Bethlehem's Mike Albarell named PICPA Community Service Person of the Year

Solid core values - a lifetime of service

June 21, 2018 

Some see the business of electronical contracting as uninteresting. A business of pipe, wire, switchboards and lighting.

But Bethlehem native Mike Albarell, of Albarell Electric, is anything but uninteresting. In fact, Mike has spent his lifetime in service to others, spreading warmth and positive energy everywhere he goes.

Getting his start in the family business, Albarell Electric, Mike began as a “gofer” – “because I was always being told to go for this or go for that,” he said.

“And thanks to that experience, I gained excellent exposure to the business as a teenager, which gave me the foundation for a successful future.”

An alumnus of Notre Dame High School in Bethlehem, Mike Albarell attended The Pennsylvania Military College (now called Widener University), where he earned a degree in economics. Then it was off to the Army, where he served 13 months in Korea.

“I credit the Army for giving me the training to work with people of all educational levels and backgrounds,” said Albarell, who achieved the rank of first lieutenant.

“I learned how to motivate and lead a group of people to accomplish a goal.”

After serving in the Army, Albarell went right into the family business, starting at the bottom – the warehouse – where he never sat still. If there was spare time to be had, he spent it finding things to repair or restore, and incorporated his father’s core values of integrity, respect, value and excellence into all that he did.

Today, Mike is CEO of Albarell Electric, which now has offices in Bethlehem, Philadelphia and Pottsville and has grown from 50 employees to 170 – many of whom have spent their entire careers at the company.

Along the way, his father’s core values became the anthem of Mike’s life, directing his decision-making and philanthropic endeavors and supporting the communities in which his employees and customers live.

Mike has become an icon of service to the Lehigh Valley. Over the years, he has encouraged the company’s regular involvement in sponsoring events and hosting fundraisers for charitable causes.

He sits on numerous boards throughout the Lehigh Valley, such as the ArtsQuest Foundation and Lehigh Valley Industrial Park and is extremely involved at Notre Dame High School of Bethlehem where he raises money for new facilities and scholarships.

Mike’s devotion has been recognized throughout the community, as well, as he has received many awards. Some of these awards include the 1998 Economic Development Award (BEDCO), 1999 Leadership by Example Award (Bethlehem Chamber), 2002 NCC Community Fabric Volunteer Award, and in 2004, Bethlehem Chamber, Frank L. Marcon Distinguished Community Leadership Award.  In 2015, he was inducted into the Lehigh Valley Business Journal Hall of Fame.

Although Albarell plans to soon turn over the company’s reins to new leadership, he doesn’t see himself retiring. Instead, he hopes to “switch gears” and focus more time on his involvement with his community.

It seems he’s begun his retirement early.

Current Board Member:
St. Francis Retreat House
Hospital Central Services Corp.
IAL - Industrial Archive Library
Bridges Foundation - Bethlehem Area VoTech
Bond Authority - Bethlehem Area School District
ArtsQuest Foundation Board
LVIP - Lehigh Valley Industrail Parks

by Annette Kaiser