S&C Electric President John Conrad Passes Away

August 31, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

S&C Electric Co. (Chicago, IL) announced that longtime President and Chairman of the Board John Conrad passed away on August 30, 2005, at the age of 89. Over a 50-year period at the helm of S&C Electric, Conrad shaped the company into a global supplier of switching and protection equipment and services for electric transmission and distribution systems and large power users. An incisive analyst of industry trends, and a stubborn proponent of private ownership for S&C Electric, Conrad was a nationally known leader in the electric power industry.

Conrad joined S&C Electric in 1945 at the behest of his father, company co-founder Nicholas Conrad. Under John Conrad's leadership, the company developed a broad line of products and grew from 125 employees to its current workforce of 2,000 worldwide, including 1,600 in Chicago. The company has wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, Mexico, China, and Brazil. John Conrad became President of S&C in 1952, Chairman and CEO in 1988, and Chairman Emeritus in 1997. Conrad steadfastly maintained S&C Electric as a privately held company and turned down numerous offers to sell the company or merge with conglomerates. He reinvested profits for the long-term and built a remarkably loyal workforce by shunning layoffs and providing good pay and benefits.

Conrad was active in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. In 1994, he was the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Power Distribution Engineering from the IEEE Power Engineering Society. He received the Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers in 1998.