“40 under 40” spotlight: Advanced Hurricane Technology

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Gulfshore business is recognizing 40 nominees for their “40 under 40” event being held on Sept. 20., at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa.

WINK News Report Lindsay Sablan interviewed one of the nominees, Jamie Zabala, jr., President of Advanced Hurricane Technology about the origins of the company.

“We manufacture first and foremost, our roll-down systems. It’s a 55-millimeter hurricane impact-rated approved roll-down shutter,” added Zabala jr. “We also make our polypropylene hurricane screen. We believe it’s the strongest in the market.”

Zabala jr. works alongside his father, CEO Jamie Zabala sr.

“He (Zabala sr.) started this company with essentially a drill and a bucket,” said Zabala jr. “we were we were fresh from Ecuador.”

Zabala sr. opened Advanced Hurricane Technology around after Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992. Zabala sr. has a background in computer science and electronics. He noticed a that shutters used to have bars in the middle that obstructed the view.

This observation provoked his curiosity to create the original “end retention” system.

The end retention system kept shutters it in place during high winds. This allowed companies to build larger shutters without the bars.

“That’s when we really took off because now, we revolutionize the hurricane industry,” added Zabala jr.

Zabala jr. wasn’t quite ready to join his father’s business. He was in Maryland working for NASA.

“I started designing hardware, testing hardware. and ultimately,” said Zabala jr. “My last job was as a product development lead on a mission called W first.”

That mission now known as the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, could contribute to the discovery of new worlds beyond our solar system, according to NASA.

Zabala jr. eventually returned back to Southwest Florida due to his discontent with the weather and decided to join his father with his growing business.

Their warehouse is located right off of Alico road is where they manufacture all of their shutter products. They produce around 300 shutters per week. Advanced Hurricane Technology ships their shutter out all across the country, and also the Caribbean.

Zabala jr. inherited his ability to invent from his father.

“What we’re working on now is something that does both of those things, it does the protection from the hurricanes and protection from the water,” Zabala jr. mentions. “A shutter that through a patent-protected way, so even I don’t know what seals up the tracks and keeps water out.”

Zabala jr. adds on to the process of his newest invention.

“In a lab setting or in a in our test setting that we have here at the shop, we’ve been able to fill a giant tank with water, put the shutter in there and get virtually no water on the other side.
and from here it’s getting approval with the state and a patent,” said Zabala jr.

Zabala jr. is one of the 40 honorees that will be recognized by Gulfshore Business Wednesday evening, Sept. 20, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa.

To learn more about each of the 40 people, tune in to WINK News at 10 a.m., Friday on the CW.

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