It was on March 29, 1946, that EMKAY Car Leasing Co. Inc. began operations from inside Midway Chevrolet. Morton Weiss and Sam Katzin, co-owners of Midway Chevrolet, named Sam Katzin’s brother-in-law Michael Braude as president of this new venture. At the time, the leasing industry was almost non-existent, with only a few companies offering long-term rentals or leases. The two innovators had set in motion a series of events, however, that would see EMKAY grow into a prominent player in the soon-to-be expanding leasing industry.
Under Braude’s direction the company quickly grew out of the small space allocated within the dealership. Katzin and Braude then decided to move EMKAY to its own building and rename the venture EMKAY, Inc. As the leasing industry continued to expand, EMKAY was named the third-largest lessor in the U.S. in 1958. EMKAY’s steady growth rate continued through the 1960s. In 1973, Braude and Katzin sold the business to Indiana Capital Corp., which was headed by Samuel Rea. In 1978, Gary Tepas joined EMKAY as VP of sales. Growth during the 1980s led to a new headquarters building in 1987, with further additions coming in 1996 and land purchases for future growth in 2003. By 1996, Indiana Capital Corp exited, and Gary Tepas was named chairman and CEO of EMKAY. Fast forward to today, and from its humble beginnings EMKAY is now one of the Top 10 fleet management companies in the U.S.
Midway Chevrolet founded in Chicago by Samuel Katzin and Martin Weiss
|1995||Industry “First” to utilize “Total Server Mirroring” and 100% unlimited Power Backup|
|1946||EMKAY Car Leasing Co. Inc. begins business inside Midway Chevrolet; Michael Braude named President||1996||EMKAY celebrates 50 years; Gary Tepas named Chairman and CEO|
|1952||EMKAY Car Leasing Co. Inc. relocates to its own facility in Chicago and renamed to EMKAY, Inc.||1997||Industry “First” to offer a 100% customizable vehicle driver policy & handbook|
|1973||Providing fuel credit cards to lease customers is an industry first||2004||EMKAY acquires AM Leasing Corp.|
|1978||Gary Tepas joins EMKAY as V.P. Sales||2006||EMKAY acquires PHD Leasing|
|1979||Industry “First” to use a network-based computer system||2007||Gary Tepas named President and COO of EMKAY|
|1980||Gary Tepas named President of EMKAY||2010||Industry “First” CELSIUS desktop widget for fleet administrators; Industry “First” driver app called Driver 360|
|1982||Industry “First” to have a magazine-type annual guide||2011||Industry “First” fleet administrator Fleet 360 app; EMKAY acquires JPL Canada|
|1983||Industry “First” to provide all employees their own desktop PCs||2012||Remarketing/Auction app “EMKAY Select” allows buyers to review vehicle history|
|1985||EMKAY Motors founded in Schaumburg||2014||EMKAY is first lessor to implement Auto Integrate|
|1988||EMKAY relocates to new HQ in Itasca, IL.||2015||Greg DePace named President of EMKAY|
|1989||Industry “First” to promote lower debt-to-equity ratios||2019||EMKAY releases safety suit utility app “SafeRoads”|
|1992||Industry “First” and still only to have a “Big Brother”-type Driver Profile System||2021||EMKAY celebrates 75 years|