blue baackground

A rich HISTORY of impact

For more than 65 years, corporations, public entities, utility companies, developers and high-tech leaders have relied on Cupertino Electric to design and execute first-of-their-kind electrical systems. Our history of delivering technically-complex projects fastwithout compromising quality or safetymeans that we are usually the first call when project failure is not an option.

Founded in 1954 by Gene Ravizza and Pete Kraljev, Cupertino Electric has fueled innovation in and around Silicon Valley by supplying the infrastructure that has enabled forward-looking companies to realize their vision. Since our humble beginnings, we have grown in the last six decades to serve sophisticated customers in a variety of industries. Despite our evolution and geographic reach, we are still guided by a few steadfast values: integrity, excellence, innovation, people and safety.

The Beginning1954

After returning from working in Morocco, Eugene “Gene” Ravizza purchases Kucher Electric for $12,500 and renames it Cupertino Electric, Inc. (CEI). The company gets its start by wiring homes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

CEI Founder Gene Ravizza
The Cupertino Electric fleet in the 1950s

Building a Portfolio1959

CEI’s reputation for integrity, technical engineering and quality grows. Foothill College awards CEI a campus electrical project. CEI builds its education project portfolio and lays the foundation for future technology projects in Silicon Valley.

"Yes, we were in the right place at the right time ... but we still had to work at it."
—Gene Ravizza, Founder

Gaining Momentum1960

Cupertino Electric designs and installs the electrical infrastructure at Fairchild Semiconductor, one of the first semiconductor fabrication facilities. This early success leads to projects with Siliconix, National Semiconductor and Hewlett-Packard (HP).

The Cupertino Electric team in 1960

"One of the things I've always enjoyed was 'people innovation.' Cupertino Electric had a medical plan for all employees before the union did. Then, in 1964, we had a profit-sharing plan that was the first in our industry."   
—Jim Ryley, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Cupertino Electric expands outside of California

Expansion1970s

The early tech boom continues, and Cupertino Electric helps build Intel’s headquarters. Based on its growing reputation as a problem-solver, CEI is asked by HP to expand its geographical reach and salvage a project in Colorado.

Mission-Critical Healthcare Construction1974

CEI expands into healthcare and mission-critical work, completing a large Silicon Valley hospital project for Good Samaritan.

Cupertino Electric works on Good Samaritan, a large healthcare facility in Silicon Valley
CEI works on the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium1985

Cupertino Electric designs and installs the electrical systems for the massive 1 million-gallon water tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

San Francisco Commercial1989

Cupertino Electric acquires Collins Electric and opens an office in San Francisco, California, expanding its commercial presence and reach in Northern California.

CEI expands into San Francisco
Jim Ryley becomes CEO of Cupertino Electric

Jim Ryley Becomes CEO1997

Jim Ryley, who started as an apprentice in the 1950s, becomes the second CEO of Cupertino Electric.

Big Data in Miami2001

Cupertino Electric builds Miami’s Network Access Point (NAP) of the Americas, the first carrier-neutral network access point that links Latin America and the Caribbean with the rest of the world. It's called “one of the most significant telecommunications projects in the world” by Verizon Terremark. 

Cupertino Electric works on the Network Access Point of the Americas in Miami, Florida

"CEI is made up of people who step toward a problem to help solve it. We make delivery dates. We don't miss them."   
—Brett Boncher, Chief Operating Officer

CEI works on the Thunder Valley Casino & Resort

A Mini City2003

In just four short months, CEI designs and builds the electrical system at the Thunder Valley Casino & Resort, which is like a mini-city. It is the first casino project for CEI.

TransBay Cable Project2007

Siemens hires CEI to build the 400 MW, 200 kV TransBay Cable project, installing two converter stations for a new submarine HVDC transmission link between Pittsburg and San Francisco, California.

Cupertino Electric builds the TransBay Cable between Pittsburg and San Francisco
Cupertino Electric installs the largest solar project on a single corporate campus for Google

The Solar Play2007

CEI builds the largest solar project on a single corporate campus for Google and creates a solar-focused division in the process.

Southern California Commercial2008

CEI expands into the Los Angeles area by opening a local office.

in 2008 CEI expanded into the Southern California area
Cupertino Electric works on the Lodi Energy Center power plant

Power Generation2008

CEI builds the Lodi Energy Center, a 1x1 combined-cycle, nominal 296 MW Siemens “Flex Plant 30” power generation facility with a natural gas-fired turbine generator.

John Boncher Becomes CEO2010

John Boncher becomes CEI’s third CEO, doubling CEI's revenue during his tenure. 

John Boncher becomes CEO of Cupertino Electric
Cupertino Electric moves into prefabricated modular construction

Modular Construction2010

CEI creates the modular construction company “NxGen” with a partner construction company. Three years later, the focus shifts and CEI moves the business in-house to focus on prefabricated modular data center projects for high-tech clients.

Utility-Scale Solar2013

CEI completes its third utility-scale PG&E solar project, installing 85 MW of energy generation in roughly two years for the utility. ENR ranks CEI the largest electrical contractor in California.

CEI completes its third utility-scale solar project for Pacific Gas & Electric

"We don't believe in shying away from complex, big projects—or anything that hasn't been done before. I love that our teams never stop learning and integrate new ideas into everything we design, plan and execute.
—Rob Thome, Senior Vice President of Operations

Cupertino Electric begins work at SFO

Public Infrastructure Projects2014

CEI begins work at San Francisco International Airport, launching the first of many public infrastructure projects at the site, including the Harvey Milk Terminal. 

Levi's Stadium2014

CEI delivers the 1.8 million square-foot Levi's Stadium for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers ahead of schedule as Design/Build electrical contractor.

CEI serves as Design/Build electrical contractor at Levi's Stadium
Cupertino Electric is named the largest solar EPC company

Photovoltaic Success2015

CEI is ranked California’s largest solar EPC company by Solar Power World (and again in 2016), thanks to large-scale projects like Copper Mountain Solar 3 and the Antelope Valley Solar Project. 

"While delivering possibilities for customers, partners and the community is extremely important, none of it works if we don't create possibilities for our employees first.
—Tom Schott, CEO

Tom Schott Appointed CEO2018

Tom Schott becomes president and CEO. CEI reports record $1.25 billion in revenue, thanks to geographic expansion into several states, including Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah.

Tom Schott becomes CEO of Cupertino Electric
CEI becomes PG&E's top EV charger installer.

EV Charging Stations2018

CEI is ranked the largest electric vehicle (EV) charging station installer for PG&E. 

Wastewater Treatment2019

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headworks project breaks ground, demonstrating CEI’s commitment to public infrastructure projects.

Cupertino Electric works on the San Francisco Public Utility Commission Headworks
Cupertino Electric responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with its exposure control plan (ECP)

Pandemic Response2020

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupts all industries, including construction. CEI leads by protecting employees with one of the industry’s most stringent Exposure Control Plans (ECP).

"Safety at CEI is a core value and is represented by a culture of protecting our co-workers and teams. Each person’s commitment to ensure no one goes home injured doesn’t just satisfy a performance number. It insulates our co-workers—and by extension their families—from pain and suffering.
—Bruce Baxter, Senior Vice President of Operations

LEED Platinum at UC Merced2020

The massive, multi-year UC Merced campus project is unveiled and awarded LEED Platinum status.

CEI works on the Merced 2020 campus expansion project and helps achieve LEED platinum status