Giving Back

Commitment to community

As a 100% employee-owned company, our commitment to community is what drives our ownership culture. Our employee-owners truly care about giving back to and taking care of the communities where we live and work because, when we do, the rest seems to have a way of taking care of itself.

We value the lives and well-being of our neighbors and those who may not have the resources we have, which is why we actively volunteer our time and serve our communities through fundraisers, cleanup projects, mentoring programs and community service efforts. 

When the world needs more, we’re ready to give back and leave an impact.

History of Border States

Two entrepreneurs founded Border States in 1952 to serve the electric utility industry. Our company expanded to additionally serve the construction and industrial markets. Today, Border States employ experts with backgrounds in multiple industries, so we can stay flexible for our diverse customers and adapt our approach to their unique challenges.

We have an incredibly exciting history, and with over 70 years in the distribution industry, one thing has never changed — our unrelenting commitment to serve our customers now and beyond.

1952

Jim Stolee and James (Buff) Thompson each borrow $5,000 and start the Thompson-Stolee Co. from their respective homes in Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota, focusing on utility customers. All material is sold directly.

1953

The company enters the construction market, with the addition of General Electric Supply Company as a vendor, providing access to wire, conduit and electrical contractor supplies. Annual sales reach $219,800. Two owners remain with no branch locations.

1956

Thompson-Stolee Co. moves to a facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota, establishing our first branch location. They hire the first full-time employee, Roy Davidson.

1958

Harold Madson joins the business, and Thompson-Stolee Co. is incorporated. Buff Thompson is named President, Jim Stolee serves as Secretary/Treasurer and Harold Madson serves as Vice President.

1959

With one branch in operation, annual sales top $1 million.

1960

Thompson, Stolee and Madson establish two new companies. Border States Electric Supply Co. moves forward as an electrical distributor in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Thompson-Stolee Co. continues to operate as a waterworks distributor. Border States acquires Northwest Electric Supply in Fargo, North Dakota. Thompson serves as President of Thompson-Stolee Co., Stolee serves as President of Border States Electric Supply Co., and Madson serves as President of Border States Electric Supply Co.

1961

The company’s acquisition of Northwest Electric Supply Co. allowed Border States authorization to sell Allen-Bradley products.

1967

Computerization begins when Dean Ferguson, Controller/Credit Manager, takes a home study course in FORTRAN computer language. The company shares time on an IBM 1130 (1 megabyte with 8K of RAM). Annual sales top $5 million. There are two branch locations.

1969

Thompson-Stolee Co. is sold to Northern Plumbing Supply of Grand Forks, North Dakota.

1974

Border States opens a third branch location in Bismarck, North Dakota, to provide better delivery options to customers in western North Dakota, eastern Montana and parts of South Dakota. The company is ranked the 85th largest electrical distributor in the United States.

1977

Border States merges into Border States Electric Supply Co. of North Dakota. Jim Stolee serves as CEO and Board Chair, and Harold Madson serves as President. Annual sales top $25 million, and there are three branch locations.

1978

Border States acquires its first fleet of delivery trucks to serve locations not normally covered by commercial truck lines. Harold Madson serves as President and Board Chair.

1979

Border States opens its fourth branch in Minot, North Dakota. A demo van is added to bring products and solutions to customers. The computer system is upgraded to an IBM System 38, reducing the delay in inventory data from two days to one hour and providing more timely and accurate product availability, pricing and order status.

1980

Border States opens its fifth branch location in Dickinson, North Dakota, to provide a more central location for shipping to western North Dakota and eastern Montana. A sixth branch is also opened — the first one outside of North Dakota — in Plymouth, Minnesota, to better serve utility customers in Minnesota.

1981

Border States is ranked the 25th largest electrical distributor in the United States.

1983

A recession causes the company’s annual sales to drop 15%.

1984

Paul Madson is named President, with Harold Madson serving as CEO and Board Chair. Border States opens its eighth branch location in Rapid City, South Dakota, launching a new logo that features the BSE “brick.”

1985

The Board establishes the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), effective April 1, 1984. Border States joins Affiliated Distributors, a marketing organization for independent distributors

1986

Border States acquires Heritage Electric Supply Co. in Billings, Montana. The Minot, North Dakota, branch location closes.

