The first class of Gamma Beta Epsilon, inducted on June 8, 1977.

Sports teams have their MVPs. Hollywood has the Academy Awards. Colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa. Not to be outdone, Graybar has Gamma Beta Epsilon.

Established in 1977 under the direction of then-President Bernard Whaley (by Jim Hoagland, who would later become president), Gamma Beta Epsilon honors the company’s top-performing sales representatives and locations. The Sigma Chapter is for individual sales representatives, and Upsilon is for districts and branches. Membership in either chapter is one of Graybar’s highest honors.

The name is derived from the Greek letters for the G, B and E in Graybar Electric. (Sigma is for the “S” in sales, and Upsilon for “U” in unit.) The requirements for each are demanding.

In 1987, Kathy Mazzarella was the first woman to be inducted into Gamma Beta Epsilon.

In the inaugural year, six sales representatives and six units were recognized for their outstanding performance. Since the award’s inception, 362 individuals have been inducted into the Sigma Chapter, including Kathy Mazzarella, who was the first woman inducted into Gamma Beta Epsilon in 1987. This is a prestigious lifetime achievement award reserved only for Graybar’s most elite salespeople.

Sigma winners are easy to spot at company events. Each honoree wears a navy blazer with the Gamma Beta Epsilon crest. And business units that win the Upsilon award proudly display a banner in their location and employees receive a commemorative paperweight.

Two other Graybar awards carry significant prestige. Established in 1994, the Elisha Gray Excellence in Communications Award is presented to employees who have made extraordinary contributions to the company’s comm/data business. And since 2001, the Enos Barton Excellence in Electrical Business Award has recognized employee contributions to sales, support and marketing in the electrical business.

Graybar’s culture of recognition does not stop there. The company has award programs celebrating exceptional performance in customer service, safety, continuous improvement and collaboration with strategic suppliers. And the company’s Cause for Applause program gives employees and managers a way to recognize everyday wins and show gratitude for a job well done.

From the most prestigious awards to everyday celebrations, Graybar’s culture of recognition inspires employees to be the best.