Summit Electric Supply co-founder and former president Victor R. Jury Sr. passed away May 29th in Fort Worth, Texas after a brief illness. He was 89.
Jury Sr., who grew up in West Texas, had a successful career in the electrical distribution industry that spanned more than 45 years. After attending college at Notre Dame as a participant in the U.S. Navy V-12 officer development program during the Second World War, he later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University. He then went to work as a salesman for Westinghouse Electric Supply and was with the company for several years before joining Graybar Electric Co.
At Graybar, Jury Sr. held various sales and management positions and relocated several times over 28 years before retiring in 1976 as head of export for South and Central America and the Caribbean. But he often spoke about starting his own company, and in 1977 that dream was realized.
Jury Sr. founded Summit Electric Supply in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his son Victor Jury Jr. and friend and former colleague David Meredith. They opened a 6,000 square-foot service center on August 15, 1977, with Jury Sr. as Summit’s president, Meredith as vice president and general manager, Jury Jr. as vice president, and two other associates.
Service was the foundation of Summit, Jury Sr. once said. He believed it was the company’s forte and after years at the helm of the company, it was evident to him that service was largely to credit for Summit’s growth and success. He invested greatly in training and retention programs and placed a considerable value on the input of his partners and associates, whom he saw as the vehicle to advancing the company.
In 1988, Jury Sr. relocated to Fort Worth, Texas to open a new service center and expand Summit’s operations in Texas. Two years later he retired from Summit and his son Victor Jury Jr. took over the position of president and CEO.
Many of Jury Sr.’s management and personal philosophies are still in place at Summit today, and he leaves behind a legacy rich with his influence and thoughtful leadership. Known for his integrity and generosity, he spent much of his retirement volunteering and investing in numerous ministries at his church in North Richland Hills, Texas.
Jury Sr. is survived by his wife Bonnie, son Victor R. Jury Jr., daughter Jan Jury Efurd, two brothers, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The company he started more than 35 years ago grew from humble beginnings to consistently rank among the top 25 electrical distributors in the country. By 2012, Summit’s sales revenue had exceeded $384 million. Summit now employs over 580 associates in 23 U.S. markets and Dubai, UAE and sells product around the world through three special, market segment focused divisions.