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Our History & Mission

One Hundred Years of Solutions on Demand

A century ago, CBT Company began as The Belting Company of Cincinnati. A belt maker by trade, Albert Stagnaro, and his family seized a great opportunity in 1921 to serve the highly industrialized Cincinnati area with made-to-order, custom belting products to drive manufacturers’ production processes. As technologies changed, Cincinnati Belting began branching out and adding complementary power transmission products to its portfolio.

After a sales career with a manufacturer of mixing equipment, James E. Stahl Jr. recognized that the components required to build mixing machinery were also needed in virtually every other manufacturing process, either as a direct component in a new machine or an indirect component needed for the maintenance, repair, or operation of production processes. Given this possibility to serve a wide array of industrial power transmission and belting needs, James E. Stahl, Jr. purchased the small distributorship in October of 1975. With just a handful of employees and a few product lines, James E. Stahl, Jr. embarked on a journey to build the business one customer and one product line at a time. Since the beginning, CBT’s mission has been to be recognized by customers and suppliers as their best business partner

Decades of Growth

Growth accelerated rapidly in the 1980’s, as the entire southwest Ohio region flourished. CBT listened to its customers’ requests and continued to expand its base of product lines with bearings and electrical equipment, as well as its physical presence in the marketplace. In 1985, Rockwell Automation/Allen Bradley appointed CBT distributor rights to Allen Bradley drives. By 1989, Rockwell Automation/Allen Bradley included industrial control products to CBT’s portfolio of products.

1989 marked two big moves for CBT. First, CBT outgrew its facility on Pete Rose Way/2nd Street and moved around the corner to the former Hudepohl keg filling and distribution facility on West 6th Street. After extensive renovations and modernization, CBT called this new 54,000 square foot facility home.

Meanwhile, CBT was serving the Dayton market with account managers and product specialists, but it became apparent that customers wanted and needed CBT to have a greater presence in the area. CBT opened a sales and warehousing facility on Stanley Avenue to better serve its Dayton customers.

By the turn of the 21st century, CBT grew again as it built a brand new, state-of-the-art, 22,000 square foot sales and distribution center in Springboro, Ohio, located just 13 miles south of downtown Dayton. During the 1990’s, the entire region continued its suburban sprawl, where the boundaries between Cincinnati and Dayton metro areas continued to blur. The new facility enabled CBT to address the needs of the rapidly expanding industrial areas of Butler and Warren counties, yet still, maintain a close proximity to Dayton and the I-75 corridor.


The first decade of the 2000’s also saw CBT expand even further into the electrical and automation arena, as CBT became the sole Rockwell Automation/Allen Bradley distributor, in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, effective January 1, 2004. CBT also became a member of Affiliated Distributors, a network of independent electrical distributors. As a result, CBT added a host of additional electrical manufacturers to its linecard. Not to be outdone, the mechanical power transmission unit also added key manufacturers, including the SMC Pneumatics product line. Asset Management products and services became yet another offshoot of CBT’s core business as the need for storeroom management, general and customized training, and repair services were required by customers. The CBT Client Services Group was formed to address these customers’ needs.

As the second decade of the new millennium commenced, CBT marked another milestone in its history of serving the Dayton and Cincinnati Markets by becoming the only Rockwell Automation/Allen Bradley distributor for the entire 21 county area of southwest and west central Ohio, part of southeast Indiana, and northern Kentucky. This authorization allows CBT to fully meet the electrical, automation, power transmission, belting, and client service needs of its entire customer base.

2016 was a time for growth at CBT. A third location was added in Sidney, Ohio expanding their Rockwell Automation/ Allen Bradley territory 75 miles up the I-75 corridor. CBT also opened the doors of its new Columbia Township headquarters in July of 2016. The 100,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility allows for larger inventory, on-site training, and the space for decades of growth. With the addition of the Sidney location and the expansion of the Cincinnati and Dayton markets, CBT met a major milestone of over 200 wonderful employees by the end of 2016.

Your Best Business Partner

Since James E. Stahl Jr.’s purchase in 1975, CBT has grown from 5 employees and just a few product lines to more than 200 employees in three locations, and representation of hundreds of the best-known brand names of automation, electrical, mechanical power transmission, and belting products in the industry. CBT has developed strong partnerships with reputable customers and suppliers and has been ranked one of the top 100 business in Cincinnati. All CBT associates are grateful for the success and thankful for customers’ support. CBT reasserts its commitment to investing in the best people, technologies, and products in order to provide a superior customer experience. CBT welcomes suggestions and innovative ways to serve you for the next 100 years. Please feel free to contact us to learn how CBT can help your business.


CBT timeline