Standard Electric Supply Kicks Off 100th Anniversary

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — Standard Electric Supply Co., a third-generation family-owned electrical distributor and automation solutions provider with 17 locations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Standard Electric Supply Co. was founded in April of 1919 by four men who dreamed of bringing electric lighting to the city of Milwaukee at a time when electricity in the area was scarce. David Stern, grandfather to current president Larry Stern, was one of these men.

“I like to think that my grandfather would be proud of the foundation he and his partners built. I wish he could see how the company has evolved and flourished over time,” said Larry Stern, “It has been an honor to carry on the family business into its next millennium, a milestone few family owned businesses ever achieve. I am thrilled that my two sons, the fourth Stern generation, are now entering the business to continue that legacy into the future.”

To kick off the celebration of this milestone, Standard Electric will host an anniversary celebration reception following their Automation Express trade show at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino on May 2.

Automation Express is Standard Electric’s annual award-winning automation, safety, and plant maintenance trade show that features:

  • 12 technical and educational sessions
  • Over 50 exhibitor manufacturers of the world’s leading automation technology
  • IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) round table forum featuring a panel of expert engineers discussing emerging trends in IIoT
  • Various networking opportunities with industry experts

“Since our inception, Standard Electric has valued education. Automation Express allows us the opportunity to provide our customers access to the latest electrical and automation technologies and emerging industry solutions all under one roof, in one day,” said Stern.

Additionally, it will be announced at the Automation Express celebration reception that a percentage of the company’s sales for the next 100 business days, from May to November of 2019, will be donated to Feeding America, just in time to help with Thanksgiving dinners to those in need.

“Standard Electric has developed a strong relationship with Feeding America over the years. We have annual food drives at all of our locations and make monetary donations during the holiday season,” said Stern. “Our company culture emphasizes the importance of giving back to the communities in which we work and live. Our right to do business is neither inherited nor permanent. It is earned from the contributions we make to our community.”

In October of 1919, the doors to Standard Light Co. opened and they began manufacturing lighting fixtures and parts. In the early 1930s, they changed their name to Standard Electric Supply Co. This change reflected a refocusing of the business from manufacturing lighting fixtures to becoming a full line electrical distributor.

“Standard Electric has always listened to the needs of our customers, we have been adapting the way we do business since the beginning,” mentioned Stern. “This mindset is what has allowed us to stay in business for 100 years and what will carry us forward through the next 100 more.”

Since its start, the company has been a trailblazer in the electrical distribution industry. They offered 24-hour delivery in the state of Wisconsin in the 1920s, long before the big online retailers. They maintained elaborate lighting showrooms so their customers could bring their customers to see products in person as a means to sell products. Standard Electric also had engineers on staff dating back to the 1940s to assist their customers with custom lighting designs. Today, they have a team of over 30 engineers on staff available to help their customers. This is unique in the electrical distribution industry.

“Standard Electric was built on three pillars: Tradition, Innovation and Service. These pillars are as large of a part of Standard Electric’s business today as they were 100 years ago,” Stern continued. “This legacy is continued today through our pioneering services, including engineering support, inventory management, enclosure modification services, and training.”

Standard Electric will also be celebrating its 100th anniversary with their manufacturer partners, associates, and the communities in which they work over the remainder of 2019. In July, they will be celebrating over two nights at the Summerfest Music Festival BMO Harris Pavilion. Standard Electric Supply Co. was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Standard Electric is the 80th largest distributor of electrical and automation products in North America, has 17 locations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, and employs nearly 200 associates with sales in excess of 100 million dollars.

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