The year 1916 marked a crucial milestone for us, as it is when we became members of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). The association was only a decade-and-a-half old at the time, having formed to strengthen the industry and lead innovation in electrical energy. Joining this organization is so crucial to our history, we consider 1916 to be the year we officially came into our own as the area’s premier electrical contractor.
However, the roots of Hilscher-Clarke date all the way back to the beginning of the last century. We are the outgrowth of two companies that were started in 1901, Wilson Electric and Keuhn Electric, which merged in 1912. The resulting entity was renamed State Electric in 1915.
In 1926, Walt Hilscher and Roy Clarke bought State Electric and changed the name. We’ve been Hilscher-Clarke ever since.
The company operated at various times as a corporation or as a partnership, until it was formally incorporated on December 28, 1945.
On the death of Walt Hilscher in 1959, Roy Clarke became the president of the company, a position he held until his retirement in 1965. At that time, he was succeeded as president by William Clarke.
In 1985, Donald Colaner succeeded William Clarke as president and Clarke was named chairman of the board. Mr. Clarke and Mr. Colaner both retired in1994, but continued to serve on the company’s board of directors. William B. Henne became president at that time.
The company had its first corporate acquisition in 1999, BordenKircher Electric in Coshocton. It is now Hilscher-Clarke’s south office.
In 2002, State Electrical Engineering Company, LLC was formed as the first additional operating company of Hilscher-Clarke. It offers complete design and engineering services to clients.
In 2007, William Henne retired as president and Scott Goodspeed became president and chief operating officer. Ron Becker, professional engineer and employee of Hilscher-Clarke since 1985, continued his role as CEO. Barbara Zwick was named chief financial officer and treasurer of the board.
2014 began with the updating of our succession planning milestones, along with the introduction of two vice presidents (Steven Chumney, VP of commercial operations and John Fether, VP of industrial operations).
In 2016, we celebrated 100 years of excellence in electrical contracting.
In 2017, former CEO Ron Becker moved into the Chairman role and remained on the Hilscher-Clarke Board of Directors. He was succeeded as CEO by Scott Goodspeed, who previously served as president and COO since 2007. John Fether was named VP of Operations. We also expanded our industrial and commercial business with the opening of a new office in Akron, led by 21-year company veteran Chuck Dulcie.