AdaptaVan's™ roots date back to 1984 when Tom Lorentz transformed his grandfather's Brownie's Service Station in Depew, New York, into a van conversion and accessory center. As business began to grow and Tom's reputation as a creative individual spread, he was asked by a new client if he could come up with a way to make his family's van wheelchair accessible.
After embarking on some research, Tom was put in touch with Ralph Braun, a creative entrepreneur. Ralph designed and began building custom wheelchair lifts originally to overcome his own physical mobility challenges. Tom arranged a meeting with Ralph and received a private tour of the first Braun facility, which today is the largest manufacturer of accessible vehicles in the world.
Tom brought back a Braun Swing Out wheelchair lift from the Braun facility and anxiously installed it in his client's Chevy van. Soon, the word got out that Tom was able to install devices in vehicles that made wheelchair accessibility a reality.
In 2003, Tom purchased the former General Motors Training Center, a 36,000 square foot facility on a five-acre, park-like setting on Main Street in suburban Buffalo, New York. With the help and dedication of his employees, Tom transformed the building into a state-of-the-art retail and manufacturing center, which earned him the U.S. Small Business Administration award of New York State's "Outstanding Business Person of the Year."
Recognized for its innovation and leadership in the industry, AdaptaVan takes pride in understanding the accessibility needs of those it serves to support its customers' independence solutions.