1988

The company’s legal name changes to Border States Industries. Annual sales top $50 million. There are 255 employee-owners and eight branch locations.

1989

Border States implements the Rigel operating system and installs an IBM AS/400 computer that expands memory capacity by 24 and storage capacity by 48. The company opens its ninth branch location in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The fleet consists of 13 delivery trucks.

1990

Border States acquires Korber Electric in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to expand its footprint and diversify business, reducing reliance on oil and agriculture. The Fargo, North Dakota, branch location and corporate employee-owners move into their new 63,000-square-foot facility in Fargo, North Dakota.

1992

Border States deploys its first job trailer. Additionally, the company’s sharing trust merges into the ESOP. The company acquires Sterling Electric Supply with three branch locations in Minnesota.

1993

Electronic data interchange (EDI) automates vendor invoices and customer orders to improve accuracy and productivity. Border States is authorized as an Allen-Bradley distributor for Arizona. Additionally, the company acquires J.E. Redmond Supply with two branch locations in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Annual sales top $100 million, and there are 13 branch locations.

1995

The company begins promoting material management solutions to customers.

1997

The first Executive Committee is established. Border States creates an electronic commerce site for customers (a precursor to e-commerce).

1999

Border States implements SAP, a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Additionally, the company conducts its first successful storm response with a strategic business relationship (SBR), helping Sheridan Electric Cooperative restore power in a time of great need.

2000

Border States becomes 100% employee-owned and elects to be taxed as a Subchapter S corporation. The company also establishes a 401(k) plan. Branches open in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Janesville, Wisconsin, to serve a long-term alliance agreement with Alliant Energy.

2002

Border States establishes an industrial supply division. Brad Thrall is promoted to CEO and Board Chair.

2003

Border States implements Haht e-commerce software.

2004

Border States acquires its first truck-mounted forklift on a 40-foot tractor-trailer in Phoenix, Arizona. Additionally, the company acquires Bates and Associates in Grand Haven, Michigan. This is the first nonelectrical distributor acquisition, adding gas materials and expertise.

2006

Tammy Miller is promoted to CEO and Board Chair. Border States acquires Nunn Electric Supply, adding 17 branches in Texas and New Mexico. Additionally, the company develops a strategic plan called “Blueprint to Billion.” Radio frequency transactions are implemented at the Fargo, North Dakota, branch location for goods receipt, material inquiry and stock putaway. The company launches a website, border-states.com.

2007

Border States acquires Minnesota Electric Supply Company, adding eight branch locations in Minnesota. Annual sales top $500 million. There are 1,089 employee-owners in 51 branch locations, and Border States is ranked as the 10th largest electrical distributor in the United States.

2008

Border States takes on Ameren/PAR Electrical’s “Power on Project” sales model, where only services are provided. The company opens a branch location in Wentzville, Missouri, to serve this three-year project. Additionally, Border States acquires Harris Electric Supply Company, adding seven branch locations in Tennessee.

2009

Border States signs a long-term supply chain agreement with Xcel Energy and establishes a new branch location in Denver, Colorado.

2010

A recession causes sales to drop 13.8% for the year, resulting in all employee-owners taking a pay cut to avoid layoffs and preserve the company’s stock value.

2011

Border States’ “Service Excellence” initiative launches. Annual sales top $1 billion. There are 1,317 employee-owners and 58 branches. The company is ranked as the seventh largest electrical distributor in the United States.

2013

Border States opens a branch location in Greeley, Colorado, to serve the oil and gas market. The company acquires Electrical Wholesale Supply of Utah, adding eight branch locations in Utah.

2014

Border States launches its intranet site, “Borderline,” to bring real-time communication to employee-owners. Additionally, the company acquires Western Extralite, adding 17 branches in Kansas and Missouri.

2016

Border States acquires Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, adding 17 branches in North Carolina and South Carolina.

2017

Border States acquires Kriz-Davis Co., adding 19 branch locations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

2018

Annual sales exceed $2 billion. There are 2,522 employee-owners and 109 branch locations. Border States is once again ranked the seventh largest electrical distributor in the United States.

