The History of Cincinnati Sub-Zero
Cincinnati Sub-Zero (CSZ) was founded in 1940 by Robert Jacobson, the great uncle of current President Steven Berke, as a distributor of the first practical freezer for food storage. Since then, the family business has evolved from manufacturing industrial freezers for the metal working industry to supplying a broad range of environmental test chambers for the industrial division which began in 1949. In 75 years of business our chambers have been used for testing products for over 21 different industries helping make products safe, reliable and more robust.
Our business evolved beyond industrial temperature management into the medical industry in 1960’s when a respected local heart surgeon, Dr. Leonard Gottesman, approached us with a need for cooling blood during open-heart surgery. The medical division was introduced in 1963 providing hypo-hyperthermia systems for patient temperature control. Today, the division provides a full product line of patient temperature management products for various applications such as being used to prevent permanent brain damage in patients who have suffered cardiac arrest, stroke and even for babies who are oxygen deprived during delivery.
In 1988, as the need for environmental testing grew, the Testing Division was formed out of a natural extension of the industrial division. By utilizing the chambers we were manufacturing in a contract test lab, we were then able to provide testing services to our customers. Today, the testing lab serves customers from two locations; one in Cincinnati, Ohio and one in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
We have experienced many changes in our 75 years including moving facilities six times and constantly changing to adapt our products to current market demand. Throughout these changes, one thing has stayed the same, the family atmosphere. Steven Berke, President, is the great nephew of the founder Robert Jacobson. Even now, we have many second and third generation employees.
On April 1st, 2016 CSZ was acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary of Gentherm. CSZ’s respected market reputation, established product portfolio and customer base, combined with Gentherm’s market-leading thermal management solutions and expertise create a strong platform for growth in the medical, and industrial test equipment markets. Gentherm’s strength as a technology company and dedication to innovation, complement and enhance our capabilities. Gentherm’s global scope and scale will further support our ambitious growth goals. Our continued focus on innovative temperature management solutions is exciting for both teams. By joining our knowledge and expertise in temperature management, we broaden our capabilities and position ourselves to better serve our existing markets and expand into new markets.
CSZ, A Gentherm Company, held a ribbon-cutting & dedication ceremony to celebrate the company’s new 80,000 square foot facility on Friday, December 9th, 2016. The company broke ground on the new building February 16, 2016. The new three-story office building provides additional manufacturing and room for future office expansion. This will serve the company’s need for space to support its current and future growth plans.