A Big Year for Harris Newman and Primary Electrical Supply

There's no shortage of reasons to celebrate this year for Primary Electrical Supply, Queens, N.Y., and Harris Newman, the company's founder and president. Newman founded the company 45 years ago and this year celebrates his 85th birthday.

Newman started Primary Electrical Supply in 1966 by selling surplus electrical equipment such as wire and cable and switches from the exhibits at the 1964 New York World's Fair in Queens. Forty-five years later, Newman is still at the helm of this wholesaler in the Richmond Hill part of Queens. Working 12 hours a day still fuels his fire.

When asked what the key is to longevity in business as well as in life, Newman replies, “You have to enjoy what you are doing. That's the key. You have to want to get up in the morning.”

Newman also says business has changed dramatically through the years and that there are no new cures when you hit a rough patch in the economy. “You have to work harder,” he says. “Every customer is important and there is always a way to help them.”

Paul Keller, V.P. , Primary Electrical Supply, says Newman has been his partner, mentor and friend for over 40 years and praises his basic business philosophy of treating people as you'd want to be treated. Primary Electrical Supply is now being run by three generations of family who intend for it to be around for 45 more years, at least.

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