Our History

We're celebrating 90 years of service in the Milwaukee area this year and we're proud of our rich history. 

Scroll through our growth into one of Milwaukee's largest and most trusted employee-owned organizations for quality, collaboration, integrity and technology. We're proud to serve you through one of our five divisions -- electrical service, signs, data communication, energy technology and electrical construction.

Lemberg's 90/25 Annivesary logo
 
1928

William & Clara Lemberg found Lemberg Electric

In 1928, just before the stock market crashed, William and Clara Lemberg founded Lemberg Electric. By 1930, less than one third of all wire men in the U.S. were employed. By the time this image of Bill Lemberg was taken, 1939, he'd been in business for about 10 years and the country was climbing out of the Great Depression but sitting on the precipice of World War II. The company will go on to outgrow several locations and become 100% employee-owned by 1992. Read more

William Lemberg circa 1939

The photo below depicts the State Street location of Lemberg Electric. Notice the address and the telephone number. The trucks were set up by then Lemberg employee Ralph Gugerty. This image also includes a 30th anniversary sticker, circa 1968. Gugerty would reunite with Lemberg for its 90th anniversary and have his photo taken by one of the new Lemberg trucks. Read more.

IMG: Historic image of Lemberg's building on State Street in Milwaukee 

 

1930-1940’s

Work on downtown buildings

Work expands from a base of residential appliance and radio sales and repair to commercial work on downtown buildings, including JC Penney and Texaco stations.

Texaco station, 1930

1950s

Ron Maassen joins Lemberg as apprentice

Ron Maassen joins Lemberg as an apprentice in 1952. He later becomes president of Lemberg Electric and instrumental in forming the ESOP that exists today.

Growing business

Lemberg was thriving in the 1950's. We uncovered an invoice from 1950 for temporary wiring needed after a fire. The charge was just $21.63. According to the Occupational Handbook in 1958, the average hourly rate for an electrician was between $2.90 and $4.35. Lemberg would continue to grow to include four service trucks, one boom truck, fifteen journeymen, and five apprentices. Learn about the average wage of an electrician and see an invoice from 1950

Height of petroleum contract work

Historical leadership at Lemberg, 1952 

1960s

Commence new construction projects

McDonald's, Lemberg customer, 1960

1962

Joseph Bubacy joins Lemberg as an electrician

He later becomes Executive Vice President and instrumental in forming the ESOP that exists today.

Joseph Bubacy, circa 1962

 

1972

William Lemberg retires

William Lemberg retires and he is succeeded by his son, Gerald. The company expanded its operations and its offices. This was highlighted in Wisconsin Electric Power magazine for its impressive design elements such as "distinctive wood paneling of various dark tones" and "acoustical tile and carpeting." Read more about the 1972 and the 2018 expansions.

Lemberg newsletter, 1972

 Gerald Lemberg, Lemberg Electric Company, Inc.

 

1974

Thomas Perra joins Lemberg as controller

He later becomes Chief Financial Officer and instrumental in forming the ESOP that exists today. Perra will be remembered through the Thomas R. Perra Memorial Golf Outing, which raises over $11K annually for the MACC Fund. 

1978

David Washebek joins Lemberg

David Washebek joins Lemberg as an apprentice in 1978. He later succeeds Ron Maassen as president of Lemberg Electric. David Washebek would become instrumental in the electrical industry at both the local and national levels through the National Electrical Contractors Association. 

David Washebek joins Lemberg, eventually becomes President.

Thomas Perra becomes treasurer of Lemberg

1992

Gerald Lemberg retires, ESOP created

Gerald Lemberg retires and the company is sold to Ronald Maassen, Joseph Bubacy and Thomas Perra who create the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Lemberg ESOP logo, 1992

New markets

Lemberg takes on a new market with the creation of a sign division. Shell Oil is its first customer. 

Shell station, Lemberg customer, 1992

1995 -1997

Harley-Davidson Product Development Center project

Lemberg Electric Company foreman/electrician William Chetney installs copper cables as part of the 26,400 volt electrical system that will carry provide power to a distribution system in Harley-Davidson, Inc.'s Product Development Center being built on W. Capitol Dr. in Wauwatosa. Testing stations will use the power to compile and record performance data.

