Meet Steve Ellis

Steve Ellis

Steve Ellis is the current President and CEO of Automated Solutions, located in the Charlotte area of North Carolina.  Automated Solutions is a privately held, diversified manufacturing company with product lines primarily in the packaging industry with Cro-nel® and Nyvel® protective packaging products, specialty multi-layer bags, replacement vacuum cutting surfaces, foam cold seal wrapping products, and the HideSaver leather optimizing system.  Steve joined Automated Solutions in 2013 after 20 plus years of top leadership positions in primarily international companies.

Steve is currently responsible for leading the employees at Automated Solutions to another year of sustained profitability and growth.  Through Steve’s expertise and experience he led the company to the second-best performance period, following the company’s second-worst performance period, only six months into starting at Automated Solutions.


Steve Ellis began his professional career with the U.S. Navy. Upon his exit he transitioned into Big 4 public accounting, first with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a senior audit associate in 1992. After two years with PwC Steve went to work with Ernst & Young (EY) as a senior accountant in 1994.

After leaving EY, Steve was hired by Horseshoe Gaming as Controller for three years. As the Controller of their largest gaming entity, Steve led 20 employees and all the accounting activity for the company. He reported directly to the Vice President of Finance and Administration. Steve was responsible for all reporting regarding company finances, cash management, preparation and analysis of financial statements, and SEC reporting for his location.

Steve has worked in a wide range of leadership positions here in the U.S. and abroad as well. After Horseshoe Gaming, Steve was employed by Gate Gourmet from 1998 to 2004. Gate Gourmet offers a wide range of culinary solutions to airlines, railway companies, convenience stores, and much more. His positions with Gate Gourmet allowed him to travel across the United States and into Europe, including almost three years living in Zurich and London. Steve served Gate Gourmet, a global private equity backed company at over $2 billion in revenues, until moving to join Tarkett in 2004.

Steve was the Vice President of Finance with Tarkett, located in Johnson City, Tennessee, at over $2 billion in revenues one of the largest global manufacturers of integrated flooring and sports surface solutions. Steve came into this newly created position through restructuring and organizational changes. Steve was initially hired as SVP Finance for Tarkett North America Wood Division and was quickly promoted to SVP Finance Sales and Distribution for the Tarkett U.S. division. Steve negotiated and closed a number of acquisitions of distribution companies and was directly responsible for integrating the acquired companies into Tarkett.

After leaving Tarkett, Steve held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for HSM Solutions, a global manufacturer of integrated solutions, also located in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. HSM Solutions is responsible for innovating and integrating components and assemblies to provide more value to a business, simplify existing supply chains, and collaborate with teams to help companies reach their goals.

Steve has also been the focal point of pension-related news and information over the last few years and was featured by Prudential in this video for his leadership and knowledge in the first pension buy-in transaction in the U.S.


In college Steve was a member of Navy ROTC at The University of Pennsylvania from 1984-1986 and at Louisiana State University in 1986-1988. Steve started his career as a Naval Officer in 1988 where he gained early leadership and operations experience as a line officer and international experience spending a year deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. Steve led 23 men during his first tour as division line officer aboard an amphibious cargo ship with a crew of 400 men.  During his time in the Navy he earned Top Secret clearance and a professional qualification as a Surface Warfare Officer.  He was noted by his ship’s Commanding Officer as the best junior officer ship driver aboard.


Steve Ellis was raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas and began his collegiate education at the University of Pennsylvania where he majored in civil engineering.  Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Louisiana State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Memphis.  He has also acquired a Certified Public Accountant license which he keeps active and earned several other professional certifications.

Steve and his wife, Crystal, have three children and live in Hickory, North Carolina, where they are quite active in their community and in local non-profit organizations.  He is currently a director on the board of Lake Hickory Country Club.  Steve also has served on the boards of Catawba Science Center, Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry, Catawba County United Way, March Of Dimes Foothills Division, and Greater Hickory Tennis Association.  In addition to those organizations, he has also served as the Finance Committee Chairman for First United Methodist Church in Hickory, North Carolina.

Steve continues to enjoy competitive athletics, playing tennis and golf weekly.  In tennis he has earned a ranking in 2013 of 71 in men’s open singles in North Carolina, and he and his younger son are ranked 33 in the South in Father-Son doubles.  In golf he carries a 8 handicap.  He trains to maintain his fitness level, most recently demonstrated in 2014 finishing 37th (and third in his age group) in his first-ever obstacle course race, the BattleFrog 5K held in South Carolina.  This result qualified him for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships for 2014.  Steve has been an accomplished sailor and racer in the past and has sailed on both oceans and raced on other major bodies of water in the Southern U.S.