The Rathsburg Company was originally started in 1954 in the basement of the Rathsburg family home near downtown Detroit. The company consisted of two people, John (Jack) M. Rathsburg, who was the president and only sales person, and Anna A. Rathsburg, his bookkeeper and wife. There was always a huge parcel of kids around who would file papers, type quotes and “build catalogs.”
In the early ’60s, Jack Rathsburg merged the operation with a man named Rod Butchart, who had a similar but complimentary sales organization. The new company was known as Butchart-Rathsburg & Associates, Inc. The initial direction of the company was selling consumer electronic products into the jobber market in the state of Michigan. Some of the initial lines that the company represented were Antennae Specialists, Cornell-Dubilier, Harman Kardon, Sonotone and Telex.The two owners split apart in the late 60’s going their separate ways. The Company dropped the Butchart hyphenated name and became Rathsburg & Associates, Inc. Rod Butchart and his nephew, Bob Cowie, ran the Butchart Company for a few years until Rod’s retirement but finally closed down the operation. Jack Rathsburg and his son, Bill, moved the firm towards the OEM market working with lines like Cornell-Dubilier that had both OEM components and end user products. Cornell-Dubilier was the core line that helped solidify the company in the mid to late 60’s. Products sold into the Appliance and Industrial customer base in Michigan at that time were AC Oil, Mylar, MICA and Electrolytic Capacitors, E-M relays and RFI filters.
Greg Rathsburg joined the company out of college in 1970. One year later, Cornell-Dubilier awarded its sales representation franchise in the automotive market to the firm and they began selling ignition condensers, E-M relays, Radio Noise Filters, and Mica Capacitors in to the Big Three car companies. The company then started to expand beyond their CDE-centric product portfolio with the addition of Lines like AC-DC Electronics, Bourns, Chicago Miniature Lamp and Monsanto LED’s.
The two sons bought out their Father’s interest in the company in the mid ’70s and changed the name of the corporation to Rathsburg Associates, Inc.
John M. Rathsburg was elected to a Life Time Membership in the Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) in 1975.
At the beginning of the ’80’s decade, the company entered the semiconductor market with the addition of the Intersil, Analog Devices and Fairchild lines. These suppliers brought the Company into personal contact with distribution icons like Paul Carroll, Tony Hamilton and Seymour Schweber.
In the mid ’80’s, Greg Rathsburg bought out his brother’s interest in the company and became sole owner of the company. The company than began an aggressive plan to expand from a Michigan-only Rep Firm to a fifteen state NorthCentral Regional Representative. The expansion phase included six RepCo acquisitions including the Power One Rep in Ohio, the former Analog Devices Rep in the Heartlands and the LSI Logic Rep in Chicago. These three acquisitions in particular helped to facilitate the transition of these major line franchises into a territory-wide relationship that the Company has with most of its major suppliers today.
The hallmark of the company during the spectacular growth decade of the 90’s was conservative fiscal management. A great deal of the revenue that was generated was reinvested back into the business in the way of cars, computers, buildings and in-depth employee training programs. Another major differentiator was the strategy to hire technical BSEE Sales Engineers vs. hiring lay Salespeople and backing them up with technical FAE’s.
In the late ’90’s and early ’00’s, the company fully embraced the Industrial Distribution Channel. An extensive Channel Partnership Program was developed which today includes high level management relationships and nine (9) dedicated Distributor Sales Specialists that focus entirely on growing business for our clients through their distributor partners.
Since the early 70’s, Rathsburg has always had a good position in the automotive market. But it has really flourished these past few years as the automotive market has integrated more and more leading edge electronic solutions into automobiles. In 2005, the Company completed its sixth RepCo acquisition by buying a Rep Firm that specializes in selling electronic components to Visteon.
In 2006, the Company created The John M. Rathsburg Technology Center, a Silicon IP lab at its headquarters facility in Novi, MI, to provide state of the art tech support to its customers and suppliers in the automotive space.
Rathsburg continues to pave the way in the industry with innovative new programs like the Technology Center, POShare, Channel University, and easyEquote.
The Company is now the largest and most professional Rep Firm in the Midwest USA. It is still owned by Greg Rathsburg; he serves as its President & Chairman. His three children, Rachel, Amy & Bobby, are working as full time employees in the firm: Rachel works out of the Boston office; Amy works out of the Michigan office; Bobby works out of the Chicago office.
Rathsburg Associates has been in business for over a half century and has sold well over two billion dollars worth of electronic components!