Our History

Excel Ltd. would not exist without the hard work of its many employees since our founding in 1988.  The quality of our products, and the impact they make for the public on a daily basis, are a testament to the hard work of those men and women.  Many businesses fail, and Excel Ltd. has survived because of the blood and sweat shed by industrious American workers who go above and beyond for the customer.  Excel Ltd. is more than a team, it’s a FAMILY, and we would be honored to show you what our family can do for you.

The Excel family
Stephen Bartus (Third from Right)

Searching for the American Dream

Excel Ltd. was founded in October, 1988, when Jim Bartus noticed a need in Illinois for a manufacturer who specializes in lighting control cabinets.  Since many local manufacturers during that time were focused on traffic control, he saw an opportunity to fill a niche in a booming transportation industry that continues to thrive today.  Jim is a second-generation member of Chicagoland’s electrical industry.  His father, Stephen Bartus (see photo above), ran a crew for the City of Chicago that was responsible for the maintenance of the City’s alleyway lighting.  With a newborn, and a comfortable position with a well-known and respected electrical contractor, Jim took a risk that so many great American entrepreneurs take every day: he left his job and went out on his own, wiring his first lighting controller in the shop basement of his home.  Jim’s electrical training from the U.S. Navy, electrical engineering education from Marquette University, and attention to detail and quality allowed him to grow his business and eventually move into a 5,700 square foot facility that serves as Excel’s home today.

Open panel box

The Legacy Continues

Excel Ltd. is proud to carry on Jim’s legacy.  Both of Jim’s sons, Andrew and Chris, now share the responsibility of overseeing daily operations at Excel Ltd.  Andrew and Chris have known Excel Ltd. and the Chicagoland electrical industry their whole lives, having first started working at Excel when they were fourteen, during the summer months away from school.  From pushing a broom in the shop, to wiring a controller, estimating, and designing, the sons are proud to move the company forward, while prioritizing the things that separate Excel Ltd. from other panel shops: a focus on building a relationship with the customer, and doing whatever it takes to provide a quality product that is worthy of the Excel name.