2019

Employee-owners move into the new Branch Support Center (corporate headquarters) in Fargo, North Dakota. The company expands into the pipes, valves and fittings (PVF) market in western North Dakota.

2020

A national emergency is declared due to the coronavirus, resulting in counter closures, reduction in force and the formation of companywide COVID-19 policies. David White is promoted to CEO, and Jason Seger is promoted to President.

2022

Border States transitions to a new SAP system — S/4HANA — to allow for improved visibility and integration with customers and vendors. The company also acquires Advance Electrical Supply, adding a branch location in Chicago, Illinois. Additionally, Border States opens a new branch in Jacksonville, Arkansas, as a centralized location for distribution center operations in the new Summit Utilities Arkansas/Oklahoma service territory. It also opens a branch in Hubbard, Oregon, to service Portland General Electric.

12.9 Industry Associations

AD

Affiliated Distributors (AD) is a dynamic community of independent distributors and manufacturers of construction and industrial products. It’s the largest wholesale marketing group in North America.

AWEA

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is the voice of wind energy in the United States, promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger country.

APICS

The Association for Operations Management (APICS) is the global leader in operations management and provides improvement solutions trusted by a worldwide network of industry professionals.

ELECTRI International

ELECTRI International is globally recognized as an independent organization that provides unbiased, cutting-edge information for the electrical construction industry. The foundation works with industry leaders and uses its resources to commission and disseminate collaborative and innovative research, education and technology solutions that advance the future growth and prosperity of the electrical construction industry.

IDEA

IDEA is an e-commerce provider owned by the electrical industry that’s designed to drive costs out of the electrical supply chain by setting standards and synchronizing data.

IESNA

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) is the recognized technical authority on illumination — advancing knowledge and disseminating information for the improvement of lighted environments.

ISA

The Industrial Supply Association (ISA) is a leading trade association for the maintenance, repair, operations and production (MROP) supply channel, which helps members improve through performance initiatives and knowledge sharing.

IEEE

With a global membership of over 400,000, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world’s leading professional association for the advancement of technology.

PES

The IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) is a worldwide, nonprofit association that provides scientific information on electric power and energy for the betterment of society.

The interNational Association of
Lighting Management Companies

The interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies delivers services and information, forms industry relationships and offers certifications to enhance the lighting industry.

MEA

MEA Energy Association (MEA) empowers the energy industry through education, leadership development and industry connections. Energy companies, contractors and suppliers around the country benefit from summits, roundtables, webinars, 400-plus online technical courses, safety assessments, evaluator training, operator qualification compliance tools and leadership courses for field personnel.

MMSDC

The Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) connects minority business enterprises and corporations to promote information sharing, partnerships and cooperation.

NAED

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) provides networking opportunities, training and research to its members in the electrical distribution industry.

NAW

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) encompasses over 100 national line-of-trade associations — helping members network and benchmark their success.

NFPA

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides and advocates consensus codes and standards, research, training and education to reduce fire hazards and increase quality of life.

NECA

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) supports businesses that bring power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities.

NAAUD

Members of the North American Association of Utility Distributors (NAAUD) share information and promote the newest ideas and best concepts for the electric utility industry.

SME

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) is the largest organization to exclusively serve professionals in the global mining community, helping its members network to develop new solutions for the mining industry.

supplyFORCE

supplyFORCE is a leading organization for maintenance, repair and operation commodity management and procurement services. It delivers process, inventory and product cost savings for large industrial businesses.

UPMG

The Utility Purchasing Management Group (UPMG) is the utility industry’s source for sharing information, ideas, concepts and best practices related to procurement and material management.

USMA

The Utility Supply Management Alliance (USMA) is a multinational association that serves water, electric and gas utilities and provides skills and tools to maximize supply chain processes.

Technical Solutions Partners

Aclara

Aclara helps utilities manage change, seek new approaches and harness data and new technologies to supply more efficient and reliable services to their customers. As an end-to-end, smart infrastructure solutions (SIS) partner, Aclara couples innovative technology with data-driven solutions to predict, plan and respond to system conditions across electric, gas or water distribution networks.

eSmart Systems

eSmart Systems is a leading provider of AI-powered services and solutions for the inspection and maintenance of critical energy infrastructure. In 2018 and 2019, eSmart was selected as a finalist for Microsoft’s AI Partner of the Year out of 2,600 AI companies. eSmart has commercial revenues from large and established utilities and transmission and distribution grid operators around the world. Key investors in the company include Energy Impact Partners, Kongsberg Digital, Equinor Ventures, Nysnø, Innogy Ventures and several Norwegian utilities. In 2019, eSmart Systems raised $34.4 million in funding to accelerate its growth in North America, where it continues to expand and grow market share.

