In 1979, a small three-person company was created to provide basic on-farm electrical work in rural Saskatchewan. That company was CEL, and one of those founders was a young apprentice electrician named Willie Unger. Today, Willie leads the company he co-founded, and is the driving force behind its growth.
In 1983, Willie and his partners were awarded their first commercial contract: a wood crib grain elevator. With the economic downturn of the late 1980s, the company felt the pressure to diversify. Willie realized the agricultural industry was moving to larger, more complex, automated facilities – and worked hard to cement relationships with larger firms in Canada and the USA. The big break came as CEL became the key electrical consulting contractor for Inland Grain terminals – building locations across western Canada. Willie opened an office in Winnipeg in 1990 and Calgary in 1997. He even pursued industrial opportunities in the Middle East and Asia.
Today, CEL has over 150 employees located across western Canada. Under Willie’s guidance, CEL has become known for its expertise in a vast array of industrial and commercial applications. The company has recently expanded its services to include instrumentation and continues to pursue a strategic growth plan that is focused on underserved markets where there is a logical fit. CEL’s customer-focused, solution-driven, values-based culture is a direct reflection of the approach and personality of its co-founder and CEO.
Willie is a proud husband and father who loves nothing better than spoiling his 11 grandchildren. He’s an avid snowmobiler and active volunteer with LeaderImpact (an international organization committed to developing stronger leaders).