Henry Dreisilker, 90

Dreisilker Electric founder, a legend in the electric motor service industry

EA is greatly saddened to hear of the death of Henry Dreisilker, founder of Dreisilker Electric Motors, Inc., of Glen Ellyn, Ill., who died November 1, 2016. Mr. Dreisilker was 90 years old.

Henry Dreisilker

Henry Dreisilker.—Dreisilker Electric Motors photo

He was able to celebrate his 90th birthday with family just this past July. The company released the following statement:

(Glen Ellyn, IL) Dreisilker Electric Motors, Inc., with great sadness reports the passing of company founder and inspiration Henry Dreisilker (age 90) on November 1, 2016. In search of a better life and armed with an electrical mechanical apprenticeship, Mr. Dreisilker and his wife Margaret immigrated to the United States. He began working for Portner Appliance and Electrical Repair in Wheaton, Illinois. Within a year’s time he purchased the business, renaming it Dreisilker Electric Motors. The business eventually relocated to Glen Ellyn, Illinois—the present location of its corporate offices. Recognizing a growth opportunity, Mr. Dreisilker focused his business towards the quality repair and remanufacturing of electric motors. Within time, Dreisilker expanded the company’s offerings to take advantage of the need that existed in Chicagoland for a supplier that managed and inventoried HVAC motors, drives, and accessories. Concurrently, Mr. Dreisilker saw the opportunity to provide quality and reliable repair work for European machine tool and printing press motors. Within a short period of time, word spread and repairs were coming in from customers internationally. This established Dreisilker as the leader in specialized motor repair.

Mr. Dreisilker was a fervent believer in growth and innovation. He frequently traveled overseas to attend trade fairs and conferences, often returning with advanced methods of motor management and state-of-the-art equipment. As such, Dreisilker Electric Motors became an early industry leader focusing on accurate and precise rewinding, dynamic balancing, advanced varnishing and superior winding stripping methods. He developed his MotorSafe stripping method in the United States by importing specialized equipment that allowed for the non-damaging and environmentally friendly stripping of electric motors. Mr. Dreisilker also led the industry in the use of automated machinery for coil winding and trickle varnishing. Plus, Dreisilker became the first repair shop in the U.S. to use computer controlled winding machines. In addition to advances and innovation in motor repair, Mr. Dreisilker saw the need for the availability of exact OEM replacement motors for HVAC, refrigeration, and commercial applications. He was an early pioneer in developing a distributor motor business model, leading to sales growth for Dreisilker as well as growth for motor manufacturers through the creation of the OEM motor replacement category.

Over the years Mr. Dreisilker spoke to countless trade show and conference audiences, always acting as an ardent spokesperson for advancing high quality, safe and environmentally responsible repair of electric motors. Quality was his key focus – so much so that Dreisilker became a leader in instituting quality procedures prior to the existence of ISO standards. Eventually, Dreisilker became one of only a handful of motor repair shops to qualify for ISO certification.

Mr. Dreisilker believed in furthering the lives of others through his company. His goal was to see that his employees prospered as a result of the company’s success. As an immigrant, Mr. Dreisilker made sure to provide opportunities for others, and employed a diverse workforce. Even today the make-up of Dreisilker Electric Motors reflects the international nature of the business with employees from Germany, the United States, Romania, Italy, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and countless other countries. In 1991, after many years of guidance, Mr. Dreisilker passed on the business to his children, who now with the 3rd generation of Dreisilkers manage the day-to-day operations and growth of Dreisilker Electric Motors.

“My father was a true inspiration and mentor, both to me and the employees of Dreisilker Electric Motors” states Company President Leo Dreisilker. “Many of our current team members have been with Dreisilker for over 30 years and have had the opportunity to work closely with him. He will be missed by all. We remain committed in our efforts to continue his legacy and focus on high quality and safe electric motor repair, and his passion for quality and high levels of customer service” Dreisilker continued.

Today, after 61 years in business and supported by two repair facilities in Chicagoland and seven branch outlets, including one in Marietta, Georgia, Dreisilker is a preeminent provider of electric motor solutions still guided by Mr. Dreisilker’s principles. Mr. Dreisilker proudly supported many German American organizations including serving as the President of the German Kolping Society, the Grand Marshal for Chicago’s Von Stueben Day Parade and championing many charitable and civic organizations. The Dreisilker family sincerely appreciates the support and thoughts from company employees, customers, vendors, the community and the electric motor industry.


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