Fielda

Fielda is a field activity management software that combines customizable mobile data collection, geographic information system data captures, workflows, activity management, reporting and data integrations to enhance productivity and save time and effort. In addition to the elimination of paper-based inspection forms and their respective delays, Fielda supports organizations to manage field activities with speed, transparency and accuracy.

Itron

Itron enables utilities and cities to safely, securely and reliably deliver critical infrastructure solutions to communities in more than 100 countries. Itron’s portfolio of networks, software, services, meters and sensors helps their customers better manage electricity, gas and water resources for the people they serve. Itron helps improve the quality of life, ensures safety and promotes the well-being of millions of people around the globe, and they are dedicated to creating a more resourceful world.

Landis+Gyr

For more than 125 years, Landis+Gyr has been an industry leader in energy management solutions. Using their advanced metering infrastructure and other cutting-edge Smart Grid technologies, Landis+Gyr have helped utility companies all over the globe improve their operations, protect their assets, lower their operating costs and provide better customer service. With a focus on quality, reliability and innovation, Landis+Gyr’s portfolio of products and services can help you do the same and modernize your Smart Grid for the future.

Pacific Volt

Pacific Volt has established a new market for series injection voltage regulation technology that meets the increasing demand for voltage regulation and Smart Grid solutions in the power distribution sector. The company’s groundbreaking products help future-proof the electric grid, increase energy efficiency and improve power quality.

PTI

Partner Technologies Incorporated (PTI) manufactures and repairs liquid-filled distribution and small- and medium-size power transformers up to a base rating of 30MVA at 145kV.

Rycom Instruments®

Established in 1946, Rycom Instruments® has become a leading manufacturer of cable-, pipe- and fault-locating equipment. Originally a developer of telegraph carrier equipment for railroad communications, Rycom Instruments® began designing and manufacturing locating equipment in the 1950s. Today, they devote all of their effort to sales, service, manufacturing and engineering in the locating industry, successfully serving markets around the world.

Sharper Shape

The utility asset intelligence software, Sharper CORE, is at the heart of their platform agnostic ecosystem that seamlessly enables third-party integration. Powered by AI and cloud-based, it offers collection, visualization and analysis of all utility asset and vegetation inspection data, as well as forecasting and actionable reporting. By giving utilities a powerful process made of the most advanced tools based on cutting-edge technology, they empower efforts to stay sharper, and as a result, utilities stay better.

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leading positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation and data centers/networks. They also have a broad presence in residential applications.

SkySkopes

SkySkopes is a professional service provider with a highly qualified operations and geospatial team. The team operates a wide variety of advanced sensors and aircrafts for transmission and distribution line inspections, oil and gas applications and many other innovative use cases that focus on adding value. SkySkopes’ platforms include drones, helicopters and mobile systems.

Tantalus

Tantalus provides a multi-purpose Smart Grid solutions platform for advanced metering, demand response, distribution automation and grid optimization. TUNet® — the Tantalus Utility Network — is an award-winning, end-to-end communications and applications system that enables electric, water and gas municipal and cooperative utilities to automate processes, improve business operations and deliver top-tier customer service. TUNet® is deployed at utilities that are determined to manage resources intelligently and meet ambitious efficiency goals.

Von Corporation

The Von Corporation is known throughout the industry for their portable high-voltage test and cable fault locating equipment. Their primary goal is to provide top-of-the-line equipment and great customer service, which is demonstrated through its on-site training and 24-hour technical service that is included with every purchase.

Divisions of Border States

Our company’s journey began in 1952 as Thompson-Stolee Company, Inc. Since then, we have grown organically and through mergers and acquisitions with exceptional companies. These connections have helped us become who we are today: Border States.

