On April 23rd, we posted a short announcement about Gross Electric’s upcoming expo to celebrate its 105th anniversary. Here are some highlights of those festivities:
As part of its anniversary celebration, Gross Electric held a product expo on Tuesday, April 28. Over 40 vendors participated in the expo, which was held at the company’s headquarters in Toledo, Ohio. Vendors were able to share their latest lighting and electrical products with over 200 contractors, builders, designers, and architects from Northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan who attended the event. The expo also featured seminars on LED products and controls and on creating custom lighting fixtures.
In addition to being an educational event, a spirit of fun and friendship permeated the atmosphere. Attendees shot basketball free throws with Tricia Cullop, the University of Toledo Women’s Basketball Head Coach, and players, Mikaela Boyd and Jada Woody, to raise money for Bethany House, a local shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. Muddy from the Toledo Mud Hens was on hand to greet expo guests in the evening.
All guests received 105th anniversary mementos, including a Gross Electric tote bag and t-shirt. Grand prize winners walked away with a Fitbit Flex, GoPro Camera, and Vizio flat screen TV!
While the Gross family celebrates their accomplishment of maintaining a family owned and operated business for over 10 decades, they acknowledge the impact their employees and customers have had on the success of the business. “Our employees are an extension of our family. This business would not have been around for 105 years without them,” said current Gross Electric president, Laurie Gross. “This expo was an opportunity to thank our many loyal employees, customers, and vendors who have supported us over the years.”
Founded by George J. (Joe) Gross in 1910, the Toledo-based company sold radios, mixers, toasters, and other small appliances, in addition to lamps and lighting fixtures. In the mid-1950’s, Gross Electric expanded its showroom products to include televisions and large appliances, and established a separate wholesale electrical supply division. Richard Gross assumed the presidency upon the death of his father in 1959. Under his leadership, Gross Electric expanded its showroom lighting business, and diversified its product mix from primarily residential to include products for the commercial and industrial markets.
Laurie Gross joined the family business in 1975, and became president of Gross Electric in 1992. Her brother, Joe Gross, a member of the family business since 1982, assumed the position of vice president in 1997. This third generation of the Gross family led the way in computerizing operations in the mid-1980s. While continuing to offer quality lighting and electrical supplies, Gross Electric has expanded its services to include lighting energy audits, lighting design services, light bulb and ballast recycling, and lighting fixture repair and restoration.
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