CES Celebrates 500 Locations Nationwide

LA PORTE, Ind. — In 1983, City Electric Supply opened its first branch in Tampa, Florida. The branch served its local community with a hard-working, customer-first attitude, and people took notice. The dedication and genuine concern CES employees showed the people who visited their store caused the branch to thrive, which generated a need for more branches with the same dedication. Thirty-six years later, CES is proud to announce the opening of its 500th branch in La Porte, Indiana.

“My grandfather, Tom Mackie, opened the first CES branch in the United States in 1983. Being the hard-working, enterprising man that he was, he opened the 10th US branch just one year later. It is thrilling and humbling to reach this significant milestone of 500 branch locations,” said President and CEO Thomas Hartland-Mackie.

City Electric Supply has grown quickly in the past 36 years, and it is not close to being done.

District Manager Jeff Williamson said, “It feels great to be a part of this important moment in CES history. I have been with the company for 14 years and have seen so many positive changes throughout my tenure. Mr. Mackie created a great foundation for his grandson to take over, and Thomas has really taken this company to a new level.”

The 500th branch is an important part of CES history, and La Porte, Indiana, a town with a fascinating history of its own, is the perfect place for it. The name “La Porte” is French for “The Door” because of the role it played in the early 1670s as a gateway to new land for French explorers. Since then, it has earned the nickname “Maple City” for the many maple trees the town planted in the 1850s. Today, citizens are especially proud of their annual parade.

“Once a year, we have a parade that happens to be the largest parade in the state of Indiana,” said Branch Manager Brian Vergin.

Along with small town charm, La Porte will give the new branch a high volume of industrial work, as the town has a dense commercial and industrial market that will bring in customers from local businesses.

“La Porte is an industrial area, and we are excited to begin business in the town, especially with my background working with controls,” said Vergin.

Prior to opening, the branch members had their work cut out for them. They needed to choose a perfect location, work on negotiations, and find an electrician, a contractor, a painter, and an HVAC company to help.

“It took nearly two months to open. The day after I left my previous job, we started looking for a building. It took around 4 weeks to get the keys and for the fun to start,” stated Vergin. “We hired a local contractor for our storefront buildout, found an electrician and HVAC company that were previous customers of mine, and brought in a highly decorated painter known for painting the downtown area.”

The La Porte team was dedicated to creating the most successful branch possible, no matter how many long hours that required.

Jeff Williamson said, “Brian Vergin has assembled a staff that is dedicated to creating a successful branch. They have shown their tremendous work ethic over the last 3-4 months to get this store up and running.”

The team knows the hard work was worth it, and they are confident in their ability to be one of the best distributors in the area.

“We can stock and fill the branch with whatever our customers need and carry a lot of control products because of where we are located,” said Vergin.

Although Vergin could list many reasons why he loves working for City Electric Supply, his favorite part is the people.

“I have received so much support from District Manager Jeff Williamson and surrounding stores, which is a big plus,” said Vergin. “They are always willing to help with anything we need, so they have really helped me hit the ground running.”

Including Vergin, the La Porte team has a combined 22 years of experience, which will help the branch build relationships with customers and find solutions for whatever challenges they face.

“The La Porte branch has already proven to be very successful in the short time it’s been around. We are happy to have Williamson’s team on board,” said Vice President of Operations Jamie Marujo.

Vergin cannot wait to please his customers and blow everyone away with the success of the 500th CES branch.

“I know I can achieve the goals my district manager has set for me. I cannot wait to make this store the best for CES,” said Vergin.

Jeff Williamson is just as confident.

“CES has a niche in the marketplace that is rooted in great service. As long as we continue to stock what customers want, we will continue to successfully expand our rapidly growing network,” said Williamson.

Thomas Hartland-Mackie is proud of the growth he has seen and excited to see what CES will accomplish in the future.

Hartland-Mackie said, “I know my grandfather would have been so proud, and I am grateful to the whole City Electric Supply team for helping us continue his legacy.”

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