YPE was established in 1948 specializing in the electrical and power equipment business. Dick Young, the founder of our company in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, started in the electrical business in Chicago with General Cable Corporation. General Cable Corporation supplied magnet wire and cable to machine shops as well as paper-lead cable to utility companies. By 1953, Dick was working with moderately-sized utility companies in Illinois.
In 1955, Dick went to work with Kaiser Aluminum’s Wire and Cable Division with utility responsibility in both Indiana and Illinois. His product line included bare and covered aluminum conductor. Later Dick moved to California. In 1961, he ventured in the Electrical Equipment Representative business in Los Angeles. His work included recruiting customers in Arizona, which was a real struggle at the time since Arizonans showed resistance to working with outsiders, particularly from California.
Dick gradually succeeded in developing friendships in Arizona, which led to the hiring of Phyllis Willett, revered as Phoenix’s the smartest person in the electrical supplier end of business at the time. In 1968, Phyllis helped open an office in Phoenix from a “cubbyhole” at 7th Avenue and Indian School Road.
In 1974, Dick handled building his business while also holding presidency of the Electrical Equipment Manufactures Association (EERA). In 1975, Dick built the company’s second office at Scottsdale Airpark while he was also developing the business in New Mexico. This was the YPE company’s corporate headquarters until 2018. By 1978, he had also built a base in the New Mexico territory. Dick Young was a true leader in his business and was looked up to by his customers and manufacturers.
Randy Sutton joined YPE in 1979 after working for Citizens Utilities Company in Arizona where he was District Engineer. Like Dick Young, Randy was also a past president of the EERA and has been responsible for calling on every customer in the company territory. Mostly known for his time in Arizona, he previously spent a significant amount of time in New Mexico and most recently in California. These multiple experiences provided a great opportunity in knowing the company’s entire customer base. Randy continued to maintain contact with his customers until his retirement in 2018.
Now YPE has transitioned to its current generation of leadership under Chris Gummel and Patrick Irwin. Similar to previous generations, both Chris and Patrick came up through the company supporting customer coverage and business growth in several states across multiple accounts.
Here at YPE, we believe a key point of success is to know your customer at all levels. In fact, Dick Young has been quoted many times saying, “My friends are my customers.” This highly regarded value of customer relationship has been passed down through the company’s generations and today YPE prides itself on having the best coverage of its geographic territory with its qualified team.