IMG: Electrician working with power distribution,1995

2007

Lemberg relocates headquarters to Brookfield, WI

Lemberg purchases, renovates and moves into a new 48,000 sq ft corporate headquarters building at 4085 N. 128th Street in Brookfield, WI. This move marks the third location for Lemberg. The company moved from its State Street location in 1997 to 109th Street in Milwaukee. 

Lemberg Electric Company, Brookfield, WI

 

2008

Lemberg enters the Photovoltaic market with GE rooftop PV project

The company formed its Energy Technologies division, which now offers expanded services to help companies manage energy consumption through energy-saving solutions like LED lighting, preventive and predictive maintenance, and photovoltaic panel installation. The company would go on to earn customers thousands of dollars in incentives through Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program.

IMG: An array of photovoltaic panels, General Electric, 2008

2009

Lemberg acquires So-Lite Neon Sign company

So-Lite brought a 75-year history as a quality sign contractor in Milwaukee to Lemberg's already well-established sign division.

Beans and Barley neon sign

IMG: So Lite Neon Sign Company logo

2010

Lemberg acquires Waukesha-based Good Electric, Inc.

Good Electric logo, 2010

2014

Lemberg unveils new brand

The company makes change to broaden possibilities for current and future diversification. The new brand highlights five divisions: electrical construction, service, data communications, energy technology and signs. 

Lemberg's new logo, 2014

Lemberg Trucks with new branding

 

2016

Completion of 7,600 sq ft, onsite, state-of-the-art training facility

Lemberg dedicates space at the Brookfield location to safety, leadership and innovation. The company also engages Living As A Leader in a 3-year commitment to leadership training. 

Training Center at Lemberg, 2016

A continued first-place streak

Lemberg sign designers are awarded first place in the Wisconsin Sign Association's Annual Design Competition for their monument signage at the Windrush subdivision in Hartland, WI. The award continues a 7-year first place streak.

IMG: Windrush monument, Lemberg Sign Customer

2017

Lemberg is named to MMAC/Cosbe's Future 50 list of the fastest growing companies in the area

Lemberg is named one of Milwaukee's Future 50 by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce's Council of Small Business Executives group. They join the list of fastest growing firms in the southeastern Wisconsin. Lemberg will go on to be named to the list for three consecutive years, earning the Master Mettle honor in 2019.

MMAC COSBE Future 50 logo

Lemberg receives a Top Reader Ranking from the Daily Reporter subscribers

Lemberg is voted as one of the area's best electrical construction companies by subscribers of The Daily Reporter.

Lemberg Readers Choice Award Logo, 2017

Lemberg becomes a Gold Level Trade Ally by Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program

Lemberg earns Gold Level status for earning over $32,000 for customers in the first two quarters of the year. The company will earn the highest status, Platinum, by 2018. 

Lemberg, platinum level ally, Focus on Energy lly logo

2018

Lemberg celebrates its 90-year anniversary and 25 years of employee-ownership

 Lemberg Anniversary logo

Lemberg earns a spot on MMAC-COSBE's Future 50 list for the second year.

Lemberg is recognized with the Future 50 distinction for the second year in a row. The award is given to organizations deemed the fastest growing companies in the region.

Lemberg is earns Platinum Trade Ally Status, highest in Focus on Energy  program

Lemberg earned the highest rank in Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program for earning over $54,000 in incentives and saving over 68 kWh of energy for customers. 

2019

Lemberg named to MMAC/COSBE's Future 50 list for the third consecutive year.

Lemberg is named to MMAC/COSBE's list of 50 fastest growing companies in the region. This is the company's third year of recognition.

Lemberg Future 50, 2019

Lemberg Sign Designers Awarded First and Second place from Wisconsin Sign Association

Lemberg's Sign Designers are recognized by the Wisconsin Sign Association for their work on brand signage for Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel (First Place, Unique Neon, LED, Sculpture) and for Ironworkers Local 8 (Second Place, Pylon). 

Saint Kate Arts Hotel, Lemberg awarded 1st place from Wisconsin Sign Association Ironworkers Local 8 Sign, Lemberg awarded 2nd place from Wisconsin Sign Association

2020

Lemberg sustains COVID-19, providing essential services amid the pandemic

The 2020 economic shutdown caused by the novel corona-virus tested Lemberg's infrastructure, which proved capable of conducting business through remote resources. The company's already technical and cloud-based business practices allowed employees to continue to serve customers with essential services as needed.