Excellence: The 60 Year Legacy of UCEC

In 1958, Howard Lacey had a vision of a higher quality control panel. He bet his business partner at his electrical engineering company that he could build a better control panel than the ones they were receiving from their vendors. That control panel became the first in a 60 year legacy of panels that set a high standard of excellence and a company that continues to envision an industrial future with higher quality, efficiency and productivity.

October officially marked our 60th year in operation and while our craftsmanship has evolved over the years, our values haven’t.


A Higher Quality Control Panel

Howard Lacey built a reputation on bringing the control panel game to a new level. He was known for being meticulous about the products he used and would often have them made if he wasn’t satisfied with the options available. Metal enclosures were made in-house, and a number of products made during those years were patented. Most of UCEC’s work at the time came from government contracts for water and wastewater projects.

Expanding Industries Automation Control Panel

Chris Kitsos, Lacey’s Production manager, took over the company in 1989 with a vision to diversify. Water and wastewater were big business, but Kitsos knew UCEC could do more. He began collaborating with privately held companies in the food and beverage and oil and gas industries and soon discovered a need that not only could UCEC uniquely fulfill, but one that would grow into a cornerstone of UCEC’s business: automation control panels. Kitsos’ network with companies and engineering firms grew due to his leadership and the high quality control panels that made integration an easier process.

A Smarter Control Panel


In 2004, Mark Inboden, a successful manager of much larger business operations, became President and CEO of the company. Like the leaders before him, Inboden is keen to ask what the future looks like for UCEC in order to anticipate customer needs and continue providing the highest quality control panels. This line of inquiry lead to the launch of UCEC Smart earlier this year. UCEC Smart is committed to harnessing the advent of Industry 4.0 by leveraging UCEC’s 60-year legacy of building quality custom control panels to deliver the control panel of tomorrow. A control panel equipped with no or low-charge capabilities, machine learning, advanced automation and sensor technology. Where will this new division lead? That’s a question the leaders of UCEC intend to keep asking.

Throughout its history, UCEC’s commitment to excellence has endured, with each leader looking for ways to evolve the product and innovate to anticipate customer needs in a rapidly changing world. UCEC will always be committed to customer experience, high quality control panels and deploying the latest technology for greater efficiency and productivity for the shop and its clients. Stay tuned as we continue to explore each period of UCEC’s history and how it helped us grow into the panel shop we are today.

Kathleen BurkhardtComment