We believe that unstoppable businesses shouldn’t go it alone, which is why we have dedicated more than 70 years to providing quality products, innovative services and flexible solutions to ensure they don’t have to.

Mergers and acquisitions

Our deep history of growth through mergers and acquisitions has helped us gain industry knowledge, grow our product expertise and fulfill our customers’ needs. Through this, Border States has become a source of incredibly talented people and great companies with an unrelenting commitment to service.

The companies listed below no longer operate under these names — they do business as Border States.

EPL

Michigan and Wisconsin

1995

Bates & Associates

Michigan

2004

Miller Electric

Wyoming

2004

Nunn Electric Supply

Texas and New Mexico

2006

Harris Electric

Tennessee

2008

UtiliCor

Tennessee

2013

Western Extralite

Kansas and Missouri

2014

Shealy Electrical Wholesalers

North Carolina and South Carolina

2016

Kriz-Davis

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas

2017

Excellence connects our divisions

From the beginning, our core value has always stayed the same — to make customers our primary focus. So, rest assured that when you need innovative products and supply chain solutions for your construction, industrial or utility applications, our experts won’t rest until you — and your customers — are taken care of.

About Border States

We believe unstoppable businesses shouldn’t go it alone.

We are owners — of relationships, of outcomes, of every moment these unstoppable businesses need to deliver.

When the world needs more, you provide. Your work is complex, time-sensitive and critical, and it never stops — it can’t.

Our work is to move you forward through a promise to treat your business as our own.

That promise means:

  • Accountability during the everyday and unrelenting commitment during the not-so-everyday.
  • Experts alongside you during the first hour of the project, and collaborators you depend on in its eleventh.
  • Relationships grounded in authentic human connection.
  • Flexibility to meet you where you are, adapting our approach to your unique challenges.
  • Transparency that proves your best interest is always our priority.

We are the employee-owners you can rely on in your unstoppable world. Your success is our success, and we don’t rest until you — and your customers — are taken care of.

Border States. For the unstoppable.

At Border States, we believe unstoppable businesses shouldn’t have to go it alone. And as one of the largest 100% employee-owned companies in the United States, we have teams all over the country that supply services and solutions to businesses in the construction, industrial and utility markets.

Our history began in 1952 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where two entrepreneurs wanted to serve the electric utility industry. Since then, Border States has grown into the sixth largest electrical distributor in the United States. You can depend on us for exceptional products, responsive and knowledgeable service, material management solutions and delivery and logistics expertise — no matter the complexity or size of your business objectives.

With 70+ years in the electrical distribution business, our mission and values have always been centered on delivering exceptional service to our customers, building strong business relationships with our vendors and giving back to the communities where we work and live.

We know our customers expect to receive quality products and services, which is why we value the strong, responsible business relationships we have built with our vendor partners, who we rely on heavily to help us deliver on our promise.

Border States is a company comprised of employee-owners who come from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to improving our culture; building an even more diverse, inclusive and equitable organization; and eliminating hurtful discrimination, hatred and racism.

We established a Unity Council in 2020 to help celebrate diversity and promote equity and understanding, so all employee-owners can build a stronger foundation for Border States and beyond. The council​ works closely with our Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to develop strategies and objectives, implement programs, create awareness and educate employee-owners as we work to address the important initiative of diversity, equity and inclusion.

History of Border States

PROUD OF OUR PAST 

Owning our future 

Since 1952, when two entrepreneurs founded Border States to serve the electric utility industry, our company has expanded to serve the construction and industrial markets. Today, we employ large number of experts with backgrounds in multiple industriesIndeed, our people are the key to providing innovative products, material management solutions, delivery and logistics expertise and other services to thousands of customers. 

 

As a 100% employee-owned company with customer service at the core of everything we do, we’ve helped businesses streamline their supply chain, reduce expenses, increase efficiency and deliver measurable, bottom-line results. We have an incredibly exciting history, and we look forward to serving our customers in the years to come. 

