In 1958, Henry Zeller moved his family from Jamestown, NY to Rochester. He had taken a job for $150 per week with Horaczek and Hayden to start Rochester Electric Supply. Hank’s goal was to provide excellent products and excellent service to industrial customers.
In 1961, Hank was 40 years old. He had worked for many different companies and felt he had to work for himself to be happy. He was convinced that the way to have a good company was to hire highly qualified people who would provide outstanding service to their customers. With financial support from a friend, he began Zeller Electric in a rented building next to the railroad tracks. Every time a train went by, it was impossible to hear anyone on the phone, so you would have to put the person on hold until the train passed! After a few successful years, however, Zeller Electric moved to a better location and continued to prosper.
Zeller began as a general line electrical distributor.Technology, however, was changing our industry and Zeller Electric saw the future early. We embraced the introduction of programmable logic controllers in automation controls applications and were innovators in the education of customers in this rapidly changing technology.
In 1986, Hank’s son, Eric, was 40 years old. It was in this year that Eric bought his father’s business and became the sole shareholder. The Rochester facility continued to expand with a hands-on technical instruction room, and later a state-of-the-art auditorium and demo area.
In 1990, Eric Zeller and Paul Galioto formed Zeller Electric of Buffalo. After renovating the property at 404 Sonwil Drive, it opened for business in May 1990. At that time we were utilizing only 60% of the building. The Buffalo business expanded rapidly and we quickly grew out of our offices. In January 1995, the remaining 40% of the building was renovated, giving us additional office space and a spacious hi-tech demo room.
With the growing, evolving technology taking the lead in controls applications, integrating it into value-add projects became a complementary focus for Zeller Electric. With a staff of highly qualified electrical engineers and technicians, we partnered with our customers to develop and implement scalable solutions for their automation controls challenges.
In 1998 Zeller Electric purchased Vordex Controls (Victor, NY) and Control Digital (Toronto, Canada). The purchase of these two companies provided Zeller with enhanced capabilities in the areas of motion control and machine vision inspection systems. These new additions formed the basis for the start of the Zynergy Solutions division of Zeller. Also in 1998, Zeller Electric of Syracuse was opened at 6018 Wilbur Road, East Syracuse with 15,000 square feet, including our signature demo/training facilities. At this time, Zeller Corporation was also formed as the parent company of the Zeller Electric branches and Zynergy Solutions.
In 2001, Eric Zeller stepped down from day-to-day operations in the company he had worked in for 31 years. Gary Haseley was named President and CEO. Ironically, Hank was 40 when Zeller Electric was started; Eric turned 40 when he assumed control; and Gary turned 40 as he assumed the reigns.
In 2003, due to expanding the Square D coverage area into Central New York, Zeller reinvested in the Syracuse area and moved the Syracuse branch office into a new facility at 126 Dwight Park Circle. Zeller is now the largest independent Square D distributor in upstate New York. In 2003 Zeller also purchased the assets of Ross Technologies (Buffalo, New York), a long time competitor.
Zeller Corporation was extremely busy in 2004 as they made two additional acquisitions: Enviromation Technologies (Syracuse, New York) and Vertical Solutions Group (Rochester, New York). Both companies were full-service process control systems providers for the municipal and industrial water and wastewater industries. Although these companies were principal competitors for these industries, they have been merged into a single company, VSG Enviromation. VSG Enviromation is now the largest integrator for these industries in upstate New York. Zeller also opened on-site offices for customers in Elmira and Rochester, and added a sales office in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
In 2005, Zeller strengthened and expanded its move into motion control with the purchase of R. C. Controls, R. C. S. Automation, and A & D Devices, the two former companies combined into RC Controls, with the latter remaining as the sales and marketing arm of our motion control business. In 2006, the Corporation purchased WAJA Associates of Foxboro, MA to continue to build its process control business, and opened new Zeller Electric offices north of the Boston area.
Throughout the evolution, growth and diversification of Zeller, Founder Hank Zeller’s original philosophy of providing the best service possible to every customer has remained our primary aspiration. The key to this superior service is to listen to what our customers need and provide The Right Solution For You. Our customer has always been the primary focus of every Zeller employee and we remain committed to your success.