Generac manufactures engine-powered products at seven facilities in Wisconsin, including above at its Whitewater plant and its locations in Eagle, Jefferson and Waukesha.

Generac kicks off year of anniversary activities

In 1959, with just five employees in a barn in Wales, Robert D. Kern began manufacturing generators based upon his own unique designs.

Sixty years later, the company he founded — Generac Power Systems — is a leading, diversified global supplier of backup and prime power products.

And Generac is kicking off a year of diamond anniversary celebrations.

“Bob Kern has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to us at Generac,” Generac President and CEO said Aaron Jagdfeld said in a news release. “He has often remarked to me how the company has grown to exceed his wildest dreams.

“This year, we are proud to celebrate the foundation he built here in Waukesha, which has led to the bright future we see as innovators and market leaders in power generation and outdoor power equipment around the world.”

Besides the corporate headquarters in Waukesha, Generac has Southern Lakes region operations in Eagle, Whitewater and Jefferson.

Those first generators enjoyed wide success via a partnership with a variety of retailers, a relationship that lasted several decades. Generac continued to innovate its portable generators, and in 1989, it launched the first automatic home standby generator. It was a move that created a market segment of which Generac remains the clear leader.

“Generac created the market for home standby generators,” Jagdfeld said in the news release, “and today seven out of every 10 home standby generators sold is a Generac. It’s an incredible legacy, and one we celebrate every day, not just during anniversary years. In fact, a few years ago, our 1 millionth home standby unit rolled off the assembly line. We’re proud to bring peace of mind to customers across the country, and around the world, from our home in Wisconsin.”

The company’s product offerings have expanded over the years in response to customers’ growing expectations and evolving industry opportunities. Today, customers can look to Generac for commercial and industrial generators up to 2 MW; light towers and mobile generators serving rental and oil and gas markets; and chore products such as trimmers, mowers and log splitters.

Generac will celebrate its 60th anniversary with yearlong commemorative events.

Employees of Generac kicked off the year with a Pay It Forward food drive this week, collecting nonperishable items at each of the company’s locations for local charities, such as the Boys and Girls Club and pantries in Eagle, Jefferson, Oshkosh, Mukwonago and Whitewater.

In early March, Generac will host multiple 1950s- themed events in honor of its founding in 1959.

Events will include a 1950s attire day with a photo booth in all of its Wisconsin facilities and with classic TV shows playing throughout the day. Later this year, there will be additional events that celebrate its heritage and looking toward the future.

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