FIRST GENERATION: WILFRED MACDONALD
In 1928, Wilfred MacDonald (Mac) began distributing the new “Jacobsen Power Lawn Tools” from Weehawken New Jersey…. Local retailers then sold those tools to the “end users”(home owners)…. Weehawken was also the “Factory Warranty Station”, where equipment owners could visit for parts and service.
Mac’s business grew steadily throughout the years … In the above snapshots you’ll see Mac accepting one of the VERY FIRST, “Distributor Of The Year” award from the founders of the Jacobsen Manufacturing Company… That’s Oscar Jacobsen on the left,and Einer Jacobsen on the right of Mac ….
The business was kept “in the black” throughout the great depression (not to mention a few wars)…. When it continued to expand thoughout the 1950’s , it was clear Mac needed a larger space,so, in 1962 the business moved a few miles west to roomier quarters at 340 Main Avenue, Clifton, NJ.
The Jacobsen Manufacturing Company was also growing,and as their focus changed from the “home lawns market” to the “golf course market” they appointed Mac’s company as a direct “factory-to-end-user” dealer for the new “commerical turf ” equipment market…..
SECOND GENERATION: JIM PELRINE
In 1963, Mac’s nephew, Jim Pelrine, started with the company and tirelessly worked to set ,AND ACHIVE, new high water marks for the family company…. Mac then knew he could step down with his nephew Jim at the helm. He retired in 1966 to become a “citizen of the world” (Mac loved to travel)… Jim incorporated the company in his honor [“Wilfred MacDonald, Inc.”] and thus, began a new company era. Jim continued to expand the business, adding key sales, service, and parts team members.
In 1977,when more space was needed,Jim added a second location to house wholegoods inventory, setup,and warranty service. At that time the company employed 14 full time employees. Three additional salesmen were added in the early 80’s, as was the “Harley Davidson” golf car line and Outboard Marine’s “Cushman” line both of which had grown into major product lines.
By the end of 1991, new territory was added as our customers now came from both north and south of our home in Clifton. At this point, our product lines had grown to 20. In 1995,we moved east to Lyndhurst, (in one frantic weekend!)… Now all departments and employees were under one roof. The company had now increased to 30 full time employees. At this point, Wilfred MacDonald had earned Jacobsen’s Distributor of the year award 9 times, and cushman’s quota buster honor 17 times.
THIRD GENERATION: MIKE PELRINE & CHRIS HUNT
After working summers in all departments throughout high school and college, Jim’s son, Mike Pelrine, joined the company full time in 1989. Not long after that, Mike’s brother-in-law, Chris Hunt, joined the company in 1995. In the fall of 1998, Mike and Chris took over operation of the company, and with Jim’s help and guidance, initiated to move the company to a state of the art facility in South Hackensack in January of 2000. The company had some extremely successful years through the early 2000’s, including winning Jacobsen’s Distributor of the year award in 2002 and 2004, Jacobsen’s Raving Fans award as top Customer Service Dealer in 2000, Service Manager John Carr won Jacbosen’s Technician of the year award in 2009, and Textron Financial’s Silver Award in 1998-2000, and 2005-2008. We still proudly display that original “Wilfred MacDonald, Inc.” sign-now safely inside our building.
With the industry changing, we had to change. So we decided to sell our building in South Hackensack and move, (again!), 20 miles west to Pine Brook, NJ in February of 2017. Our new facility is more easily accessible to customers, (we’re right off of Route 80, and within 3 miles of Route’s 280, 287 and 46), is more operational friendly and provides a good size showroom, something we haven’t had since the Clifton days of the 1970’s and 80’s. We have always been able to adapt to the times to provide excellence service to our loyal customers!
Wilfred MacDonald prides itself on it’s customer service and support-a staple of the company since It’s inception. We are also proud of the fact that the majority of our employees have been with us for more than 20 years. Like our employees-we consider our customers part of our family. We aren’t successful unless they are successful. We will continue to strive to be the BEST turf equipment service and support dealer in the tri-state area. Thank you for your patronage and your confidence!