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Obituary: Border States' Harold Madson

Feb. 17, 2016
When Madson retired, he sold his stock, representing more than 50 percent ownership interest in the company, to the newly formed employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), enabling broad-based employee-ownership at BSE.
Harold Madson (photo courtesy of Border States Electric)

Harold Madson, former owner and president of Border States Electric (BSE), Fargo, N.D., died February 7 at the age of 93.

In 1958, Madson joined J.O. Stolee of Grand Forks and J.L. Thompson of Fargo as a partner of Thompson-Stolee Co., which later became Border States Electric (BSE). The three men set the framework and culture of the early company, which included profit sharing with employees. After the company’s first acquisition, Northwest Electric Supply in 1961, Madson was named president. The company grew to eight locations in North Dakota and Minnesota before Madson retired in 1985.

When Madson retired, he sold his stock, representing more than 50 percent ownership interest in the company, to the newly formed employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), enabling broad-based employee-ownership at BSE.

“Harold was a remarkable man with great passion for customer service. He was also very generous with employees and the community. We cannot thank Harold enough for his belief in the Border States employees and the ESOP model of ownership. I am honored that we can all continue to build on his legacy at Border States,” said Tammy Miller, CEO.