A young man, and part-time motorcycle racer, Edward J. Meisel (EJ) established a bicycle shop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Responding to the development of the automobile industry, he expanded the business to selling automobile tires. In 1927, he founded the Meisel Tire Company and subsequently, established his national headquarters in Cleveland. He was the first person in the U.S. to sell tires on credit. During the 1930’s and early 1940’s, as the American appetite for automobiles grew, the Meisel Tire Co. continued to multiply across the Midwest to ultimately become the largest tire retailer in the country with over 95 locations.
During this time, EJ also purchased a few retail properties for his own personal investment. One of those properties remains in Carnegie’s portfolio today.
During WW II, rubber was very difficult to obtain and the sale of retail tires effectively ended, resulting in EJ’s premature retirement from the tire industry.
The next chapter and 2nd generation involvement began with Edward’s son, Stanley Meisel, who became an automobile dealer in the early 1950’s. In 1950, the company’s name changed to Meisel Motors. His first dealership was a Lincoln-Mercury dealership on Carnegie Ave. (hence the origin of the current name, Carnegie Companies). He subsequently expanded his business to include Honda and Kia dealerships along with an active automobile and equipment leasing business. With the entrepreneurial spirit in full swing, Stanley also formed and invested in a number of other businesses, including a small furniture rental chain, an insurance general agency and an insurance premium finance business. Building on EJ’s interest in real estate, Stanley began to acquire additional properties funded from the success of his primary business interests. As a reflection of the evolving nature of its business, the name of the company changed once again, to Meisels, Inc.
Concurrently, in 1983, Paul Pesses, Stanley’s son-in-law, founded his own real estate investment and management company called Stonestreet Management Co. Stonestreet continued to successfully grow its portfolio of properties throughout the next 8 years. During the early 1990s, Stanley began divesting many of his business interests and in 1991, Stanley and Paul combined their burgeoning real estate holdings and separate management companies to establish, what is now known as, Carnegie Companies. This decision formalized a desire to grow the real estate portfolio in a strategic and structured manner … and thus began the start of the 3rd generation involvement in this ever-evolving family business.
In 1993, after a career in non-profit management and planning, Paul’s wife and Stanley’s daughter, Kim Meisel Pesses, joined the company to oversee HR, IT, and special projects.
Peter Meisel, Stanley’s son, joined the company in 1995, after a 10 year career in investment banking on Wall St. Peter and Paul currently serve as the primary principals in the business.
During the last 25 years, the company has continued to grow and develop, with the addition of many employees and the acquisition of a variety of real estate holdings. The portfolio currently encompasses approximately 45 properties throughout 10 states. The 4th generation involvement with Carnegie Companies began as Paul and Kim’s son, Cole Pesses joined the company in 2015. Cole completed his Masters in Real Estate and Construction Management in 2016 after five years in the mortgage lending/servicing business where he last served as a Regional Manager.