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Biographical Sketch: Charles M. and Rhoda Steiner

When Charles M. Steiner retired as the CEO, founder, and chair of Branch Group Inc. several years ago, he was renowned as a leading entrepreneur in the electric industry; indeed, today Branch Group, as part of Rexel, is the largest electrical distributor in the world.

In 1973, 10 years after he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting, Steiner purchased the first of his many businesses, GEE Electric Co., in Wheeling, W.Va. After he grew GEE Electric into a successful business, he founded IMARK, an electrical cooperative; EDIC, an insurance company; and Vantage Group, a national sales organization to serve the electrical supply needs of major companies. Steiner now manages the Steiner Family Office.

Steiner’s impressive contributions to the electrical industry have been recognized by his service as director and chair of various committees of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), for which he was presented the NAED Distinguished Service Award.

Through the Charles M. Steiner Atrium, Charles and Rhoda Steiner have provided students and faculty of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business (KGSB) with a beautifully enriched facility. The Steiners also established the Steiner Family Foundation Scholarship in Basketball, and, most recently, have made a leadership gift to create The Chesapeake & Potomac Pitt Club Grant Program that will provide need-based assistance for deserving students from the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area to attend Pitt.

Charles Steiner serves on the Pitt Board of Trustees and the Board of Visitors for the College of Business Administration (CBA) and KGSB. In April 2001, he delivered the CBA commencement address, and, in 2003, he was named a KGSB Distinguished Alumnus. He also is a Pitt Alumni Association Golden Life member.

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