  • 1952

    Jim Stolee and James (Buff) Thompson each borrow $5,000 and start the Thompson-Stolee Co. from their respective homes in Grand Forks and Fargo, North Dakota, focusing on utility customers. All material is sold direct.
  • 1953

    The company enters the construction market, with the addition of General Electric Supply Company as a vendor, providing access to wire, conduit and electrical contractor supplies. Annual sales reach $219,800, and there remain two owners with no branch locations.
  • 1956

    Thompson-Stolee Co. moves to a facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota, establishing the first warehouse. They hire the first full-time employee, Roy Davidson.
  • 1958

    Harold Madson joins the business, and Thompson-Stolee Co. is incorporated. Buff Thompson is named President, with Jim Stolee serving as Secretary/Treasurer and Harold Madson serving as Vice President.
  • 1959

    With one branch in operation, annual sales top $1 million.
  • 1960

    Thompson, Stolee and Madson establish two new companies. Border States Electric Supply Co. moves forward as an electrical distributor in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Thompson-Stolee Co. continues to operate as a waterworks distributor. Border States ends up acquiring Northwest Electric Supply in Fargo, North Dakota. Thompson serves as President of Thompson-Stolee Co., Stolee serves as President of Border States Electric Supply Co. and Madson serves as President of Border States Electric Supply Co. of North Dakota.
  • 1961

    – Border States acquires Northwest Electric Supply Co. in Fargo, North Dakota, which includes authorization to sell Allen-Bradley products.
  • 1967

    Computerization begins when Dean Ferguson, Controller/Credit Manager, takes a home study course in FORTRAN computer language. The company shares time on an IBM 1130 (1 megabyte with 8K of RAM). Annual sales top $5 million. There are two branch locations.
  • 1969

    Thompson-Stolee Co. is sold to Northern Plumbing Supply of Grand Forks, North Dakota.
  • 1974

    Border States opens a third branch location in Bismarck, North Dakota, to provide better delivery options to customers in western North Dakota, eastern Montana and parts of South Dakota. The company is ranked the 85th largest electrical distributor in the U.
  • 1977

    Border States merges into Border States Electric Supply Co. of North Dakota. Jim Stolee serves as CEO and Board Chair, and Harold Madson serves as President. Annual sales top $25 million and there are three branch locations.
  • 1978

    Border States acquires its first fleet of delivery trucks to serve locations not normally covered by commercial truck lines. Harold Madson serves as President and Board Chair.
  • 1979

    Border States opens its fourth branch in Minot, North Dakota. A demo van is added to bring products and solutions to customers. The computer system is upgraded to an IBM System 38, reducing the delay in inventory data from two days to one hour, and providing more timely and accurate product availability, pricing and order status.
  • 1980

    Border States opens its fifth branch location in Dickinson, North Dakota, to provide a more central location for shipping to western North Dakota and eastern Montana. A sixth branch is also opened, the first one outside of North Dakota, in Plymouth, Minnesota, to better serve utility customers in Minnesota.
  • 1981

    Border States is ranked the 25th largest electrical distributor in the U.S.
  • 1983

    A recession causes the company’s annual sales to drop 15%.
  • 1984

    Paul Madson is named President, with Harold Madson serving as CEO and Board Chair. Border States opens its eighth branch location in Rapid City, South Dakota, launching a new logo including that features the BSE “brick.”
  • 1985

    – The board establishes the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), effective April 1, 1984. Border States joins Affiliated Distributors, a marketing organization for independent distributors.
  • 1986

    Border States acquires Heritage Electric Supply Co. in Billings, Montana. The Minot, North Dakota, branch location closes.
  • 1988

    The company’s official legal name changes to Border States Industries. Annual sales top $50 million. There are 255 employee-owners and eight branch locations.
  • 1989

    Border States implements the Rigel operating system and installs an IBM AS/400 computer that expands memory capacity by 24 and storage capacity by 48. The company opens its ninth branch location in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The fleet consists of 13 delivery trucks.
  • 1990

    Border States acquires Korber Electric in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to expand its footprint and diversify business, reducing reliance on oil and agriculture. The Fargo, North Dakota, branch location and corporate employee-owners move into their new 63,000-square-foot facility in Fargo, North Dakota.
  • 1992

    Border States deploys its first job trailer. Additionally, the company’s sharing trust merges into the ESOP. The company acquires Sterling Electric Supply with three branch locations in Minnesota.
  • 1993

