Jim Stephenson, CEO of Yancey Bros., in Albany Friday to celebrate the company’s 100 anniversary stands in front of one of the Caterpillar dealer’s hydraulic excavators. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — Not only has Albany’s Yancey Bros. Co. been in business for 100 years, the nation’s oldest Caterpillar dealer literally helped to build Albany into the city it is today.
To celebrate the 100-year milestone, the company has hosted a series of celebrations over the past few weeks around the state, including hosting one Friday in Albany where the company has been in business nearly 90 years.
Yancey Bros. CEO Jim Stephenson, on hand for what he called “a company picnic on steroids,” said the local celebration was a way to thank the company’s two most important assets, the employees and customers.
“I like to say we’re honoring it and we’re honoring it a lot,” said Stephenson of the gathering. “We are celebrating with the customers and employees and their families in Albany. It is huge. We never forget that it’s all about the people. Yancey Bros. has always been a family company that values people.”
The company which was started by brothers Earle and Goodloe Yancey in Atlanta 100 years ago became the nation’s first Caterpillar dealer and slowly branched out throughout the state and now has 28 facilities statewide and employs roughly 930 people.
In south Georgia alone the company employs nearly 250 people. In Albany, the company has two locations, the Yancey Bros. Power Center on South Slappey Boulevard and the Yancey Truck Center on Blaylock Street, which handles the company’s International Truck division.
The company came to Albany in 1927 as Yancey Brothers Tractor and ultimately became the local Caterpillar dealer nearly 12 years ago when it acquired the Carlton Company in 2002, which had served as the city’s Caterpillar dealer for 50 years.
Stephenson said that Caterpillar, which remains Yancey Bros. most valued partner, continues to be the global leader in heavy equipment.
“It’s the global market leader,” said Stephenson. “A lot more innovation comes out of Cat than anything else. “
To illustrate that point Stephenson pointed out that virtually every product that is farmed, mined or built likely had some connection to a piece of Caterpillar equipment, whether it’s bulldozers, hydraulic excavators or tractors.