It was the early 1930s, and young Joseph Zorko had seen the reality of the Great Depression first-hand. Times were tough in Uintah Basin of eastern Utah, and electricity was slow in coming to this rural region.
Having only an 8th grade education, Joe was determined that he could make something of himself in the electrical industry, so he traveled to Los Angeles and attended National Electrical, Radio, and Automotive School, graduating in 1937.
Armed with his diploma and a bunch of ambition, Joe took a job in Ely, Nevada, as an appliance and radio technician, married his teenage sweetheart Margaret Dart, and within a few years began working as a lineman for Ely Light and Power.
With the outbreak of WWII, the local draft board figured Joe would be of greater value on the home front working high voltage lines than he would be in military service. As it turned out, with the shortage of skilled electricians in rural Nevada, Joe found himself working high-voltage for ELP during the day, and low-voltage for home and business owners in the evenings.
Before long it was apparent to Joe and Margaret that Joe’s time was being better spent in service to individual customers than it was in high-voltage transmission, so together they formed Zorko Electric, Inc. in 1945. Since ZEI was one of the only electrical contracting firms in the county, it didn’t take long for clientele to develop. Margaret saw opportunity as well, extending the business to include a retail appliance and gift store.
In 1971, the Zorko’s son-in-law Sid Vander Weide joined the business in Ely, having been recently laid-off from a career in aerospace in Seattle, Washington.
By the mid 70s it was time for Joe to retire, and so Zorko Electric moved on to the second generation of Sid and his wife, Peggy. The company continued with business as usual until the Vander Weides, homesick for the Pacific Northwest, relocated to Redmond, Washington in 1982. Zorko Electric, a fixture of the business community of Eastern Nevada for 37 years, started over again, building a reputation and customer base that would allow the company a chance to move on to a third generation. In February of 1993, that chance came in the form of Sid’s oldest son, Kent.
Kent had spent the previous decade working for other electrical contractors in Seattle, gaining experience in project management, engineering, and field supervision. It was a natural fit for father and son to expand the company together into what it is today.
Today, Zorko Electric is a family-owned business spanning 60 years and three generations. It offers a team of over 20 skilled technicians who specialize in commercial electrical systems and offer quality service throughout the Puget Sound region.