “over the moon”

When Corey Martino took over as manager of the Land, Mobile, Radio Service within the Communications Division at United Radio, he wanted customers to know that his staff was willing to look at any communications product for repair.

After all, when it comes to repairing communications products, especially two-way radios, no one does it better than United Radio.

 

Recently, John Prete walked into United Radio with a vintage 1960’s Motorola radio that needed to be repaired. The radio has tubes inside it and requests to repair tube radios are not as common for United Radio as it once was.

Regardless, Corey and David Bunch accepted the challenge and went to work to diagnose the issue. “Once we opened the back of the radio, we saw right away what the issue was,” said David. “After hearing Mr. Prete’s story that the radio was a gift from his brother, who had passed, we wanted to take extra precaution and make sure we approached this particular repair process correctly.”

Fortunately for Corey and David, they were able to consult with Jim Fellows, United Radio’s Director of Technical Development. Jim has well over 50 years’ experience with communications technology repair and is quite familiar with repairing tube radios.

Jim explained, “It was a 1960’s Motorola brand radio and as soon I heard the radio, I knew the problem,” he said. “It was a filter capacitor. It’s actually the single most common problem in equipment like this.”

Once Jim confirmed the problem, David set out to replace the filter capacitor. Since the original part is no longer available, David had to put in three individual filter capacitors to correct the problem.

“It was cool working on a special project like this and learning things about repairing old radios,” said David. “For example, when we work on some radios, the first thing we do is to plug it in to diagnose the problem. However, Jim told us you don’t immediately plug in older tube radios to diagnose them. Special procedures are required when servicing them.”

The radio was successfully repaired and returned to Mr. Prete.

“I was just over the moon with the service I received from United Radio,” he said. “The radio is now actually able to get more channels than before the repair and sounds great. I can’t thank United Radio enough for the great customer service that I received.”

“We’ve seen such an increase in customer satisfaction since we’ve started taking in every type of communications product and working on it,” said Corey. “We’ve had people telling their friends and family members about our repair service and we’ve had more and more people contacting us asking if we can fix their communications product.

We’re doing everything we can to try and fix their product. Even if we can’t provide a fix, customers are just happy with the level of service that we could provide and listening to them and trying to help them out.

Customers are so grateful that we were able to save them some money by pointing them in another direction for repair. We’ve actually had people offering us tours of their facilities. It feels that great we are helping out all these people.”

Christmas Cheer Throughout the Year

The idea of Christmas in July was introduced in June by our Stir the Pot committee. The committee established a goal to help a Hospice family in July.  The committee reached out to Hospice and immediately they knew of a family in need.  A young 34-year-old mother with 2 young children with cancer, who was being cared for by her mom.

As usual UR sprang into action.  Ideas came from all divisions and all departments.  Everyone was doing their part.  This was the first time that all divisions and departments have worked together on anything in a very long time, and it was beautiful.

Unfortunately, the mom passed before the gifts arrived, so the grandmother is now caring for her grandchildren, alone.  Contact continued with the family through Hospice and the gifts were delivered on July 30th.

Gifts included: dolls, dinosaurs, outdoor toys, pool and slip & slide, food, and many gift cards.  The grandmother will be saving some of the toys so that they can be given at later times such as birthdays and Christmas.  The generosity of United Radio will carry on for this family for many months to come.

“We have a responsibility to each other to create a better community.” – United Radio Core Value

Automotive, Peachtree, Consumer, Communication, and Corporate all played a part in changing the lives of others at a very difficult time.  We talk about the United Radio culture and this shows it at its best.  We have a team of people who care for each other and for others, who put other’s needs above their own and who band together to make big impacts.  UR Pride…Thank you!

Although our records date back to 2000, the spirit of giving has always been present.  The Employees of UR originally teamed up with Catholic Charities to assist with their Christmas Drive which supplied food and a few gifts for local families.

Since that time the donations are countless, some include:

  • September 11, 2001 to the Rural Trade Center Disaster Fund
  • December 2001, we adopted a family spending the holidays with the Rescue Mission; a Mother and her three boys
  • 2004, Foster Care Program with Randy Hall where we provided gifts for boys/girls ages 11-18
  • Winds of Agape which is a non-profit organization that provides food, emergency food pantries, collection, and distribution of furniture, helping elderly with yard work, programs to keep kids off the streets and much more…We collected furniture and food.
  • Ronald McDonald House- we delivered cleaning supplies and gifts for families staying at Ronald McDonald House during the holidays.
  • Vera House- we provided stockings for all the kids staying at Vera House or protected location during the holidays. Right before Christmas Vera House experienced a flood and lost most of their Christmas decorations.  Our team came through with a Christmas Tree, decorations and all the trimmings.
  • 2012-We also contributed to the American Red Cross, Humane Society, The Food Bank and to Meals on Wheels and Helping Hounds.
  • 2012- We adopted a military unit and donated gift cards for Internet connections for soldiers.
  • Southwest Community Center – We delivered gifts and food to help local families in need.
  • 2013- While delivering to Southwest Community Center we were approached by Thomas “Our Christmas Angel” who told us about the Oxford Inn Men’s Shelter that assists men in finding jobs when they have been misplaced from their homes. We worked with them to provide Men’s Business Clothing as well as kits with personal toiletries.

It was 2009 when we began our relationship with Hospice, and we donated to our first adopted family.  What is special about these families is they are losing a loved one during the holiday season.  A social worker has identified them as a family that could use additional support through gifts, food, and supplies.

The social worker works with the family to try to identify needs and provide us with as much information as possible.  During these times most families are reluctant to ask for help.  A list is provided to United Radio and the Spirit of UR begins.  Each year, time and time again, through some difficult times our people have joined together to provide Christmas for a family.

There have been many events held and additional charities throughout the years. Some of the recent events include:

  • Additional families have been supported and adopted by Automotive employee Missy Hubbard and her team.
  • Our Peachtree City team collected school supplies for a school district in their area.
  • Our Consumer Division holds an annual Trees for Troops fundraiser among other events.
  • Our Communications and Corporate employees recently teamed up to donate books and blankets to the Syracuse City School District.

United Radio Core Values:

  • All people have inherent value.
  • Our differences make us stronger.
  • Family sustains, stabilizes, and defines us.
  • Learning, growing, and accepting challenges enriches and fulfills our lives.
  • We have a responsibility to each other to create a better community.
  • Honesty and integrity will build lasting relationships.

Media Inquiries

Corporate Headquarters
5703 Enterprise Parkway
East Syracuse, NY 13057

315.470.2211

Pat Spadafore
Marketing Manager