    Electronic data interchange (EDI) automates vendor invoices and customer orders to improve accuracy and productivity. Border States is authorized as an Allen-Bradley distributor for Arizona. Additionally, the company acquires J.E. Redmond Supply with two branch locations in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. Annual sales top $100 million and there are 13 branch locations.
  • 1995

    The company begins promoting material management solutions to customers.
  • 1997

    The first Executive Committee is established. Border States creates an electronic commerce site for customers (a precursor to e-commerce).
  • 1999

    Border States implements SAP, a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Additionally, the company conducts its first successful storm response with a strategic business relationship (SBR), helping Sheridan Electric Cooperative restore power in a time of great need.
  • 2000

    Border States becomes 100% employee-owned and elects to be taxed as a Subchapter S corporation. The company also establishes a 401(k) plan. Branches open in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Janesville, Wisconsin, to serve a long-term alliance agreement with Alliant Energy.
  • 2002

    Border States establishes an industrial supply division. Brad Thrall is promoted to CEO and Board Chair.
  • 2003

    Border States implements Haht e-commerce software.
  • 2004

    Border States acquires its first truck-mounted forklift on a 40-foot tractor-trailer in Phoenix, Arizona. Additionally, the company acquires Bates and Associates in Grand Haven, Michigan, the first nonelectrical distributor acquired, adding gas materials and expertise.
  • 2006

    Tammy Miller is promoted to CEO and Board Chair. Border States acquires Nunn Electric Supply, adding 17 branches in Texas and New Mexico. Additionally, the company develops a strategic plan called “Blueprint to Billion.” Radio frequency transactions are implemented at the Fargo, North Dakota, branch location for Goods Receipt, Material Inquiry and Stock Put-away. The company launches a website, border-states.com.
  • 2007

    Border States acquires Minnesota Electric Supply Company, adding eight branch locations in Minnesota. Annual sales top $500 million. There are 1,089 employee-owners in 51 branch locations, and Border States is ranked as the 10th largest electrical distributor in the U.S.
  • 2008

    Border States takes on Ameren/PAR Electrical’s “Power on Project” sales model, where only services are provided. The company opens a branch location in Wentzville, Missouri, to serve this three-year project. Additionally, Border States acquires Harris Electric Supply Company, adding seven branch locations in Tennessee.
  • 2009

    Border States signs a long-term supply chain agreement with Xcel Energy and establishes a new branch location in Denver, Colorado.
  • 2010

    A recession causes sales to drop 13.8% for the year, resulting in all employee-owners taking a pay cut to avoid layoffs and preserve the company’s stock value.
  • 2011

    Border States’ “Service Excellence” initiative launches. Annual sales top $1 billion. There are 1,317 employee-owners and 58 branches. The company is ranked as the seventh largest electrical distributor in the U.S.
  • 2013

    Border States opens a branch location in Greeley, Colorado, to serve the oil and gas market. The company acquires Electrical Wholesale Supply of Utah, adding eight branch locations in Utah.
  • 2014

    – Border States launches its intranet site, “Borderline,” to bring real-time communication to employee-owners. Additionally, the company acquires Western Extralite, adding 17 branches in Kansas and Missouri.
  • 2016

    Border States acquires Shealy Electrical Wholesalers, adding 17 branches in North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • 2017

    Border States acquires Kriz-Davis Co., adding 19 branch locations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
  • 2018

    Annual sales exceed $2 billion. There are 2,522 employee-owners and 109 branch locations. Border States is once again ranked the seventh largest electrical distributor in the U.S.
  • 2019

    Employee-owners move into the new Branch Support Center (corporate headquarters) in Fargo, North Dakota.
  • 2020

    – David White is promoted to CEO.

Giving Back

Commitment to community 

Border States is a 100% employee-owned company, and part of our ownership culture involves commitment to community. Our employee-owners truly care about giving back to the communities where we live and work. 

 

We value the lives and well-being of our neighbors and those who may not have the resources we have. That’s why we actively volunteer our time and serve our communities through countless fundraisers, cleanup projects, mentoring programs and community service efforts. 

 

We’re always ready to lend a helping hand to make the world a better place 

#BSEGivesBack

About Us

About Us

  • Careers
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  • Giving Back
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  • History of Border States
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  • Industry Associations
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  • Leadership
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    Border States leadership