A Letter From Ken Kinsley, Founder and Chairman of the Board
In 1964, at the ripe old age of 29, I had been married a couple years, was expecting our first family addition, was paying off college loans and a new mortgage and a recession was going on in the construction industry. Who in their right mind would start a business from scratch at that time? What was I thinking, or not? I guess the answer is you have to believe (and your wife as well).
Thus Kinsley Equipment Company was born along with the new baby. The first few years were a daily challenge. Fortunately there were more successes than failures because, quite frankly, failure was not an option. I never planned for it. You have to be young to get away with that. I can't begin to name all the friends who helped along the way - bankers, lawyers, accountants, suppliers and, most of all, customers. Every day was exciting and a new learning experience. As we grew each year and always paid our bills more suppliers became interested in working with us.
Then came the 70's. A manufacturer's rep came by the office and showed us a movie of a funny looking machine -- a basket on the end of a pole that went up and down and rotated 270 degrees around another pole and was even self-propelled by a chain drive. These so called "man lifts" were made in California and were being used to pick fruit and were the under pinning of floats for the Rose Bowl Parade. We purchased one and proceeded to convince the various construction unions that they were safer than the rolling scaffolding they were currently using. As they say the rest is history. This product became the source of our future funding and helped us rise to the next level.
Along came the 80's and we realized we were in the construction equipment business, the lift business and the generator business. We were making money but not enough to support expanding all three, so we had to choose. Kinsley Equipment Company became DBA Kinsley Power Systems and we became specialists. Needless to say the choice was not based on extensive market research but rather on what we enjoyed and did well. The timing just happened to be right and we have grown considerably over the last 20 years.
We opened our first branch in Albany during the 80's, the next in Syracuse during the 90's and a third in Buffalo in 2000. We just opened our fourth in Bedford Hills, New York (Westchester) as I write. In 2002 we built a full service headquarters in East Granby, CT, near the airport, which has proven to be ideal for current and future plans.
Come 2005, it was time to bring new ideas and new energy into the business. Fortunately, my son David was ready and excited about our future prospects. This has proven to be another lucky decision. I'm still around as Chairman of the Board, sharing experiences, writing histories and other things that hopefully don't interfere too much with the running of the Company. We are adding new products and services related to energy and coming to work is still exciting and fun. David and the Leadership Team keep moving in the right direction and the future looks even more promising. I feel very fortunate.
Kinsley Group History
1964 Ken Kinsley founded Kinsley Equipment Co, Inc, now Kinsley Group, Inc. (KG), in Springfield, Massachusetts for the purpose of selling, repairing and renting construction/industrial equipment. From the beginning we concentrated on knowledge selling as our strength. Features and benefits and proper application helped us become a preferred supplier.
1966 Kinsley signed as an exclusive master distributor with KOHLER® Power Systems.
1970 Kinsley Equipment pioneered selling self-propelled aerial lifts throughout the northeast. Though these lifts are now ubiquitous on construction job sites, Ken and his sales team had to overcome union objections and other obstacles to develop the market. Now aerial lifts are standard equipment on jobsites throughout the region. Our success in this market helped fund our expansion into new markets.
1971 Kinsley headquarters moved to Hartford, Connecticut to better serve our growing customer base in the region.
1984 Kinsley transitioned our business away from a construction supplies business to complete focus on power systems. The company changed its name to Kinsley Power Systems (DBA). The power systems' market was expanding rapidly at the time. We also recognized that it was a business model focused on knowledge-selling rather than a commodity price sale.
1989 KPS opened a full service power systems sales, service and rental branch in Albany, New York.
1998 KPS opened a full service power systems sales, service and rental branch in Syracuse, New York.
1999 KPS named KOHLER's Distributor of the Year
2002 KPS relocated our corporate headquarters from Hartford, Connecticut to East Granby, Connecticut.
2003 KPS opened full-service power systems sales, service and rental branch in Buffalo and a storage facility in lower New York.
2005 David Kinsley named President of Kinsley Power Systems.
2006 KPS named KOHLER's Residential Distributor of the Year.
2010 Kinsley Group Inc. and Kinsley Energy Systems (KES) established. Kinsley Group set up as umbrella parent company for synergistic energy solutions subsidiaries (KPS, KES and others to follow).
2011 Kinsley Group opened new branch in Bedford Hills, NY to more effectively serve the lower/metro New York and Connecticut markets.
2013 Kinsley Group moved its Albany, NY branch to a new, expanded facility to better serve the eastern New York market.
2014 Kinsley celebrates its 50 year anniversary! The company also outgrew it's Bedford Hills, NY facility (in just three years!) and moved to a new location in Brewster, NY. The move tripled Kinsley's office and warehouse space and added acres of storage capacity for rentals.
2015 Kinsley Group opened new branch in Wells, ME to better service the northern New England states.
2016 Kinsley purchases a new facility in Syracuse, NY, doubling its usable space, while providing easier access for customers.