Hughes-Peters HQ, Dayton, OH
Hughes-Peters was first formed as a partnership in 1921 by John Hughes and Henry Peters to distribute electrical construction materials and supplies to small municipalities in central Ohio for the installation of their electrical wiring systems. In 1923, they incorporated the company, but shortly thereafter Henry Peters retired.
Over the next 65 years, the company changed ownership several times. Along with the ownership changes, the company added new operations to the organization. As the electronic appliance industry grew, the company became a retail dealer of radios, hi-fis, and televisions. Other ventures included retail sales of records and albums, and HVAC systems, along with electronic components to hobbyist and repair shops.
During the era of the late 50s and early 60s, the company’s electronic component sales grew while the record and appliance sales met heavy competition from other newly formed retailers. The company took a new direction and focused 100 percent on the distribution of electronic components that even included mobile retail outlets. Hughes-Peters would cover most of Ohio and sell electronic components to the repair shops from the back of a truck. During the 70s and beyond, as more and more electronic devices appeared, the company supplied the needs of their customer with the most recent state-of-the-art components. Our customer base has become more manufacturers of electronic devices. Today, we supply a broad customer base.
Although the Hughes-Peters name is rich in history, we believe today’s moniker and substantial growth have been forged over the past decade. In September 1999, the company changed ownership for the final time. Mike Okel, Mike Smith, and Donna Hensley took over the ownership of the company with a focus on being “The biggest little distributor in the Midwest.”
In 2002, the company moved into the Dayton, Ohio, facility where the corporate office is currently located.
In 2007, two acquisitions added locations in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Texas. The company will continue to market electronic components to OEMs and contract manufacturers. In addition, the company will grow its value-added business and become a full-service supplier to our customers. Our focus will be to meet the needs of our customers that the larger electronic distributors fail to meet.
Hughes-Peters acquired Hammond Electronics, a seventy-year-old electronic components distributor based in Orlando, Florida, in September of 2017. With this purchase the company expanded into the Southeast market, adding locations in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Like Hughes-Peters, Hammond is an IP&E distributor with strong value-added capabilities. Both companies also have a philosophy of partnering with customers by pipelining inventory to support their production needs. The company’s focus will continue to be on the customer, the broad line card, and their employees. Mike Okel, President of Hughes-Peters stated, “We could not find a better match for HP. Our business model, line card, and people are very similar.”
Most recently on July 6, 2020, Hughes-Peters acquired Tonar Industries, Inc., a single-location company headquartered in Rockaway, New Jersey. The acquisition of Tonar Industries, Inc. expands the Hughes-Peters territory east, servicing customers in New York Metro, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern Connecticut. This acquisition is the fourth by Hughes-Peters since current ownership purchased the company in 1999 and increased their number of branches to twelve.
In December of 2021, Hughes-Peters announced to employees that they were part owners of the company. The owners sold 49% of the company into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This allowed the owners to remain in control, while also giving the dedicated employees a wealth-building opportunity to share in the company’s success. The ESOP sets the company in a direction long term, continuing to build relationships and hold up a strong business model.